Office 2007 tearing you to ribbons?

Revisionists despair

Your beloved menu bars have gone. Completely. Forever. They’re replaced by the Ribbon. A classy 21st Century toolbar on steroids. Captain Kirk could only dream of one of these.

Office Menu Bars aren’t coming back, so the best approach may be to get over it. If you can’t or won’t get over it there’s a commercial plug-in for US$29.95 here at Addintools which gives you a reprieve. 30 day free trial.

Microsoft have reasoned that it’s best for us to be thrown in the deep end so they haven’t provided an option to use the old menus. They do have a free menu bar here for Word only.

Office 2007 has myriad changes, but none so dominant as the ribbon. The justification for this menu and toolbar usurper is that more commands are displayed to the user without said user having to hunt through submenus, dialogs and toolbars. Ummm… yes. Instead you hunt through ribbons, help files and web pages.

Previous Office hotkeys and shortcuts are mostly supported, but if you don’t remember them, or didn’t know them in the first place, the commands themselves can be very hard to find.

It’s a mission. I’m still working on it.

Reports indicate that most users like the new regime. I’m yet to be convinced – to me it’s just another example of dumbing down but I acknowledge that I may have to eat my words. I liked Office 2003 and only upgraded to 2007 because Microsoft gave me a copy after I paid to attend a seminar at which I didn’t learn much. In fact I’m so underwhelmed by the new bells and whistles that my next upgrade may be to the free OpenOffice.

Trouble is, I, and many like me, don’t have the time to learn to use Word, Excel, Outlook, Access and who-knows-what-else all over again. Life is short. Not enough hours in the day and all those other clichés are not without merit.

Where is that thrice-accursed command?

If, like me, you don’t wish to buy a plug-in, but you’re struggling to cope nevertheless, MS have provided some ribbon/menu conversion help in these links:

Word Article

Word Command Summary

Excel Article

Excel Command Summary

PowerPoint Article

PowerPoint Command Summary

File types

  • File types have changed. Doc becomes docx and so on. All to do with standards. XML and all that jazz. You probably don’t want to know.
  • There’s some good news here – file sizes have been reduced by nearly half.


More helpful links

Up to speed with Word 2007

This page enables you to download the demo or to watch it online. If you don’t wish to watch a video the page contains links to text versions.

Word 2007 Demos

Links to several online flash movies:

And for those fortunate folk who’ve yet to sample the joys of Office 2007 there’s a Microsoft Office 2007 compatibility pack here. Not sure whether or not it includes the sexy new fonts that come with Office 2007. If it doesn’t you can get them here with the Powerpoint 2007 viewer.

The pack allows you to open, edit, and save documents, workbooks, and presentations in the file formats new to Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007

If I’ve given the impression of being underwhelmed forgive me. I am underwhelmed. But I concede that I’m a stick-in-the-mud curmudgeon and that if I can spare a week to subscribe to the revolution I may have to eat my words.

Like the PC seller in 1990 who asked me why I wanted Windows on my 386 scorcher.

Then again maybe I should’ve listened to him. I’d be a lot richer.

Have fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s