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!”.
The ribbon SUCKS. Just bought Office Pro 2003 and I'm using XP Pro--Windows 7 is just not worth the effort.
Won't touch 2007 or 2010. Forget it.
This is my first time writing. I'm not your "average" Powerpoint user, as I work as a presentation artist for high level business meetings (i.e., product launches, sales meetings, investor conferences: I've done meetings for 12 people to 15,000 people). I've been using Powerpoint for over 15 years now.
My first comment has less to do with the Ribbon (which I agree is irritating, at best, and would love the ability to do away with it) and more to inquire why, oh why, would you have decided to change all of the keystroke commands in 2007? I highly doubt the average user utilizes keystrokes, relying instead upon the graphical interface. To me and my fellow Powerpoint professionals, having to learn all new keystrokes kept many of us using XP long after 2007 launched, even with the new features in 2007 that we did like.
My second comment is a plea to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring back the line spacing palette from XP. This one command is probably what we use almost more than anything. The one in 2007 is completely unusable and makes me grind my teeth every time I access it (which, to bring my post full circle, is no longer accessible via keystrokes). Why you would change something that worked brilliantly into something so inadequate sums up, sadly, the Office experience for many of us.
I'm not a Microsoft basher, there are many things that I do like about Powerpoint, even more than some features in Keynote. However, your "reinventing the wheel" every second or third upgrade, with no discernible reason other than an "exciting new look", represents exactly what the world hates about Microsoft. Look to Adobe for a model of consistency, across applications and upgrades.
Please, I beg you.
Having used Office 2007 at work for about 2 years now, I have become comfortable with the ribbon and find it fairly useful. A few things, however, are maddening...
Like taking away a zoom icon that actually tells you what the current zoom is.
Like making the graphs interface in Excel more cumbersome.
Like no Quick Access Toolbar icon that gives you the current font and size in real time.
Like limiting the Quick Access Toolbar to one row.
The Quick Access Toolbar is great. Except that you can not edit it by dragging and dropping. You have to go to a clunky window and move your commands up and down by pressing an arrow which edits a vertical list which changes a horizontal group of icons.
By the way, I know this rant is useless and will be ignored by Microsoft as I am not in the...
"99.7% case: people who don't take advantage of customization or only use it to customize four or fewer commands. " (Ref: jensenh July 2006)
My heart goes out to the 99.7%. One of them works in the next cubicle and he loves Office 2007.
Just give me Drag and Drop editing of the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).
Just give me Drag and Drop editing of the QAT Please!
Did I mention that Drag and Drop editing of the QAT would be better having to click an arrow which rearranges a vertical list which edits a horizontal group of icons?????
In the hope the someone at MS is reading these comments...
I too am on the pro menu bandwagon. Heck, I've invested 20+ years of my time and money learning the menu UI. The change to the Ribbon arrogantly trashed that investment. Even worse, the partial compatibility of keyboard <ALT + ...> key combinations (some some work, but annoyingly some don't) is annoying.
I've been playing with the 2010 beta since it was released. Some people expressed concern about customization. Relax, (in the beta at least) you cannot customize the default tabs and groups. You can add a new group to an default tab, but you can't turn off default groups or modify them.
And we don't have control over how and where new commands appear on the ribbon. That brings up one of my pet peeves with the Ribbon. The dynamic nature, every time I resize the window everything moves around and changes size. Very annoying. Some controls I always use are tiny icons while stuff I never use shows up huge! And what's with that idiotic minuscule "dialog box launcher" button on the group name? It would have made more sense to simply make it one of the small icons IN the group.
Even better yet, when I recreated the default tabs, the (&(()_)* things don't look the same as the defaults.
I'm with the group that DEMANDS MS to provide a (optional) Menu tab. What happened to the concept of backwards compatibility?!? It seems so senseless that they didn't include it. It would have been a brain-dead trivial effort and expense for them to do it and would have removed the major resistance I've encountered to upgrading to ribbonized apps, the loss of productivity trying to figure out the totally scrambled re/dis-organization of functions from menus to tabs.
Give people a menu they can fall back on to be production and they will eventually migrate to the ribbon.
I sure hope MS provides a 2010 version of the "Search" addon tab. It's been the best, most invaluable learning aid for the 2007 Ribbon Gooey. That was followed closely by the flash applet that mapped 2003 to 2007 UI's. I hope that has also been recreated for 2003 to 2010.
Really - does anyone here think that any "developer" cares what users want?
Microsoft has stated on many occasions that their market is NEW users -- that is what the Ribbon is aimed at. It is not aimed at those of use who are proficient and have used Office for a zillion years.
Sorry folks, whine all you want - you're not getting your way because they just don't care.
It does however, make me wonder why they can't simply provide a "power user's" mode. Customizable, or like 2K3 mode -- whatever. We have the ability to adapt to our own creations and don't need support to do it. Just provide the freedom to do what WE want -- not what YOU want. Simple, isn't it?
Get rid of (insert expletive here) the ribbon or allow it to be an option.
This is the equivalent of me going to your office and reorganizing the letters on your keyboard to the DVORAK system (don't worry, its better than QWERTY and you will learn how to use it).
I dont care how much time your spent programming it or how much thought was put into the design. I hate the ribbon.
I have to tell you I hate the ribbon bar in Office I downloaded the 2010 beta and Outlook has it now. It just plain sucks.
I wish they'd add an option for the non-ribbon menu. Anyway I uninstalled it and downloaded open office I don't plan on buying another version of the MS-Office suite.
I love the comment "(Customisation) began with Command Bars in Office 97, progressed to the Quick Access Toolbar in Office 2007...". Progressed? Went backwards would be a better way to describe it :)
I remember reading that MS didn't include Ribbon customisation in Office 2007 because they believed that nobody wanted to be able to customise their toolbars! Clearly they were wrong and now want to put a positive spin on it.
I have been developing professionally (main source of income) in Word since Word 6 (with WordBasic). On a side note - Office 2007 is by far the most unstable and buggy version I have encountered.
The amount of time that it takes me to develop a custom Ribbon is silly. Most requests from my clients with Office 2007 is "please make me a tab with all the tools that I use on the one tab". I am hoping that the customising tools in Office 2010 eliminate this demand :)
Ribbon sucks to high heaven. Our company's clients are constantly asking for a replacement for MS Office, because of the ribbon crap.
Having used 2010 beta for a few weeks, this is progress .... almost. You can now customise the ribbon to an extent but:
* The main ribbon is still clumsy & unintuitive
* The ribbon takes up far too much space on a wide screen laptop
* The backstage view on the File tab is deadful & confused and cluttered
* Office 2003 keyboard <alt> shortcuts still don't work
* Interface still requires more keystrokes / mouse presses than 2003
* Most of the icons on the ribbon are of no use to me whatsoever
* Ribbon is still fixed at the top
* Icons are not intuitive
* Can't make / edit custom macro icons easily
* QAT still limited to a single line
* Still can't see what font I'm using in real time (I find this very frustrating) although I know what size it is!
* Customising the ribbon is slow and clumsy
* The icons are too big on the custom ribbon
* The ribbon doesn't scroll any more (useless on my small laptop)
* The start-up screen makes me seasick (yucky yellow waves)
* Low resolution colour schemes. They're all horrible.
* Colour "themes". They're all horrible too.
* No-one in our office likes 2007. I can't imagine that this is going to change for 2010
On the positive side, at least the stupid pizza button has gone.
We have almost got back the customisation that we had in 2003 - but not yet. Since customisation was the problem, 2007 removed customisation. Now we have some of it it back. Just give it back to us properly with an option to lock the interface for the non-power users in the company.
I'm gradually migrating more and more of my standard docs to OpenOffice and finding less and less reason to use Micro$oft Office 2010.
We have always been able to customise the tool bar and write our own macros assigning them to an icon on the bar but this looks a more user friendly option and I like the export button. However I do agree with some of the other comments above eg changing default ribbon seems dangerous and time consuming for an IT technican dealing with people who dont know what they are doing eg kids in school or even teachers! Also I think there should be an option to export individual ribbons to fully customise a users facilities.
My company dumped 2007 and went back to 2003 because everyone hated the stupid ribbon interface. I have never seen a company try so hard to drive customers to another companies apps.
I guess our next upgrade will be to Star Office or Google apps. We really can't justify taking the productivity hit of making everyone use a new interface that they don't like.
Users want to launch a program and get their work done. They don't want to have to spend hours learning how to customize a word processor to make it usable.
I need EVERY frequently used button ON SCREEN AT THE SAME TIME and I can't do it with your product suite.
EXACTLY!!! It's not complicated: make it like 2003 and I'll be happy. Until then, I'm not buying anything. Period!
I hate the ribbon. Please restore full keyboard functionality to the Office apps. Thanks.
I do not like the Ribbon. Give me back the pull down menu system.