Windows

Create your own Classic Start Menu in Windows 7

Greg Shultz shows you how to create your own Classic Start Menu in Microsoft Windows 7 right alongside of the operating system's new Start Menu.

In his recent article, "The Most Popular Windows Blog Tips of 2010," CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic, Mark Kaelin, reported that the most popular Windows 7 tip of 2010 in Windows Blog was my February 2010 article "Put the Classic Start Menu in Windows 7 with Classic Shell." This really surprised me because the most popular article covered how to do away with a Windows 7 feature rather than how to use one of Windows 7's new features.

Oh well, I guess that just goes to show you that old user interfaces die hard.

In any case, Classic Shell is a very good program and must be popular as it has steadily advanced from version 0.9.10 to version 2.9.2. However, using Classic Shell isn't the only way that you can get a Classic Start Menu in Windows 7. In fact, you can create your own Classic Start Menu and position it right next to the new Start Menu in Windows 7. With this side-by-side arrangement you can have the best of both worlds. You can use your custom Classic Start Menu for the majority of your tasks and then use Windows 7's new Start Menu when you have time to get used to how it works.

In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, I'll show you how to create your own Classic Start Menu in Windows 7 right alongside the operating system's new Start Menu.

This blog post is also available in PDF format in a TechRepublic download and as a Slideshow Screenshot Gallery.

Using a Toolbar

In order to create your own Classic Start Menu in Windows 7, you'll use the Toolbar feature. As you know, this feature has been a part of the Windows operating system for a long time and allows you to create Toolbars right on the Taskbar.

To begin, right-click an empty spot on the Taskbar, hover over Toolbars, and select the New Toolbar command, as shown in Figure A. (Take note of the Lock the Taskbar command, you'll need to use it in the next step.)

Figure A

Access the Toolbars submenu and select the New Toolbar command.
When you see the New Toolbar - Choose a Folder dialog box, type the following path in the Folder text box, as shown in Figure B.

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

Figure B

Type the path to the Start Menu folder in the Folder text box.
To continue, click the Select Folder button. You will then see the Start Menu Toolbar appear next to the Notification Area, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

The new Start Menu Toolbar will appear next to the Notification Area.
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Moving the Start Menu Toolbar

Now that you have created the Start Menu Toolbar, you'll want to move it next to Windows 7's Start button. To do so, right-click on the Taskbar and select Lock the Taskbar to remove the check mark. Once the Taskbar is unlocked, hover your mouse pointer over the Toolbar handle, just to the left of the "S" in Start Menu. When the pointer turns into a double-headed arrow, just click and drag the Toolbar handle toward the Start button, as shown in Figure D. As you do, drag the handle slightly under or over the icons on the Taskbar in order to get the Start Menu Toolbar to its new position.

Figure D

When the pointer turns into a double-headed arrow, just click and drag the Toolbar handle over to the Start button.
When you position it, you'll see all the folders inside the Start Menu folder. To hide them, click and drag the Taskbar handle, just to the right of the "u" in Menu, to the left to cover up those folders, as shown in Figure E.

Figure E

Click and drag the Taskbar handle as far to the left as you can drag it.
Now, right-click on the Taskbar and select the Lock the Taskbar command. When you do, you'll see a slight side effect -- just an edge of the folder icon appears, as shown in Figure F. However, it is nothing to worry about.

Figure F

A slight side effect to the technique leaves a sliver of the folder icon visible on the Taskbar.

Filling out the Classic Start Menu

At this point, your Classic Start Menu contains the Programs menu and links to Default Programs and Windows Update, as shown in Figure G.

In Beltchev's Classic Shell, the Classic Start Menu contains these links as well as links to Documents, Settings, Search, Help and Support, Run, and Shutdown. Fortunately, you can populate your Classic Start Menu with all these links. To do so, you will need to create shortcuts on your desktop and then move them to the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu folder. Let's take a closer look.

Figure G

At this point, your Classic Start Menu contains only the basics.

To begin, launch Windows Explorer and navigate to the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu folder. This folder is a special system folder, and as such, you will not be able to create your shortcuts in it. So, minimize that window so you have access to the Desktop.

Documents -- To create a shortcut to Documents, click the Windows 7 Start button, type Documents in the Search box, and then when Documents appears in the results list, right-click it. Then, select Send to | Desktop (Create Shortcut) command, as shown in Figure H.

Figure H

You'll use the Send to | Desktop (Create Shortcut) command to create some of your shortcuts.
Control Panel -- To create a shortcut to the Control Panel, click the Windows 7 Start button and this time, type Control Panel in the Search box. Then follow the above steps to create a shortcut on the Desktop. In keeping with the Classic Start Menu, you'll want to rename this shortcut Settings. Search -- To create a shortcut to Search, right-click on the Desktop and select the New | Shortcut command. When you see the Create Shortcut dialog box, type the following command in the Location text box, as shown in Figure I. Be sure to include the colon at the very end of the command.

C:\Windows\explorer.exe search-ms:

Figure I

Be sure to include the colon.

To continue, click Next and save the shortcut with the name Search.

Help and Support -- To create a shortcut to Help and Support, click the Windows 7 Start button, type Help in the Search box, and then when Windows Help and Support appears in the results list, right-click it. Then, select Send to | Desktop (Create Shortcut) command. Run -- To create a shortcut to the Run dialog box, click the Windows 7 Start button and type Run in the Search box. Then follow the above steps to create a shortcut on the Desktop. Shut Down -- To create a shortcut to the Shut Down command, right-click on the Desktop and select the New | Shortcut command. When you see the Create Shortcut dialog box, type the following in the Location text box:

Shutdown.exe -s

To continue, click Next and save the shortcut with the name Shut Down.

Now, restore Windows Explorer and move all the shortcuts from your Desktop to the Start Menu folder. Because this folder is a special system folder, you will see a Destination Folder Access Denied dialog box, like the one shown in Figure J, and will have to click the Continue button to proceed with the Move operation.

Figure J

You will have to click the Continue button to proceed with the Move operation.
When you complete the operation, you will have your own Classic Start Menu in Windows 7, as shown in Figure K, without having to use any third-party tool. As you can see, to match the original Classic Start Menu, I have changed some of the icons and used drag and drop to arrange the icons on the toolbar.

Figure K

You can create your own Classic Start Menu in Windows 7.

What your take?

Do you prefer the Classic Start Menu to the one that comes with Windows 7? Will you use this technique to create your own? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

65 comments
PoppaTab
PoppaTab

Umm OK, Windows XP has the scrolling program list. Also, if you enabled it; you see a small list of the programs you use depending on MRU info. Win 7 Pro I click on my start button I see the search and above that a start menu where I can and do place short cuts(pin) for programs I want quickly. When you click on All programs there is a list of major programs installed. You have a choice to pin them to the Start Menu or pin to Task Bar. You can also delete the item if you wish. A person can scroll down through the program listing if you wish. I got very used to XP style program list; the only thing I carried over was the quick launch which isn't really needed because clicking on the start button shows me the programs I pinned to that list. We have many options to keep us in the rut of the past, learn a new rut to stay in, or just make the GUI do what we want. You can click on the Start Button and on the right hand side above the shut down button is a list you can add to or remove windows short cuts. I have the Run dialog just above shut down, or I can use the Win key + R. There are many ways to do things on Windows; perhaps too many ways to provide a smooth experience. Those that dislike Office ribbon and get rid of it and use the mini bar with all of your favorite commands added. You can change the ribbon to list what you want instead of what is default. What are we all arguing about? A classic system on an OS that has been updated twice by the supplier. What happens when you go to the grocery store and you find the customer flow has been changed. I'm talking about the store rearranging where the food is. Does everyone stand and scream because the peanuts are not where they used to be? I just look at the aisle signs to see where my product has gone. With Windows 7 to locate a program you can type the name in the search box, pin it to the start menu, use a desktop icon, pin it to the task bar, use the Win Key, or complain about not having a fast way of doing things. I left out making a tool bar just like Greg described here. My methods are my own; you do what is best for you.

mmavin
mmavin

I Want both back.

carlsf
carlsf

Perform all these steps just because MicroSoft too out the "CLASIC" option that was on click in XP and VISTA. SORRY MS your loss we will (115) NOT be going anywhere near WIN7. SAME applice for the "RIBBON" in Office 2007/10, we wil be staying with Ofice 2003 PRO

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

Hurumph! Can you tell it's Monday morning!

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

I get fed up with people asking for XP. We're saying no. If people can't update their skills, and can only work with a 10 year old OS, perhaps they are not the dynamic, improving, go-get-em staff that the company wants...

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

After I wrote this article, I discovered that if you have Classic Shell installed, you can press [Shift] as you click the Start button and you'll get the Windows 7 Start Menu. As such, you can use both Classic Start Menu and the Windows 7 Start Menu at the same time when you have with Classic Shell installed.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

All the same things are there in Win7 and in fact the new start menu is much better for one reason and one reason only: I never navigate through the start menu at all anymore. The start button has become somthing of an abreviated command prompt that only accepts start menu entries as commands. I prefer typing to clicking so maybe that is the main difference here. I click the start menu and type the first few characters of what I am looking for and hit enter. Remember how many clicks it takes to bring up device manager in XP? Utterly rediculous. Now I can get there in one click. Try this right now: Click the start menu Type "devi" Press down arrow Enter I can literally open the device manager in two seconds. I am hoping that you guys just didn't realize how easy this was. I have a huge start menu and I have no desire to scroll through pages of entries like I used to in XP.

john3347
john3347

"the most popular article covered how to do away with a Windows 7 feature rather than how to use one of Windows 7?s new features" Kinda illustrates how unpopular these new worthless features introduced in Windows 7 are, doesn't it? I would also suspect that "How to disable Libraries" and "How to disable HomeGroup" were quite popular. They were certainly helpful to me. Really helped me clear up some clutter on my computers.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I want the programs list to pop out of its pane, that's all I want.

pulverpa
pulverpa

I don't understand all of the outcry. I mean Microsoft has done some of us a favor. I make a fair living retuning Vista and 7 to a more user friendly interface for those older people someone spoke about earlier. I happen to like 7 but the 84 year old retired minister who had to buy a new computer should have the choice to have the same system he had instead of being forced to use this new interface. It is a steep learning curve that many nonprofessional users do not need to climb.

greg
greg

I too have been in this from the DOS days and simply know that human nature is to resist change. However, in this current world and especially in IT one must be open to change every 18 months or get out. We still have techs bemoaning the demise of the DOS days. Wouldn't we all like to go back to that? Vista was a terrible move after XP, and most were correct in not adopting it. Win7 is a phenomenal step forward from XP and now that I'm totally over to Win7 I wouldn't give up the way I work in Win7 now vs before in XP. Not to mention benefits in 64 bit systems and higher RAM capabilities. Win7 is capable of recreating the past if you want to go there, i.e. the point of this article, but for myself personally I'm moving forward.

grahamad
grahamad

Having been around in this business for a while (i.e. since Windows 2, DOS3.2 etc.) it has become obvious that in Windows, Microsoft has simply abandoned some of the basic essentials of GUI design (remember GUI?) - in that their essence was transferability of skills and minimal re-learning and clear differentiation between different application types. Menus and their contents have moved around, been shuffled and the behaviour of keystrokes and mouse actions altered so that one has had to re-learn the basic interface with each succeeding version. This should not be necessary - by all means one can add "new" features or "improved" handling, shortcuts etc. but at the very least full compatibility with the previous methods should apply, then one can learn those new aspects which DO improve your productivity, creativity etc. etc. without affecting the rest. Some of us have by "customer pressure" had to move to Windows 7 from XP (we refused to get involved in Vista) - because otherwise we appeared to be "out of date" - and the howls of complaint from the silent majority have still not died away over 6 months later.

Rob C
Rob C

Again you are trying to tell us, that we MUST go the new way, because MS tells us (and denies us a choice). I bet there are some that would like to show you some updating.

kblack1a
kblack1a

I'm getting tired of MS changing Office Suite - OS layout just because users will not change and not buy new systems, just to relearn the same menu options locations on an ever changing bar/ribbon/pop-up for the sake of market saturation. People that thrive on these changes are enabling MS to keep these expensive changes for their profit margin. The people that defend it the most are consultants that make a living teaching users how to deal with the changes. It's the same logic that dress designers change fashion, market saturation. If we want change let's change the layout of the key board. Then you can hire out to teach better ways of dealing with the change. If I remember around the turn of the last century the keyboard layout did have different layout options and thank goodness the people of that era held fast to the qwerty layout standard, even when there might have been slightly better ways. As we all deal with the qwerty layout and deal with it well, change for the sake of change is a waste.

carlsf
carlsf

Its a matter of being forced to update to a interface that is crap If you consifer the interface that Microsoft put into Office 2007/10 the "RIBBON" an upgrade then it is you that is incorrect, why should I spend longer when performing everyday tasks because I/we now have to go looking for a item/option that we used to have access to with one click. And as for the so called improvement in WIN7 the same applies, NOT intutitve or easy when comming from XP or VISTA.

imsoscareed
imsoscareed

What does this have to do with updating IT skills? People are asking for something familiar and easy to use. You need to update your comprehension skills.

yagar
yagar

Oh well, I guess that just goes to show you that old user interfaces die hard. First off TG2 was right on the money. Owners of business don't want to spend their money having their workers learn a new OS at MS's whim. They pay their workers to produce a product for their business. Win7/office 2007 and above may be faster once you get it down but why pay the expense when prior products do everything you need without any new training. What is left unstated is the enormous amount of users that are home users, many of which are older folks. This new OS is causing a great deal of grief for them. They were fine with XP and office 2000/2/3. They are not adjusting to the new very well at all. I hear from a great deal of them. There are many of you out there that like the new products, that's fine. I prefer not to have so much processing power and memory being used just to get the OS up and running, especially when I know it doesn't have to be that way. If my memory is correct, Bill Gates, in his exit speech, suggest that MS not continue with the then Vista code. They should have listened.

abbos
abbos

Hasnt to do with experience imho. New is not always better or improvement. Only says it is new. MS thinks, and decides for others, that there setup is best and everybody should use it and they dont give you another option. But different ppl different tasts. I think that in 7 it takes more steps to get the same results compared to XP or even earlier. I know my way around in 7 but i still like the old '98 or XP Startmenu and Explorer better. Windows 7 OS is o.k. but i dont like the Startmenu and explorer interface. I installed Classic Shell myself and with my layout i open things faster then by typing it in the searchbox.

TG2
TG2

Hey Rico .. how about you spend your time trying to tie your shoes with just one hand? Its a perfectly valid thing to do, who knows when you might loose a hand, and then you'll be ready to tie one handed.. Or how about we take away that nice QWERTY keyboard that you use, and make you start using a purely alphabetic keyboard? I mean surely you know your abc's correct? So why would something that simple be so much different for you? ASK YOURSELF .. why did microsoft have to change the way things have been done, things that have been learned through YEARS of similar repetative tasks? You reach down to your turn signal in your car ... you expect it to be on the LEFT side in any car made for the USA ... so what happens when that turn signal knob is now on the RIGHT side? Or how about when you get into a rental car, and you realize **SOME** things never change ... horn is 99.999% of the time in the center of the wheel ... keys to the right, turn signal control on the left ... but then go for the radio and you have to actually LOOK at the controls.. that slows you down doesn't it? Some of microsoft's modifications are helpful, OTHER modifications they've made are counter productive ... if you want to start a new instance of IE you have to RIGHT click the pinned icon down there, and choose so, rather than double click like you would normally ... I could right click on a blank spot of the desktop, do properties, and pull up all the graphics changing properties I needed ... but not under vista or 7 .. you get an icon layout rather than the familiar tabs ... and that's not to mention the screen resolution or the desktop icon size (which turns out to be controlled by holding down CTRL and rolling your mouse wheel ... yeah brilliant microsoft, the default desk top that allowed me 5 icons top to bottom rather than the 10 to 12 I need and at a more reasonable size) etc.. There's more to XP than just some 20 year old OS with extra wide collars like looking at some 70's shows.... there's not throwing the baby out with the bath water... that is.. you BUILD upon common knowledge.. not throw everythign out and force EVERYONE to go through re-learning what they've to do. The Ribbon in office is *THE* classic symbol for this problem ... I could add columns or rows with a mouse or keyboard with my eye's closed if needed before the ribbon came along. And having *WORDS* for menu items rather than pictures.. if memory serves, Gerber Baby food changed many of their labels when 3rd world countries wouldn't buy their products as readily because the jars "showed babies as their contents", rather than carrots, peas, etc.. on the labels. Visual estetics only go part way ... if the words aren't there it makes it more difficult to navigate or realize the menu item you need is shown only as some picture you can barely see on a micro-sized screen or the amount of space you loose in your programs from having a ribbon that's 8 to 10 lines tall (forget the hide feature, it only means that if you need to do something more than once, you've got to re-unhide the ribbon repeatedly wasting even MORE of your time). You Sir .. like many other people out there need to go to the KISS school of learning (Keep It Simple Stupid), as well as realize that you build on a solid foundation, and you don't suddenly scrap everything just for the sake of making something "pretty".

brian
brian

was the years-long worldwide cry-fest when the "Run" button vanished. All because nobody had figured out there was a faster, better way to do that using [Win]+R, that had been there the whole time. I.T. admins who create company-wide workstation images with all the "Classic" interfaces forced on, because obviously the users will like it the way you like it? Rico is talking to you!

mistercrowley
mistercrowley

You type for that? I just hit Win + Pause/Break button and I get the System Properties and just click the right item from there... so it might add a second or two but that short cut works on all currently used versions of Windows.....

TG2
TG2

wow.. really hard.. right click My Computer, Left Click Manage, There's Device Manager. Oh and simple access to many other things. Also, when hackers start injecting malicious results into the start menu Search, maybe THEN you'll realize how bad an idea it is to start programs that way.

brian
brian

... but that's it. I don't know why MS decided that the Start menu should avoid using screen space at all costs... If I do have to browse for something (because I don't know what they called it, but know it's in a folder I would recognize) it takes forever to navigate that silly little scrolling block when I could have fit my entire Programs menu in one vertical column the old way. That said, pinned items and the Search field are my friends, and I can beat you by .6 seconds using the Windows key!

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

Seriously. Type the name of what you are trying to find. It will magically appear in the start menu before you have finished typing. This is much faster than opening long lists of folders that expand accross the screen. Plus the XP start menu is so much slower.

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

We have people joining us from Universities and schools who navigate around these "new" interfaces quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, these youngsters have the advantage over people who are having to re-learn because they missed steps (such as Vista and previous versions of office) or refused to learn new ways. They are now having to jump from Office 2003 to 2010. I feel for these people. They are going to look old and inefficient next to the newbies. It's not kind to keep them in their XP bubble by replacing these items. We need to coach and train to help them remain competitive. Joining in with the W7 moan is not helping the end user.

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

What looks better in a CV (of an office worker, not IT bod). 1. Proficient with Windows and Apple. Some experience of Linux. Can use Microsoft Office 2. Proficient with Microsoft Office (the one without the ribbon). I can work with Apple or Windows XP. I am genuinely sorry it now takes you longer to do your job, but that it's all "Crap" is just your experience, formed by other methods that you were used to, your frame of reference. There are people out there (looking at our jobs with greedy eyes) who are lickety-split with the ribbon and start menu on W7. My new caveat: I AM NOT SAYING THE RIBBON OR W7 ARE GREAT. I am saying that we should help users with what the company provides, not hack it to make it look like it was before.

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

If you can't see what helping people to adapt to the OS their company supplies has to do with updating IT skills, I pity those in your care. My point was that we should support people working with what is in their workplace. To help them be competitive with their younger colleges. Not to build them a bubble of non-change. ps. My comprehension skills are off topic.

eyesak
eyesak

Good go man! - yes we can all learn a new way - big deal. We can learn to crawl instead of walk, but we are used to walking and we get around faster - we have a choice, we can crawl or walk. We can deal with all the counterproductive changes - but why does MS not give a choice? Ribbons - I use the idiot things, but not nearly as user friendly - you like them fine. Where is the choice?

carlsf
carlsf

And Microsoft wonder why they are NOT selling products.....

Larry.Barnhill
Larry.Barnhill

This is a well thought out comment on an arrogant posting by someone that can't think past their own nose. Why doesn't "Rico" try for a job with MS? designing GUI's?

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

I agree with some points, but not all. Things change. Interestingly, my wife's mother lost use of an arm in a stroke, and DID tie her shoes with one hand. She adapted and moved on. Quite a KISS lesson.

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

There is loads of young enthusiasm in the workplace, people who have started their career in the "Vista" period, or used Office 2010 in Uni and are now in the workplace. If you bolt on a "Classic" these people see it as a "Relic". A group of people using the same OS or office package will help each other to learn, and working together makes people more productive. And thank you, thank you, thank you. I thought I was on my own with my point of view!

misceng
misceng

Pinning a few items to the task bar in Win 7 is not a good substitute for all the programs I have on XP in a vertical Quick Launch on the right of my landscape monitor. With small icons all the programs I use frequently are available at one click.

Rob C
Rob C

If MS are about saving Screen Space, then what about that screen hogging, useless piece of S..t called the Ribbon ?

WebCzar
WebCzar

Are you really serious? Talk about inefficient! 1) Move mouse to the Start 'orb' 2) Click the 'orb' (note 1 & 2 are mandatory) 3) Take my hand off the mouse 4) Acquire keyboard and start typing 5a) Hit enter (assuming it's the first item) 5b) If not 5a, add extra steps to select app 6) Re-acquire the mouse with my hand 7) If it's MS Office 2007 or 2010, deal with more lame MS 'efficiency' with the 'Ribbon'. BTW, the 'Ribbon' has been shown to reduce productivity by 20%.

abbos
abbos

I am not going to type in what i want to use. I hate it to use my keyboard when not needed. For me it is alll about GUI and click. So this idea is good for me but i already installed the Classic Shell from Ivo Beltchev and love it. Disabled the searchindexer also.

TG2
TG2

First off... Slower? thats only because some shmuck at microsoft decided to set the default "Fade" options so slow that it makes you drowsy waiting for the menus to show up... simply turn off the fade effect and lickety split the menus pop! I've turned off the menu fade option on so many machines to the rewards of hearing "wow you really sped this thing up". Leave it to microsoft to go for flash over function and really screw the people that they are supposed to make software for! Second "just typing" and selecting is going to bite microsoft in the a** as crackers inject malicious results. And that's nothing with regards to microsoft lumping other applications into that search without easy options allowing users to select *NOT* to have said programs indexed into the results.. outlook contacts showing up when you start typing in the search menu? *NOT* a good idea, and the only way to get rid of it from microsoft's POV is to edit the registry?? YOU send your mother into the registry, I'd rather it be a radio button my mother could click on! The "just type" methodology also leads to lazy users. Users should know what program groups are, and why they are there or why the users should be more involved in making groups that are meaningful collections? Me I have a CD & Audio group ... I put winamp, sound forge, and other audio and cd editing programs and their groups under that one. Vista/7's default menu structure moves the list of programs left/right to allow for full view of icon names .. another wait/pause for it to do that ... just like having to wait for the menu display when "fade" was turned on.. brilliant idea microsoft.. slowly brilliant..

Slayer_
Slayer_

it was a typing program, uh, had something to do with cavemen... and the word script. look through the menus, OH YEAH, primalscript. Forgot what that was called. I want to at a glace, see ALL my installed programs.

JCitizen
JCitizen

creatures of habit. Someone 5 years from now will look at the old '95 based GUI and declare that they can't see how anyone put up with it that long! I just know that I hate scrolling; I'd sooner go back to DOS directories with my keyboard navigation than do more of that. Plus the new start menu is even harder to read on my big screen monitor(despite using ease of access configurations); I have an easier time reading my client's old XP desktops from my remote monitor, through Logmein, than using the Vista start menu; and those are even smaller screens!

RipVan
RipVan

I used to teach an Excel class. People would ask a lot of questions on Mondays, and I would always find a reason to tell them to wait until the last day of class and I would show them the fastest way to do everything. I always forgot about it, but on Friday, the class would always ask! So I would tell them that depending on when they came into computing, they probably established habits at that time, and for backward compatibility, those methods were usually still available. I would tell them that the hotshot who got into computers last year will always try to tell them the "fastest way" to do everything is HIS WAY. I told them that having to think about a new way to do things that are ingrained in their minds will only slow them down, and that the fastest way to do everytyhing is to NOT listen to Johnny Hotshot tell them HIS way. And Windows 95 was the WORST thing that ever happened to computers. In Win 3.1, you had to know the file system and you had to know a little DOS. I was in night school with young folks who wanted to get into IT, and they had NO CLUE when it came time to depart from point and click. I hope there are no longer people like that around, but it was supposed to make ANYONE able to use a computer. Some people should be tested before they are allowed to use a computer. (Maybe DRUG tested!)

RipVan
RipVan

Mostly, it seems that M$ changes things in order to justify the fact that they have put their users on the "forced upgrade" path. In order to justify their use of millions of humans beta testing their OS, they move things around so that sheep will say "Wow, things REALLY changed with that last $200 upgrade..."

TG2
TG2

However ... had microsoft kept the keyboard shortcuts the same, rather than changing most of them... and had microsoft given the OPTION to use the older menu feature rather than the new visial ribbon bar.. this would be a completely different thread. You don't change two things at the same time in a product like this. You ADD functionality, not completely re-write the functions. And this is where the true anger stems from ... that Alt T no longer opens the TOOLS menu.. Think of it this way ... why doesn't microsoft change PASTE to be CTRL P .. i mean it really does make sense doesn't it? CTRL P for Paste ... CTRL V? how is V paste? .... we don't change this CORE function, because it is too set in our use of the computer. Millions of keyboards have "paste" embossed on the V key somewhere.. it is ... just like said "otherwheres" ... cars aren't made with the turn signal knob on the right side its been set as being on the left side as a standard. You won't get into the rental car and get into an accident because the turn signal selector was on the "right" side of the wheel ... but you might get into the accident because the radio controls weren't the same you're use to. Back to office ... its not the ribbon itself that's the issue, its the failure to encorporate and extend the previous functionality. Its the complete re-write of the interface to scrap EVERYTHING about the old. You wouldn't right now change CTRL V to CTRL P so why was ALT N for "accouNt" in outlook changed to ALT A? it makes sense "a" for account ... but I don't even have my underline character visible to show me its A instead of N .. and why was it changed in the first place? Why did microsoft choose *now* to redo all the previous keyboard shortcuts? Why choose both the visual AND keyboard controls *now* and cause such a problem for people who already knew how to use the previous product?

carlsf
carlsf

Do we get Microsoft to read these comments and thousands of others in other forumns, and take notice.... Sorry Micrisoft but perople are speaking with their feet and wallets, remember what happened to IBM and others who failed to listen.

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

What made you interpret that I was telling you what to do?! I didn't say I was a fan. That the W7 menu and the Ribbon are horrible are an OPINION. That they are in the workplace is a FACT. I just think that it is a more positive action to help people work with the current tool-set than bemoan and recreate the old methods.

Rob C
Rob C

The Windows 7 Start Menu is horrible (as is the Ribbon). If you wish to blindly follow everything that MS does, then feel free to do that. But DO NOT TELL US to do that.

TG2
TG2

You show me the company that buys a *non standard* car with a turn signal lever on the opposite side from where the industry standard has the turn signal now.. and I will show you a company that will be sued into bankruptcy. Standards are standards. You can't change a standard without reprocussions. Its not that microsoft changed to the ribbon .. its that microsoft didn't give users the choice. Add to this, that when microsoft changed to the ribbon **MANY** of the previous shortcuts were changed as well. Lets put it this way.. not everything hated about the ribbon is "the ribbon" itself. Its the functionality of the product that has caused this issue. Things people learned how to do before .. ALT I for the insert menu, alt T for the Tools menu, these access methods are changed too. You change ONE THING AT A TIME ... not everything.

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

I agree. It's just a paint job, but when it's a company car you have to accept that your company has bought you a Japanese car with the indicator leaver on the other side and go with it. Not rig up some string to a leaver you put on the other side.

seanferd
seanferd

You shouldn't have to hack it. You should be able to rearrange the UI as you see fit for your work flow. Learning where MS put the door to the garage isn't a skill at all, that is just putting up with an awful designer/architect. How would you like the UI of your car to be redesigned with no input from you? How long would it take to learn new habits without wrecking? It isn't a problem that a new UI, which is assumed to be somehow better by someone in charge, is offered. It is forcing you to use that UI with very little in the way of customization offered - either now or back in the heady days of "MS Classic" interfaces. Sure, the Start menu is an improvement over the Win 3.x and earlier interfaces, but that was only because MS didn't use a start menu-type "program manager" in the first place, which had already been around for years. Thing is, if you are going to change the way millions of people interact with their desktop metaphor or their office application, the change should actually be an improvement. And enough non-lazy folks who have actually mastered the new UIs find that it is not an improvement to satisfy me. There has always been a rather large number of UI replacements or extenders for OSes that I find this very fact speaks for itself. No hacks, just an install. You don't find this reasonable to support in an enterprise environment - that is, of course, OK. But why was MS changing it any better? And what other actual improvements has MS brought to the table that installing the new OS or office suite is worthwhile in the first place? New paint job and trim, with all the controls moved around, but same car as last year's model.

pulverpa
pulverpa

I am glad that you keep your workers supplied with top of the line up to date computers. I just completed work in a government office running XP and IE6 now I work with a major tech company with about a 1000 computers all running XP and IE8 (Even the new laptops). Yes W7 is in the workplace but so is XP and it looks like it will take a lot more time to completely eradicate XP.

TG2
TG2

But you have to take it one step further ... an example as I've posted elsewhere.. would you ... right now ... change the PASTE function from CTRL V to be CTRL P ... I mean.. P for PASTE does seem logical right? Then why keep it at V? New people coming to computers now certainly wouldn't have any problem remembering CTRL P for paste.. WHY did microsoft change SO MANY KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS in their new office suite? Sure some of them make sense ... but the problem is ... that everyone that already knew the OLD short cut, now has unexpected results when they use the newest product ... its not as simple as telling someone ALT N is no longer for accouNt selection in Outlook ... its now ALT A ... A for Account .. and what happened to the UNDERSCORE for alt key letters.. because you don't allow this to be set as an option to *always* show the underline (without manual registry hacking) people who are forced into the new product actually have to press the key first, JUST TO SEE what responds rather than see the underline in the word Account to be reminded it was changed.. AGAIN ... the changes microsoft made, destroyed years of learning ... required people to completely change their method of access, rather than building upon access methods of the past... rather than giving the option for the standard menus or the ribbon menu, and making BOTH menus operate under the same keyboard shortcuts and structures.. THIS was NOT the way to properly update the gui... the first thing you learn about improving something is to not waste all previous learning. When you have a product that has a 95% market saturation ... you can not simply start over from scratch and change everything. You must build upon the foundation you've made, not rebuild and reform the foundation while you're in the middle of putting up the 2nd floor.

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

Sorry if my reply sounded arrogant. If it helps any, it's a true story and an example of how amazing the human mind can be. Why can't I think past my own nose? I don't know why I am getting so much grief for saying what I honestly think. I've been told I need a lesson in KISS and that I'm arrogant, all for suggesting we should focus on supporting the user in today's controls rather than recreating yesterday's. I would love a job working for MS doing GUI's.

ben2025
ben2025

You can add the Quick launch basicly the same way this is done. you would just go to the "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch" location. see this link: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/888-quick-launch-enable-disable.html . Also what I did with the info from this thread, was I created the Start menu Tool bar and just added all the quick links I had into this one. So now eveything is all together, really nice. Just tweak it a bit to get what you want. e.g. remove text or title from short cut menue.

TG2
TG2

No actually.. @mistercrowley ... it sounds like someone who's not been using office products since office 97 or earlier.. Sure.. for the inexperienced users, a visual "Ribbon Bar" of tools is efficient for you, because you've not learned your product ... you think that all programs should be this way because "why should I have to learn how this product works"? .... Quite simply, because you build upon your previous learning. You didn't get thrown into the middle of a crockodile pit and get told to solve a non-linear equation when you had only just learned how to count apples and oranges the minute before.. The point being ... microsoft didn't "improve" the menu structures by adding the ribbon, they COMPLETELY CHANGED EVERY thing from before. So you, who's never used office 97, office 2000, 2002/2003 ... you could find things visually ... and any keystrokes you *had* learned from 2003 or before... were no more.. because microsoft redid all of the shortcut keys.. you dont' reinvent the wheel while you're moving at 60 miles per hour.. and you don't throw away all of the previous learning and knowledge just because you want to shift focus to a visual methodology. You "adapt" the methodology, and there is *NO* reason microsoft couldn't have allowed users the choices of menus, and there is absolutely no acceptible reason for microsoft to kill 99% of the short cuts that had been effectual in all previous versions.. A more simple way to see that.. would you ... *right now* change keyboard shortcuts for Copy, Cut, and Paste? I mean really CTRL P .. p for paste seems more logical than "V" right?? but for HOW MANY COMPUTER YEARS has CTRL V been paste??? There are f**king keyboards made that have writting and symbols on the sides of the keys facing toward the keyboard operator *showing* V as the "paste" key.. So ... do you? Do you now after more than 16 years... do you now change paste to be CTRL P? No.. you don't. Just like we don't change the layout of QWERTY ... just like we don't switch devices into an alphabetic keyboard mode on screen ... because some people don't know how to keyboard type ... etc.. its not done because its counter to everything we've learned since we could even REACH a keyboard.. So too with microsoft's "Ribbon" and change in keyboard shortcuts. In places that have HUNDREDS of secretarial positions, positions that probably do a MILLION more keystrokes every day than you .... THEY were severely impacted by loss of productivity because microsoft changed the rules, in the middle of the game.. fault: microsoft.

mistercrowley
mistercrowley

Really? Ever since they introduced the ribbon into Office, I have been able to find all the editing items that I could never find in the Pre-2007 versions. All that drill down in the drop down menus. All the good stuff was so well hidden and I always resorted to hitting F1 and taking so much time to find the effect or formatting item that I could have applied the effect many times over. Now with the ribbon I have what I want in a fraction of the time..... Reduced efficiency?.... Sounds like someone is not open to change.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

it wasn't completely all about what people wanted The Start Menu was designed to replace the Program Manger, as a multiple Programs / Games populated win3.1x box had so much stuff in the program manager that it had to have scroll bars, and the wheel scroll mouse hadn't been invented yet plus, too many program groups would bog down the system

JCitizen
JCitizen

why they did it that way. Screen real-estate! :(

brian
brian

It's pretty handy. But yeah, the little tiny scrolling box that uses less than 10% of the screen is rather silly. Hey MS, this is a 1920x1200 full-size flat panel. Not a cell phone, not an 8" tablet. Please don't constrain my start menu to the size of my cell phone.

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