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Microsoft Office 2007 Ribbons

Office 2007

Office 2007

When I first installed Microsoft Office 2007  I hated the new ribbons that replaced the old toolbars and drop-down menus. I especially despised the new ribbons in my favorite Office application, Excel. Determined to not be averse to change – to instead embrace change with the knowledge that change is good – I plodded ahead with the ribbons. I endured the lost productivity of constantly searching out where my commonly used functions were relocated. I justified the slow-going with the knowledge that once I conquered the learning curve I would be just as efficient as I used to be. Well, 18 months later I still can’t find anything without searching, and searching, and searching and I’ve finally given up. Office 2007 ribbons just plain stink! I’m a power-user, and if after 18 months my productivity is still hurting, then it’s not my fault. I gave it a fair chance.

I can live with the idea that some user interface team at Microsoft provided evidence through diligent research that the new ribbon interface helps a subset of users… heck, it might even help the majority of users. What I can’t forgive, however, is knowing that same group of UI experts was responsible for NOT including classic menus too. I HATE the ribbons. HATE. HATE. HATE. If you do a Google search on the phrase “Office Ribbons Suck” you will get thousands of results indicating I’m not alone. The vitriol for the ribbon is widespread and we will be heard! Microsoft should have absolutely, positively included the ability to show classic menus… but they didn’t. Shame on you, Microsoft. 

The beauty of capitalism is that where there is a void, there is someone willing to fill the void. Several companies have come to the rescue with add-ons to Office that will re-create our classic and beloved menus and toolbars. Unfortunately they are not free… but I can assure you they are worth every penny of the $20 bucks or so that they cost. If you are ready to end your misery check these out:

Office – Toolbar Toggle

Excel Only – MrExcel

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