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The Rehabilitation Of The Ribbon In Microsoft Office 2010
Sun 13th March 2011
It is an understandable reaction. After all, we spend all our working lives getting to grips with new challenges and then, just when we have finally mastered them, the goalposts shift and we have to start all over again. This is how a lot of people felt about the Ribbon that Microsoft dropped like a stealth missile into its 2007 Office suite upgrade.
"What was wrong with the traditional drop down menus?" they cried. "Why junk such an established, proven interface system in favour of a garish new strip that is frustratingly difficult to utilise?" For those who were prepared to set aside their prejudices and look a little deeper there were significant benefits to the new style of menu but the fact remains that Microsoft lost a good deal of customer loyalty and goodwill by making such a radical switch.
One of the major grievances that consumers had with the Ribbon in Microsoft Office 2007 was its inflexibility and its inability to be customised. Microsoft appear to have taken the hint and Office 2010 boasts some new features which greatly enhance the possibilities of adapting the Ribbon to the user's specific requirements.
For example there is now a Backstage View in Microsoft Office which is a significant leap forward in usability as it presents all the customising options with clarity and accessibility on the entirety of the screen rather than hidden in one tab of a drop down menu. Clicking on Options and then Word Options takes you through to the screen where you can customise the Ribbon.
Creating and naming new tabs is one of the features here that will have anti-Ribbon protesters backing down somewhat. By simply clicking on the New Tab option you can name and insert a new tab specific to you and whatever chain of commands you require for your personalised documents. Then you can select these commands from the menu on the left hand side of the screen by clicking Add when appropriate. Next, you select the new tab and scroll through the existing tabs on the Ribbon until you reach the location where you wish to insert your new creation. Clicking OK will then return you to the user interface where you will be able to view your new tab nestling alongside the established tabs of the Ribbon.
By eliminating the perceived awkwardness of the Ribbon that they launched in 2007 Microsoft have gone a long way to pacifying the nay-sayers who bemoaned the changes to the last upgrade of the Office suite. Having an accessible, easily customisable user interface is one of the main factors in a program's success and with this amendment to the Ribbon Microsoft have undoubtedly ensured that those users that deserted them after 2007 will be seriously rethinking their position in regards to this latest upgrade.
Original article appears here:
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