How to Navigate File Tabs and the Ribbon in Project 2013

By Cynthia Snyder Stackpole

The Task file tab is where you spend a lot of your time in Project 2013. Each of the six file tabs in Project 2013 shows different options on the Ribbon.

The first tab on the left, the File tab, stands out in bright green. After you click this tab, you see the menu bar down the left side.


The File tab is shown in Backstage view, where you find choices for working with files and changing options. For example, you can create a new project, open an existing project, save your current project, or print your current project. From Backstage view, you can also share, export, or close your current project. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even customize the Ribbon and the Quick Access toolbar.

On the far left side of the Task file tab is the View. The default view is Gantt Chart view. It shows the sheet for task information and the chart that will display a bar chart representing the duration of each task.


You may recognize some of the groups of commands on the Task file tab. For example, the Clipboard and Font groups are standard in Windows. Other groups, such as Schedule and Tasks, are specific to a particular view in this case, Gantt Chart view. Look for the purple Gantt Chart Tools Format tab when you see the Task file tab in Gantt Chart view.

You use the Resource file tab to manage resources, such as adding, assigning, and leveling resources across tasks. In Project, resources include people, equipment, material, locations, and supplies. You can assign costs and calendars to resources.


On the Project file tab, you find commands to help you manage your project as a whole, rather than by task or resource. For example, you can enter or change the project start and finish dates, the project priority, and the baseline. You can also use this file tab to run reports.


The View file tab lets you see some standard views. Examples are Task views, such as Gantt Chart or Network Diagram, and Resource views, such as Resource Usage or Resource Graph. You can use the View file tab to look at information sorted by date or a specific period.


The Format file tab has commands that help you present your schedule, such as font styles, page breaks, and column settings.


You can either pin or unpin (hide) the Ribbon to produce more real estate on your screen. The pushpin to the far right of the Ribbon pins it to your display, keeping it open and visible. The upward-facing arrow (^) on the far right side hides the Ribbon. You can also press Ctrl+F1 to show or hide the Ribbon.