Software

10 things I don't miss about pre-Ribbon Office

When the Ribbon arrived, many users weren't happy -- including Susan Harkins. But now she says she wouldn't go back to the dark days of Office menus.

When it comes to Office support issues, I tend to think in terms of Ribbon and pre-Ribbon formats. Users all know exactly what that means. Microsoft's push to the Ribbon interface was hard for some users to accept, but I've come to appreciate the work that went into the huge reorganization. Now that I'm fully acclimated and supporting it more than any other version, I miss little about the pre-Ribbon apps.

1: The overall look

The switch to Office 2007 was abrupt. I didn't fully appreciate the new logic until Office 2010, but I'm a true convert now. When I open a pre-Ribbon application, I feel like I'm looking at old high school pictures. The scenery looks old because it is old.

2: InfoPath

InfoPath had a great start, but once Office made the switch to an XML format, many developers let it drop from their radar. The idea was terrific, but it's certainly underused.

3: The toolbars

Did you ever count the number of pre-Ribbon toolbars? True, they were easy to display and hide, but there were too many! Helping users keep them corralled was often a tedious support task.

4: Outlook's we know what's best for you security features

Microsoft decided that email attachments were too dangerous and blocked them. That worked out so nicely for most of us, didn't it? They offered tedious workarounds, but most of us just hacked the Registry and took back control.

5: Macro security

Microsoft was kind of between a rock and hard place on this decision, but macro security went well beyond helpful. It was annoying to users and added a layer of warnings and windows that developers had to inhibit. It's still around (sort of), but it's less intrusive and demanding.

6: The menus

You won't hear me begging Microsoft to bring back my menu and its three- and four-level deep hierarchy. I don't want it back. Once I acclimated myself to the Ribbon, I found most options quicker to access. More options are visible with a quick click to a tab. I no longer hunt through layers of menus to find a command. All Microsoft did was pull layers of commands out of the darkness and into the light.

However, I don't miss 2007's Office button. In fact, I blame the Office button for a good portion of the upgrade angst. It was distracting and it never fit into the UI scenery or the user psyche. Most users thought it was logo! Hiding important options behind a unique (and I don't mean that in a good way) graphic was a major design blunder.

7: Track Changes

Word's Track Changes feature was helpful but a bit hard to grasp. The options and views were confusing to users, especially the views. Users also had trouble discerning whether the feature was on or off. The Ribbon version is better organized, and the options are more descriptive. The Track Changes option in the Tracking group clearly indicates whether the feature is on or off and if that's not enough, the Track Changes indicator on the status bar is easy to add. (There's a Track Changes indicator in the pre-Ribbon version, but most users don't know what it is.)

8: Smart menus

You can't blame Microsoft for trying, but nobody liked or wanted the "personalized" menus. These menus remembered what you used and displayed only the commands you used frequently. Unfortunately, they generated a lot of nuisance support calls because users couldn't find the menu commands they needed. These menus probably looked good on paper, but they were annoying in practice.

9: The Getting Started task pane

This task pane opened by default and consumed about 20 percent of your screen. Whoa! What minor feature gets 20 percent of your screen? It was a bad idea; most users immediately closed it and set about looking for an option to disable it. (They called their help desk.)

10: Outlook, period

Outlook 2003 was a decent product, but Outlook probably benefits the most from the full Ribbon interface. (Outlook 2007 is a mix of menu and Ribbon.) The Ribbon reorganization makes things so much easier. I don't miss a thing about Outlook 2003. I don't even want to support Outlook 2003 anymore.

Your turn

Do you agree that these older features are better off gone? What other pre-Ribbon features are you happy to leave behind -- and what do you wish you had back?

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

105 comments
jonc2011
jonc2011

Word 2010 is almost usable, unlike 2007 which I used for 2 months then went back to 2003. 2010 at least lets you customize the ribbon - all the functions I use are now grouped on three tabs, most on one. And by importing my 2003 Normal.dot into 2010, all of my 2003 macros are accessible on two quick access toolbar buttons - what a relief - well done MS! And keyboard shortcuts from 2003 work in 2010. Without these saving graces and the filesize benefits of xml and the excellent Navigation pane, I would send 2010 down the same rubbish chute as 2007. But the stupid QAT still scrolls off the edge of the screen if you add too many buttons. And you can't customise macro button icons - ridiculous. I still miss my 3 rows of macro buttons in 2003 which did almost everything I needed. However, if Mr Gates can allow QAT wrapping and icon editing, I might get to like 2010 as much as 2003.

AZMerf1
AZMerf1

I have to admit I thought it was the stupidest thing when I first started using it. That was out done, in my opinion only by how bad the transition was from 2003 to 2007. However, now that I have been using using, I do see the value and elegant design. They just should have worked on a better way to communication the differences.

sir.ptl
sir.ptl

Be thankful for programs like UBitMenu!

ItsTheBottomLine
ItsTheBottomLine

We have found the people resistant to change are the ones that do not like the ribbon. At work, there was the initial - Help Desk team was ready - push back. But once they actually stopped fighting it, a huge majority 95%+ said they love the ribbon (we used Survey Monkey to get feedback). My 71 year old dad took to the ribbon WAY faster than the menu path and endless tool-bars. So while you have the whiners and change haters (probably still drive model-T's) I say based on observations, with our swim team, neighborhood, and of course our 3000 employee enterprise - MS can stick with the ribbon.

sonnystarks
sonnystarks

I work for a multi-million dollar defense agency that still uses WIN XP. I cannot imagine the hue and cry at the lost productivity when we are finally forced to upgrade our entire system including Office 2003. Tell me again how childish icons and cute little pictures help us be more productive? You say, "I no longer hunt through layers of menus to find a command." Now, my 10 thousand employees will be having to hunt through ribbon layers to find commands they need! Ribbons are fine if one is given a choice. Ram it down our throats and we'll just go open source. If we have to relearn all of our office programs, we may as well do it for free! Personally, UbitMenu saves me a tremendous amount of time I refuse to waste on silly, dumbed-down commands.

chrisboden1
chrisboden1

I hate the ribbon. But I know that I large part of this is being forced to change from an interface that I have been using for the last 15-20 years. Perhaps given enough time I will grow to like it, but for god's sake, do Microsoft know nothing about basic human nature? I have the feeling that if I had not been using Office for nearly 2 decades I would find the system reasonably intuitive. But I have. So it just hacks me off that I can't find the things I use a lot and used to know where they were. Like why when I want to crop a picture doesn't the nice little picture toolbar just appear next to it as soon as I click on it? Not cool. And with more and more people using laptops rather than desktops, why implement something that hogs such a huge amount of valuable screen real estate? Is it a general shift to making things more "user friendly"? Or is it just dumbing it down? I may grow to like it, but for now the ribbon is evil and what I want is a big button that says "Restore Classic Office Interface"

wum
wum

So, I'm ready to upgrade to 2010 from my rock solid 2003... but wait, I find that I must first convert my Access mdb files to 2007 mdb files then convert those to 2010 accdb files. Damn! I guess I waited too long like half of Office users! Does anyone know of a direct way to move from Access 2003 to Access 2010?

Softedge
Softedge

The title shows what I think of the ribbon. If you had to hit every key on the keyboard of your computer two to three times to get anything done, would you do it or would you look for an alternative. In order to maintain the screen real estate I had with Office 2003 I have had to minimize the ribbon. It now takes me a minimum of two mouse clicks to access any command, unless I put it in the 'Quick Access Toolbar'. Now isn't that an oxymoron. They create the ribbon and tell us they did it because it is faster and more intuitive, but then they give us a quick access toolbar to improve our access to functions. I did not buy a larger monitor to have it wasted on the interface that allows me to do my work. I use Office 2003 at home and have the zoom level set at 100% for most excel spreadsheets I create, my fonts are quite readable at that level. I am forced to use Office 2007 at work. The same document has to be displayed at 80% zoom level to have the same amount of information in front of me. This is with the ribbon minimized. Now it is harder to read and affects my productivity. The United States in its life cycle is where Rome was at about 100AD. It is losing its position as the richest and most powerful nation in the world. This is in large part because of outsourcing. In order for the country to have a chance at all, every individual must become extremely efficient at what they do. Because computers are a dominant tool in what we do and how we perform, this tool must be as efficient as it can be. Ideally, I would walk up to my computer, it would know that I want to create an excel spreadsheet, I would activate it, and a spreadsheet would be sitting in front of me ready to use. The point here is that the operating system and the tools within applications should be as invisible to the user as is possible. Any statement about an interface being old or outdated tells me about the focus of the individual making it. They are not focused on the work at hand, rather the journey to the work. I am not saying we should not change because we are not at the point explained above. However, the ribbon takes us further from the goal than the toolbar as the quickest least intrusive method of accessing commands, Regards, Softedge

jimmeq
jimmeq

I did not even see Office 2007, but have recently read users did not like the Ribbon with that release. Microsoft's answer to that reaction apparently is to make the Ribbon customizeable. The overwhelming common thread in this blog is that the Ribbon is not liked. I am part of that crowd. I don't understand why MS did not listen to their customers reactions to O2007. I find the ribbon too "busy" that distracts my attention. Now that I know how to hide them, I do. I've customized the Quickaccess Toolbar to suit my style, but I feel this is a step backwards in that a user should not have to be bothered tailoring software right out of the box simply to make it useabe. Another option is that I use Openoffice.org and set the default save format to a Microsoft format to share with other employees.

SycoRant
SycoRant

The "Ribbon" is on the top of my hate list, along with Minivans, Windows 7 Libraries, interminable stoplights, the Democratic and Republican parties, every single Fortune 500 CEO, and people who write checks in grocery checkout lines. I can never find anything I need, the ribbon structure is totally non-intuitive, and every time I open word (and I mean every time), I have to customize the ribbon in some way. Once again Microsoft let developers run amok with no thought, absolutely no thought, to the user experience. I would pay $100 for an app that converted every Office 2010 app to look and feel like pre-Office 2007.

vucliriel
vucliriel

... that it sounds exactly like what one would hear coming out of a inmate of a mental institution after extensive brainwashing? GAW! Quote: "Microsoft???s push to the Ribbon interface was hard for some users to accept, but I???ve come to appreciate the work that went into the huge reorganization. Now that I???m fully acclimated and supporting it more than any other version, I miss little about the pre-Ribbon apps."

glnz
glnz

Have seen 2007 and 2010 only briefly and cannot comment on Ms. Harkins' main point. But I understand that Word has retained "Styles", which remains an unmitigated disaster for long documents. We lawyers have been overwhelmed by "Styles" problems since Day 1, and there is still no hope in sight. Not one single document out of billions is "Styled" correctly, and many are so screwed up that they become impossible to work on. "Styles" are so hard to find and fix, and so impossible to teach, that I must frequently clean and re-"Style" documents on my own if I know I'll be volleying versions back and forth with another lawyer. A huge time waster - there is NO BENEFIT at all to "Styles". Of course, that is not the only long-running stupidity in Word. Non-'Style" formatting is also impossible to find, fix and teach at anything other than the most rudimentary level, unless one is willing to spend inordinate time to do a clean-up. What about removing "Section Breaks"? How's that going for ya? And To This Day, In Word The Title Caps Are Wrong. (If they were right, then the words "To", "In" and "The" in the preceding sentence would not be Capped.) Word continues because it is a monopoly product. And like all monopoly products, it SUCKS.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I've used OpenOffice for years. The ribbon is just one more interface hassle when work requires that I use MS Office. My complaint was always that even with the menu system, MS was changing crap around with each new version and I would have to relearn a dozen or so keyboard sequences to get to the commands I use most often. Since I haven't used Office regularly since 2000, I don't even try to remember keyboard shortcuts and am regularly surprised that Ctrl-C and Ctrol-V still work in Office 2010.

craigt56
craigt56

Hated them at first because they were so radically different than what I was use to. I've been teaching microsoft office products for 20 years. When I first saw the Ribbons they scared me almost to death! However, I found them to be very easy and logical in short order. Now you can think your way through where things are. It finally makes sense! In teaching I've found the people that have the most trouble with them are the ones that have used Toolbars for many years. Folks that are new to computer usage learn much faster with Ribbons than Toolbars. I wish they would have kept the Office icon though, it was nice and allowed an almost clean break for the former way of doing things.

roberta walker
roberta walker

Recently I have had to do a report with downloaded data in Excel in 2003 which I reguarly used to do in 2010 - what a nightmare - it is taking twice as long - I now realise how bizare some of the menu groupings used to be! And conditional formatting now - what a lot of time all the new default offering are saving - and colour filtering! - I could go on and on.

Tommy Lovelace
Tommy Lovelace

Sounds like a country song...The Ribbon. The number ONE thing that I miss about Excel 2003 (and other Office 2003 products, Word, Project, etc.) is the ability to create custom toolbars and modify the buttons with your own artwork. I work huge schedules in Microsoft Project and giant spreadsheets in Excel. I created custom toolbars to navigate and filter these huge documents. When 2007 came along, all my custom toolbars disappeared. Now navigating these big sheets is cumbersome and time consuming. Like Johnny Paycheck sings....Take This Job and Shove It.....that's how I feel about The Ribbon. Uncle Bill, you really screwed up. Twenty years of learning and perfecting your products and you jerked the rug right out from under us. Oh, I'll continue to use Microsoft...there are no substitutes. Uncle Bill has fed my family for years....and still does. But he has really bitten the hands that feed him.

evilbob2001
evilbob2001

It's certainly brushed up on my keyboard shortcut skills. No chance of finding anything on the ribbon. Might as well turn it of and stick to hotkeys.

Robiisan
Robiisan

I have been using Office since Windows 95, I think, when I finally gave up on WordPerfect for DOS and joined "the real world" of business and office procedures (read, "the clock chip with it's embedded battery on my AT class machine finally died). Of all the changes to Office, I think the bloody "Smart" menus were the worst innovation they have come up with. In general, though, after an understandable learning curve, each iteration has made it possible for me to be even more productive than the prior one. I was using Office 2003 up until about a year ago when I acquired, through a non-profit organization, a copy of 2007 Pro. The change to the Ribbon was a bit of a struggle (now, where the heck did they hide...?) but after a few months, I adjusted to the new UI. Then, about nine weeks ago, I picked up a gig at a local career/vocational college teaching apps, specifically Office. Only challenge: It is Office 2010 they're teaching. I couldn't teach what I didn't know, so I have (two weeks after I started teaching it) downloaded and installed a trial version of 2010 Pro. Few changes from 2007, all for the better (goodbye Office Button - if the phone doesn't ring, that's me!), and I am scrambling like mad to stay one step or two ahead of my students. But I'm loving it! I've been using 2010 now for a little less than six weeks. I like the ability to customize both the Ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar, have done so extensively, and I am teaching my students how to use that wonderful feature to make themselves much more productive in this competitive economy. I've long held the personal philosophy that any day you don't learn something is a day you've wasted. Or as Robert Heinlein put it, "You live and learn - or you don't live long." I'm into my sixth decade, but no one can rightly call me a "dinosaur" as far as my computer skills are concerned. While I tend not to upgrade some things until economic factors impinge, I usually embrace the change wholeheartedly, once the decision has been made. From a Y2K alarmist's website: "To embrace the future, let go of the past." Understand and accept, at gut level, that MS will always be making changes. Get used to it. Adapt or join the ranks of the Dodo and the Carrier Pigeon. If you don't move forward with the industry, like it or not, you may find yourself to be the last holdout using .doc and .xls formatted files - and no one will do business with you since you cannot read what they send you (those economic factors I mentioned). I honestly think that most of the people at MS, particularly those who work on the Office suite, really are trying (in an admittedly sometimes misguided way) to make things better for all of us out in the field. In general, they are successful. Once the whining, evidenced in some of the responses to Susan's article, subsides through use and acclimation, comfort levels rise, and the transition era wanes as more and more people convert to current versions, few will truly want to go back to "the old way" of drop-down menus. So, all said, I have to agree with Susan on this topic - I think the Ribbon is a vast improvement. I certainly have to stand up and be counted as one who has no desire whatever to go backwards.

dsinha
dsinha

There are probably 500+ options in Word that are not available in any ribbon. But my problem with the newer versions of Word have had less to do with the ribbon. I work with equations and was surprised to find that in Word now you can have an equation written in any font that you want so long as it is Cambria Math! Most academic journals do not accept papers with this font.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It doesn't make much difference to me. The only hang-up I had originally was that stupid 'Office' button in the '07 version. I knew there had to be a way to save and print, and gave myself 30 minutes to figure it out. Unsuccessful, I was reduced to hitting F1. As Susan noted, I thought the dumb thing was merely a logo. It's gone, and I don't feel strongly either way. I don't expect the controls on new car to be where they were on an old one.

DuhGreek
DuhGreek

How would you feel if they took away keyboard shortcuts and required point-and-click for everything? (Bye-Bye Ctrl-Z / Ctrl-X / Ctrl-C / Ctrl-V !) That's akin to how I feel now. If MS is hell-bent on pushing the ribbon, at least offer the menus and toolbars as an alternative, just as Windows 7 offers Aero or Classic. It seems that the users that are most receptive to the ribbon are those that use a minimum of features, although there are those advanced users that have taken a shining to it. I am a power user, and after a month of being "ribboned", I???m still struggling with it. I understand that they want to appeal to those who may have been floundering in the menus, but this is about efficiency and production. And I am now very inefficient compared to where I was.

gclifton_BANNED1234567891
gclifton_BANNED1234567891

I first was exposed to the Ribbon menus with AutoCAD 2009. Then with Office 2007. Add to that my exposure to interface of Vista then Windows 7. My first thoughts were - I Hate This. My thoughts now - I Hate This. I'm a DOS guy to begin with. Oh the days of ver. 6.2. Windows 98SE, then Windows 2000. Not bad at all. Windows XP. Ut Oh. Changed menu to the classic W2k. Nice, easy, comforable, straight-forward. Office 2003, nice menus. Then Vista and office 2007. I hate this even more. Ah, changed Vista to the classic menu. Nice again. Windows 7. I really hate this. Installed the classic menus for Windows 7 and Office 2007. Back into my comfort zone. Sometimes it's not about progress, looks, or anything of the kind. If people are comfortable with their OS interface, they work more easily and without the frustration of doing their job while trying to learn where everything is and on what menu.

sonnystarks
sonnystarks

"They just should have worked on a better way to communication the differences." You mean like "a choice?" What an original idea!

SycoRant
SycoRant

In your survey of 3000 employees, what was the response rate? Were respondents required to include their name? What measures of internal validity and reliability did you use? In most corporations "Resistance to Change" and "Whiners" are code phrases for "Aren't Willing to Suck Up" to stupidity.

PixieGurl
PixieGurl

Try "AddInTools.com" best of both worlds. It contains the Classic Tool Bars with drop down menus and you still have ribbon and its icons. Cost is about $30.00 and has 15 day free trial. Result: Instant Stress Reliever!!! Hope this helps!

craigt56
craigt56

First save a copy of the 2003 database. Open the copy in 2010 and see what does or doesn't convert properly. This will minimize the modifications you have to make. Once updated save it to the new format.

plandok
plandok

As far as I can determine, most legal (and medical) offices use Wordperfect because of it's templates and formatting abilities. Suggest you try it out.

jonc2011
jonc2011

Bad luck not knowing how to work with styles. They are magic. But all people who work on a document need to understand them. If a firm has a suitable template and ensures people who create and edit documents understand and use it, then it will save you time and trouble and improve presentation. But if someone screws it up, I agree, you are in trouble. I would retire, rather than give up my templates and stylesheets (which I use for different agencies that I work with).

ssharkins
ssharkins

I rely on Styles a lot -- but I agree that if you don't use them correctly, they can be difficult to manage.

craigt56
craigt56

I'm going to get an iPad! PC's have become too bogged down with un-necessary stuff. The cost of keeping up to date with software is crazy and the nut cases just will not quit attacking the internet! I feel a need to make computing fun again. I'll keep my PC but the iPad is surely the direction computing is ultimately headed.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

is the replacement for custom toolbars. See that row of two or three icons above the Ribbon? Click the menu 'pull down' at the end, then go to 'More Commands'. Drag the commands you want onto the bar. I don't know of a way to customize the art for the default commands, but you can do it for buttons assigned to macros.

SKFee
SKFee

When Corel bought Word Perfect they screwed it up just like the Office ribbon has. Word Perfect 7 looked just about like Office does now and that was about 1999. I suppose those that never used the anal interface of office 97 will like ribbons but everyone I know that has had to evolve with this thinks it sucks. Sincerely, Kevin

klaur
klaur

The essential functions of a new car have not changed i.e. the blinker, gas pedal, brake pedal, clutch. And automobile critics always complain about misplaced or awkward controls. Also productivity and efficiency are not important when driving a car.

Carl.Lee4
Carl.Lee4

I don't use a lot of Features, I use Word a lot at work, hated 2007 still hate 2010. I look at the Ribbon and wonder why so many random and, for me, unnecessary functions are staring at me taking up a quarter of the screen. I don't care that I can hide the ribbon, it doesn't need to be that big in the first place. Why do I have to dig so deep to print my document? Do people REALLY design tables in Word more than they print out documents? Does MS think that hiding the print button people will save paper? At last I found that the swirls and blobs in the upper left were buttons that made a few tasks easier, like saving a document, send and recieve in Outlook. But honestly I thought it was part of the design for the longest time. I mean who would look at an interface drawn with Kindergarden Crayons think to look at a swirl drawn with a .09 pencil and go "Oh, there's the Save button" "There's Send and Recieve." There are still functions in Word, Outlook, and Excel that I haven't found. I have simply abandoned them. If work needs me to use them, then someone is going to have to show me, I am done with this Easter Egg hunt. Someone mentioned in an earlier post about not paying to restore functionality. I wish more businesses, would realize how many WASTED man hours are being spent looking for functions that should be on the make tab, like saving and printing. I should not have to had work experinece in UI design to created, edit, spellcheck and print a wordprocessing document.

ItsTheBottomLine
ItsTheBottomLine

I'm a touch typist - old cobol and c programmer - and I use the key strokes all day long in all of the office products.

tcseattle
tcseattle

Not sure what you mean by getting rid of shortcuts. They're all still there. And you can still navigate the interface using nothing but the keyboard. More easily in my opinion since after you press Alt, you don't have to look for the little tiny line under a letter to know the shortcut key...the lines are still there, but much more visible bubbles come up with what key to use as well.

spawnywhippet
spawnywhippet

I still do the same - I run Classic Menu wherever possible, it is much faster, uses less system resources and takes fewer clicks to get to where you need, especially if you have 'Control Panel' as a menu rather than a folder (similar to the 'Programs' menu). The Windows Vista and later control panels takes many times longer to find and access anything.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I've yet to fully accept Win 7 -- I'm trying to like it. :) Your post made me smile though -- I remember thinking I'd look weak if I used a mouse. :)

sonnystarks
sonnystarks

Aren't most of us ITs here? And, do most of us just let employees go online and install what they want on our network? Don't know about you but I'd be out of a job by sundown!

glnz
glnz

I had WordPerfect on my desk from 1989 through 2002 and liked it a lot. But because NONE of our clients kept it, we had to convert to Word. That was a rude shock because Word was so obviously primitive compared to WordPerfect. And Word is just plain BADLY DESIGNED. The epitome of how illiterate, lazy and inconsiderate geeks with zero aesthetic taste can foist non-ergonomic crap on the rest of us. The only reason we are discussing this retro, deficient product is that it's a monopoly.

glnz
glnz

Hey, jonc2011, how is it for you when you email your beautifully styled document to two other people, they revise it using their own styles (very badly, with manual formatting also), send it to three other people, who do the same, and it comes back to you for further work? That's what we lawyers do 24/7. A freaking mess that our secretaries cannot fix. Be thankful you work in a bubble.

glnz
glnz

ssharkins - see my Reply to jonc2011 below. Your "correct" is my nightmare.

Tommy Lovelace
Tommy Lovelace

You have no clue, Pal. I'm talking about 10 to 15 different custom toolbars with 15 to 20 buttons each for use on 25,000 line schedules and spreadsheets. Not that cheesy little thing at the top of the screen. I've been using Windows and Excel since before many of you were born! I'm an old f*art, not a newbie user!

jonc2011
jonc2011

I have been trying for three years to find out how to customize a macro icon, and have failed dismally. If you know a way (Palmetto) please tell me and I will be forever in your debt.

sonnystarks
sonnystarks

"...productivity and efficiency are not important when driving a car."? But in an organization of 10,000, productivity and efficiency are the lifeblood that keeps everyone employed!

klaur
klaur

There are still keyboard shortcuts but they have changed in Outlook and some require more keypresses than before. I have gotten used to the ribbon after completely hating it for a few weeks but software should never change keyboard shortcuts even in a new version. I do believe that Microsoft should have allowed the user the option to change back to classic menus.

sonnystarks
sonnystarks

Reread DuhGreek 's entry. He's saying "How would you feel if....?" to explain how many of us feel now. Interesting that the "Nays" in this discussion are running about 5 to 1 with the "Aye's." Are you listening Redmond? How many of your Office customers have already "voted with their feet" without saying anything and gone open source?

DuhGreek
DuhGreek

I didn't suggest that they had removed the shortcuts. Just, for a moment, pretend that they had. Wouldn't you feel lost without them? That's the feeling I have without the menus. When they introduced the ribbon, MS did not offer an alternative, they replaced a tried-and-true system. All I was asking for is consideration that I am at efficient and at ease with the menus. The ribbon is an unnecessary complication to me, and i thing for many other users as well.

jonc2011
jonc2011

If you list the styles used in the document in a stylesheet, and ask them to use your styles - it might work. That's what I do, though I must admit, usually within one project. Most legal documents I have seen only need half a dozen styles, so it can't be too difficult.

Shorsh
Shorsh

... use the latest version of the Office Suite as pre-installed on a computer - especially when people don't bother with what's on their box, 'cause they are using it for other purposes. The other end is: which (larger) company would like to either stay behind the times or compatibility, or can afford to change all of their system to a non-M$ Office environment ... fighting little justified prejudices on the way. IMO with OpenOffice and LibreOffice there are better options for PowerUsers who like to tinker with the layout and usability of their office environment. But in a company one is most likely locked into the M$-legacy and has to put up with what comes pre-configured next. I am still working on Office XP at home on Windows XP and enjoy my specially configured toolbars. I am dual booting with Ubuntu 11.04, where the installation wizard told me that my hardware isn't compatible with the requirements for Unity, so it gave me the Classic Desktop ... Now, would something like this be an option for Microsoft, or is shipping two layouts in one installation program not in the budget?

ItsTheBottomLine
ItsTheBottomLine

Marketing 101 - Nays will be loud and proud, and point out the flaws and tell 10 people or more. The Ayes would tell a few and move on nothing to view here. Anyone with common sense knows that.... oops.