Monday, September 13, 2010


The Ribbon, a panel that houses a fixed arrangement of command buttons and icons, organizes commands as a set of tabs, each grouping relevant commands. The Ribbon is present only in Microsoft Word 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Access 2007 and some Outlook 2007 windows. The Ribbon is not user customizable in Office 2007. Each application has a different set of tabs which expose the functionality that application offers. For example, while Excel has a tab for the graphing capabilities, Word does not; instead it has tabs to control the formatting of a text document. Within each tab, various related options may be grouped together. The Ribbon is designed to make the features of the application more discoverable and accessible with fewer mouse clicks[26] as compared to the menu-based UI used prior to Office 2007. However, many users feel that the existing menus should have been left alone.[27] An online survey reports the ribbon menu has decreased productivity by an average of 20% for users.[28] Moving the mouse scroll wheel while on any of the tabs on the ribbon cycles—through the tabs. The Ribbon can be minimized by double clicking the active section's title, such as the Home text in the picture below.[29] Without third party add-ins, it is not possible to remove the Ribbon, modify it, or replace it with menus with the normal Office 2007 functions. There are third party add-ins which can be purposed that can bring menus and toolbars to Office 2007 as well as add-ins which allow users to customize the Ribbon commands. Office 2010 does allow user customization of the ribbon out of the box.

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