Software

Add Office 2003 tools and menus to your Office 2007 interface


Good news for all you old dogs who are disinclined to learn a lot of new Office 2007 tricks: Addintools is offering Classic Menu for Office 2007. This add-on re-creates the Office 2003 menus, adapted to present Office 2007 commands -- for instance, the add-on's View menu for Word contains 2007's Draft and Full Screen Reading commands instead of the old Normal and Reading Layout commands.

The implementation is pretty clever: Classic Menu places a Menus tab on the Office 2007 Ribbon. You can select the tab to display the Office 2003 menu bar, along with the Standard and Formatting toolbar:

 

Classic Menu 2007
 

Click any of the regular Office 2007 tabs, and the Office 2003 elements disappear.
If you're rabidly anti-Ribbon, you can take things even further. Classic Menu provides an All item on the Office 2003 menu bar. Just right-click on All, choose Add To Quick Access Toolbar, and then minimize the Ribbon. A little green button on the Quick Access Toolbar will drop down the Office 2003 menu bar:

 

Classic Menu 2007

You can follow a similar procedure to add the toolbars to the Quick Access Toolbar. Another little green button will appear, and you can use it to turn on the toolbar display.
Addintools offers a free 15-day trial of the Office 2007 Classic Menu add-on (2.6 Mb). If you decide to purchase the product, you can choose from individual add-ons for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint ($15) or get all three in the Office 2007 Classic Menu package ($29.95).

Thanks to the folks at Office Watch for the heads-up on this product in their latest newsletter.

About

Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic and is now senior editor for Tech Pro Research.

14 comments
binjow
binjow

Nice add-in. I'm gonna try it.

bc
bc

Susan, Classic Menu for Office 2007 sounds good but it still leaves a lot of Ribbon on the screen, which is as bad as a cluttered desktop when you are trying to concentrate. I experimented with customizing the Quick Access Toolbar in Word 2007 and found it will hold no more than 25 icons. That sounds like a lot, but with the many possible commands I am sure there are many users with more than that. It is interesting that Microsoft so over complicated Word 2007 with the Ribbon that they included a 'Quick Access Toolbar': that is what the Ribbon is supposed to be. Microsoft seems to be in the camel making business; a horse designed by a committee. What would be more useful - an add-on that lets the user customize the Ribbon directly, creating new tabs, moving icons from one tab to another, and removing undesired tabs. In the meantime, I've gone back to Word XP.

rmaro17921
rmaro17921

I think I prefer the 2007 menu. Seems so much easier and I adjusted easily.

PhR34k
PhR34k

Okay, that's great for people that upgraded to 2007 and find that the old menus and toolbar were gone. But, addintools has a way to change the appearance of Office 2000, 2002 (XP) or 2003 to look like the new Office 2007 interface? I bet there are a lot of people that pay for it.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

I am one happy camper! Am I the only one who is not visually oriented and wanted those menus back?

techrepublic.posting
techrepublic.posting

This is a two pronged message. First, because of jobs being outsourced years ago (and still now), many people in IT (and other fields) have lost jobs to Indian companies. This is wrong. Secondly, despite the above, I decided to look at the above, to see if maybe I could write something similiar. But yo and behold, then I tried to work with the EXCEL one, it asked for a password. Sounds shady to me!

dirlam87
dirlam87

I can't imagine why they messed up the menu bar and left us with no way to get it back. The new system is so inefficient to work and requires even more clicks to find what you need. Microsoft has made major steps backwards on both this suite and Vista. I recommend that no one use either one for another few years until they figure out how to fix them.

PhR34k
PhR34k

I love my MS Office 2000, and that is the reason why I don't bought a XP, 2003 or 2007 license. But, now I see the new design of MS Office 2007 and I'm wondering if anyone knows a way or software to change the look and feel of MS Office 2000 (or XP, or 2003) to MSO2k7. Call me crazy, but if exists a way to change the look of WinXP to have the appearance of Vista, why don't have an old MS Office with a 2007 interface?

nickrusso
nickrusso

I want them back, too, and I'm visually oriented! The new interface is just window dressing that makes it harder to use. This add-on will be indispensable to those of us forced to use it who actually need to get something done besides copy, paste, bold, italic. See my post at: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=213534&messageID=2228926 and others in that thread. Jody, thanks for this article, I hadn't seen it when I posted the above. Hopefully MS will see the error of alienating so many users and release the rumored "classic" interface.

chris
chris

I am with you on the new interface, why should I have to pay 15 bucks to get the OLD look to a new software. Why not make it like ht start menu "New or Classic" format.....

mediamaniac
mediamaniac

I know this is an old topic but until recently, I'd had no reason to upgrade to Office 2007. Am I to understand that in order to use the familiar interface from Office 2003, I now need to purchase and integrate yet another piece of software?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Sad, but true. MS does not offer a 'Classic' interface option for Office 2007, either as part of the suite or as an option.