Hello, my name is Melissa Kerr and I am a Program Manager on the Office User Experience team. Today I'm introducing the era of “This is your Ribbon!”, made possible by the new Ribbon customization feature available in Office 2010. Ribbon customization is available across all Office 2010 client applications, and allows you to create a personalized Ribbon optimized to the way you work with the application.
Customization is the ability to add, remove and relocate commands within an application, and is not a new idea. It began with Command Bars in Office 97, progressed to the Quick Access Toolbar in Office 2007, and now has evolved to include Ribbon customization with Office 2010.
Why would I customize?
Office is used by approximately one billion people worldwide, and we know the default organization of commands can’t possibly match the preferences of every single one of our customers.
Using customization in Office 2010, you can group your favorite and most frequently used commands in one location, or remove seldom used commands. Or maybe you have a repetitive task that you’d like to accomplish in fewer mouse clicks. You now have the ability to put those commands on a custom tab, or add them to a new group on an existing tab.
Let's say that you are an editor for a local newspaper and that your company uses Word 2010 to review all articles that are going to print. When reviewing articles, you find that a specific set of commands are used over and over. You’d love for all those commands to be located together on a single tab, making each command only a single click away.
An example of a customized Ribbon.
The Options dialog provides a user interface for customizing the Ribbon, which doesn’t require any coding. To launch this dialog, you can either right click on the Ribbon and click “Customize the Ribbon”, or enter through “Options” on the File tab.
Two entry points to Ribbon customization
The commands you frequently use are located on different tabs, therefore you decide that creating a new custom tab with all of them in one location would be the easiest way to streamline your work and get the results you want faster.
When all customizations are completed, click OK to create your custom Ribbon.
Applying your customizations.
End result of your Ribbon customizations.
Joe, your coworker on floor 3, heard that you created a personalized Ribbon that is optimized to the way you work with Word. He wants what you have! Well, that's easy… Sharing your customizations is as simple as exporting a single file and sending it to him.
Importing & exporting customizations.
Importing and exporting customization files can also benefit many scenarios within an organization. For example, an IT department can create a company-wide custom Ribbon and then distribute it to the entire organization via policy and Office configuration deployment. That will ensure all employees are using the organization’s customized Ribbon.
Features of Ribbon Customization
Ribbon customization capabilities are not limited to the above scenario. Here is a list of the major functionality that Ribbon customization offers:
Thanks for reading and I hope that you will enjoy the era of “This is your Ribbon!”.
I agree with Axel:
"can we also have additional custom ribbons (commandbars), please?
Floating or attached to any side of the screen?
It is such a great feature in office-versions <2007 to have custom toolbars everywhere".
And also with Graham:
"The ability to see more than one toolbar in 2003 is very useful"."Also can ALL ribbons have meaningful names".
I Use OneNote and not dispense the thin toolbar close to the pens, on the left side.
The possibility of having more than one ribbon could solve this!
It was good that could have a thin ribbon to not take up much space.
Please do with this to be possible, at least in Onenote.
Obviously, customizable button bars and the general ease of customizing things like the right-click menus must be brought back. With the new reduced interface, Microsoft has just gone backwards to about 2002.
This is what I learned from the beta: Do not buy Word 2010.
Is it possible to put the accursed ribbon to the side? Screens are getting wider, not taller, and I want to put all this graphic junk to the side like I can do in Office 2003. firstname.lastname@example.org
Can we get the original menu's back? Can't stand that stupid ribbon. Until it returns, I will not upgrade(downgrade).
for one thing I am too old for icons - I am still used to read :-)
for the other space is always at issue on computer screens
therefore: can I have ribbons without icons & text only?
Thank you so much!
The ribbon SUCKS in CAPITAL LETTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a power user (sorry if that offends people that I refer to myself...and do so in a positive way)...a serious power user. Visio is my life and career; my ability to harness it to convey complex notions is how I make my living.
That said, did anyone at Microsoft take the time to seriously think about how many more mouse gestures and clicks it takes just to drop a damn line with specific arrows on a page?
Customizing the ribbon is little help. I mean, you can create your own tab, your own group, and the icons are for 90yr old blind people. I need EVERY frequently used button ON SCREEN AT THE SAME TIME and I can't do it with your product suite.
After 16 years of using Visio every single day, I am throughing it away.
In general the ribbon interface has slowed me down and that seems to be the case for all of our power users. Problem is, those folks are the 20% that get most of the work done around here. The rest are generally lost no matter what we deploy. I know it's nice to serve the majority of users but overall this seems to be slowing down productivity.
Also, I agree with taking advantage of growing screen width rather than limited height. Having the ability to dock the ribbon on the sides would at least clear out vertical space to allow editing a letter size document without scrolling.
Unless an option to choose a "classic" (read 2003) interface is added to the final release, I will not upgrade. The ribbons are a waste of space and I find that it takes me much longer to get things done.
And what would be wrong with having a fully customizable menu invoked with alt+key (ala 2003), that would give the full list of commands the user wanted vertically, while still keeping the icon key dot popup horizontaly oriented (have to move your eyes across the entire screen area of the entire ribbon to find the next keystroke) for those folks who never learned to use a keyboard (what kind of agony did a blind writer used to 2003 have to go through? (None they wouldn't have used 2007)).
For that matter call one a key activated column ribbon and the other the key startable horizontal visual ribbon and make it customizable.
Anything that takes my hands off the keyboard is just distraction unless I need to actually reposition. For that matter, a keyboard with a nubbin is still appealing ala Lenovo laptop keyboards (Even 3rd party keyboards are hard to find with any kind of quality). Too bad your hardware guys and software folks can't get together to come up with a solution that can please both or does someone else have a patent on the nubbin.
After years of avoiding Office 2007 because of it just wasn't worth a massive reorientation to the new ribbon interface if it wasn't customizable, I am now forced into it because it was made corp standard (of course now that 2010 is around the corner). Now I'm hoping that 2010 can save me the pain and the loss of productivity that I'm currently experiencing. I found this blog as a result of looking for ways to customize 2007 to make it useable.
Useless until you can close/disable "FILE TAB".
Why pawn one more version of MS office on the public that does not give someone the option of continuing to be productive with the interface they have had? Why does Microsoft force users to continuously update to new messes with the latest called the ribbon and pretend it is so great. Who has the time to customize - the interface should be completely usable out of the box or has Microsoft forgotten this? I for one do not like the ribbon and find the whole idea that Microsoft continuously thinks they have the best idea and when it bombs - but they can't admit the mistake and rework their messes. I suppose the un-usable ribbon will be an opportunity for competitors to come in a take over a good part of the market share of from Microsoft. A large third party software faction has found that out.
Its nice but..
How about options on the size of the ribbon, whether the button name is shown, ability to dock different tabs against different sides of the window or have them free-floating.
All of this could be done in order to retain the benefits of the old-style menus without losing the benefits of the new.
As any power user here, I cant stand "the ribbon"
( unmovable, uncustomizable, with a plenty of ambiguos icons, most of them useless for proficient users...)
After 1 month having upgraded to office 2007, every day I have to remap ANY of my 15 years-long mind-presets... my productivity has drastically dropped and my frustration is every day deeper.
Human-machine interaction best practices are simple: design your HMI to best fit ALL of the tool user, beginners and pro, impaired or not; provide a basic front-end for most used feature, but allow extension and customization to adapt to personal needs and skills.
No excuse about 99,7% users are "monkeys": I expect MS develops tool for humans.
The ribbon is chaos. I find I still use Office 2000. There is nothing in any of the other version I need or use. I did not like Office 2003 because the icons used a pastel color and that was hard for me to see. So, I went back to Office 2000. I would consider moving to another version if they got rid of the ribbon. If that was not possible, then allow the quick access toolbar to have more than one line on the screen. That way we can toss the freaking useless unproductive ribbon and put all our old commands back on a usable toolbar and regain some screen space. Of course you know - that is the final frontier. Windows shouldn't be called Windows. It should be called holes.
What's the deal with getting rid of menus? THIS NEW INTERFACE SUCKS BIG TIME. I WILL NOT UPGRADE MY OFFICE 2003. I'LL BE SWITCHING TO OPEN OFFICE OR SOMETHING ELSE. FURTHERMORE THE UI ON WINDOWS ITSELF IS GETTING WORSE AND WORSE. ALL YOU ARE DOING IS HIDING FUNCTIONS AND MAKING IT DIFFICULT TO ACCESS THEM. WHOEVER HEADS UP THE UI DESIGN TEAM NEEDS TO BE FIRE IMMEDIATELY. THEY ARE UTTERLY CLUELESS.