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!”.
It doesn't even have a File Save As! WTF!!!
Melissa, how about getting Jensen Harris to read the comments in this thread? After all, the Ribbon was his baby, correct?
If you selcet Excel Options / Quick Access Toolbar the default is "For all documents". If you select an opened workbook there will be no commands. If one exports before adding commands, the exportetd file would be exactly the same as the one for all documents. So where are the "standard" icons? If you don't want them to appear you have to remove them for all documents and then change a special documents toolbar or do it via xml. Is that what one expects?
- Will there be a way to customise pop-up menus (right-click) too?
- preview window should be available for the customization
- free positioning qat and/or ribbon as in 2003 would be nice. And so would be the choice to display only icons or text.
- if a user removes a customized or new tab could you ask him whether he want's to export the changes to a file to save them for later use?
- it would be nice if one could add some frequently used workbooks (perhaps a combo box showing the available sheets) to the ribbon or qat for quick access (whithout using code).
OneNote 2010 does not assign shortcuts to the icons of the ribbon, helpppp! . Only allows the bar quick ... Helpppp!
The ONLY reason I didn't get office 2007 was because of the inflexibility of the Ribbon.
Has anyone at Microsoft taken into account that MOST users have the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Having the ribbon at the top of the screen means having to move the mouse more - from the taskbar to the ribbon and back again - continuously.
Also, the difficulty in organising add-ins in the ribbon is ridiculous.
If you want to sell Office 2010, I would suggest that you get rid of the goddam ribbon.
allow different color in tags of pages of onenote, please.
Has anyone noticed that, unlike Word 2007, Word 2010 no longer offers you the option of scrolling the ribbon horizontally if the screen is not wide enough to accomodate all of your icons?
It's not a problem for most tabs however I have a few legacy add-ins which appear on the Add-Ins tab. If Word isn't maximized, the toolbars of icons just get chopped off leaving the user with no obvious way of accessing them.
Office Template Designer/Developer
Well, this addresses my #1 complaint about Office 2007, the reason I avoid using it at all costs: the default ribbons have tons of junk I don't need or want, and few of the commands of what I do need or want. "Mailings", for example, is so 1980s. And some things are just hard to find; I keep having to remind myself that "Insert comment" is on the "Reviewing" tab, not the "Insert" tab. So if I can fix these things, that's a step forward (although I'll again be lost when I log into a public computer and my customizations aren't available--which I frequently have to do where I work).
My #2 complaint is still there, though: as someone put it, I can read words, I can't read icons. (Hieroglyphics, anyone?) So if I could get rid of the icons and just have the text, that would be still nicer.
I got a new laptop to prepare for the move to university last year. I was genuinely horrified when I saw the 2007 ribbon, as it was completely unfamiliar, but trusted Microsoft when they claimed that it would put all me frequently used icons out in the open where I could easily access them, and that it would stop my computer screen from looking cluttered with all these messy toolbars.
Acctually, the icons are enormous, and the majority of them I have no use for. They just clutter up the top of the screen and make it harder to find things. The only addition I found useful was the Change Case icon, and the fact that differnt underline styles are available as a dropdown button, alkthough I don't use these often enough to make it that worthwhile. (@ Mike Maxwell - a year later and I'm still making that mistake about the comments.)
Well, I can safely say that after a year of using this 'user-friendly' ribbon, that this new layout may suit offices and businesses, but for the regular home users and students, it's a nightmare. I still get completely lost when I'm trying to do things, and was hoping that 2010 would ditch the ribbon, or provide the option of choosing between the toolbars. I would love to downgrade, but after the disaster that was Vista I upgraded to Windows 7; however as a student I can't afford the ultimate edition, which is the only backwards compatible version of the software for the Office Suite.
Essentially, Microsoft are saying, "It's our way or the highway". I'm all for progress, but to me alienating the users is not progress. It's a giant leap backwards. In my opinion, until Microsoft allow users to choose between the toolbar and the ribbon, many users will remain unhappy.
Agree with Rob. Can I have my 2007 money back too? While not admitting their mistake at least Microsoft fixed the customizing functionality they took away from 2003. Office 2007 was an abortion for advance users. After 3 years I still find myself dreaming of the old interface. Product development gone wild without caring for the users.
I have tried to give a chance to the infamous ribbon, but I just do not get to used to it. I spend a lot of time clicking through the ribbon tabs and I am not able to find the thing I am looking for. That is so frustrating. I wish Microsoft could give us the option to choose between the classic menus and the ribbon.
As so many others have lamented, all I want is the CHOICE to use the classic menus (and toolbars). This ribbon is a productivity drag, real estate hog, and shoulder-killer, as I have a painfully arthiritic shoulder and much prefer to key-shortcut my way through the menus. Lifting my hand off the keyboard hundreds of times a day to have to mouse-and-click, instead of keying to actions is causing me sever pain, as well as the pain of lost time hunting my way through the morass of the ribbon.
David was right about software designers - makes me ashamed to be in IT, but he's right. Technology crows who become enamored with the new & shiny, instead of allowing familiar interfaces for users. I'm keeping Office 2003 on my home machines for as long as I can, and I curse the fact that my new job requires I use Office 2007 on my company notebook. I only wish the productivity loss didn't come with physical pain, and possibly surgery far in advance of when I had hoped.
Ribbon is horrible, causes constant support issues.
Currently migrating IT over to alternatives first, then later the organization.
Training did not help the organization.
Its too late, but you may be able to keep more business if you allow a legacy toolbar option. Too late for my business but if MFST wants to not go down in flames, they should not alienate the base users.
Been administrating Windows NT since Citrix Winframe/NT 3.5 days. Previous to that mostly Novell. This Ribbong is the dumbest thing I've seen in a long time.
To solve the usability problem (called "Ribbon") fire Harris, hire a new usability engineer (nor a geek) and re-introduce menus and (customizable) toolbars...
I'll never upgrade to Office > 2003 with this in-usabilty bullshi* - and Open Office is getting better every day.
Translucent windows with shadows, animated desktop wallpapers, ribbon gimmicks have nothing to do with productivity.
Sorry folks - there is no really evolution since office 2003, only gimmicks I'll not pay for.
I just found this blog after spending half a day of lost productivity trying to work with the ribbon in Office 2007.
I recall the Christmas after 2007 debuted when my mother went out and got a copy to put on my father's computer (they're both in their 70s). I fortunately saw it before she opened it and talked her into returning it to the store (she already had a copy of 2003 Educator Edition which could be installed on 3 computers, anyway).
Every time I've talked to someone about 2007, I have warned them away from it, and I always get thanked once I show them how confusing and counter-productive the ribbon is.
These days I work for a Platinum-level Microsoft partner. I provide service and support to our large corporate customers. They're largely all still downgrading to 2003 (some of them to Office XP) because of this mess. When I can, I advise them to either stick to their old licenses, or switch to Open Office. I'm glad to say that I'm personally responsible for losing Microsoft thousands of dollars (although the argument can well be made that they lost the money themselves).
I am now adding my voice to the legion of users who are demanding, "Let us turn off the Ribbon!" Not minimize, not customize, not extend... just turn the thing off and stick with the methods that worked. Until this is done I will continue using my influence to cost Microsoft money, as this is the only way to convince them they are wrong.
Just for the record, I also have no plans to switch to a Dvorak keyboard.