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  1. #1
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    How to change Microsoft's %$#@! Ribbon




    BEST PRACTICES
    How to change Microsoft's %$#@! Ribbon


    By Woody Leonhard

    The Microsoft Ribbon evokes a wide range of responses, from abject apathy to raging conflagration. I've never been a fan of the Ribbon, but then I didn't get to make the rules.

    Love or hate the Ribbon, you can make it more to your liking — add buttons, move controls around, create new tabs, and more.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/best-practices/how-to-change-microsofts-ribbon/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Tracey Capen; 2012-02-08 at 19:24.

  2. #2
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    Hi Woody,
    As I read through your words on how to change the ribbon, I wondered if I have missed something. I too wanted to get at blank documents quickly, however, I went to (in Word 2010) the File/Options/Quick Access Toolbar option and simply pasted the "new" to the quick access toolbar. When I click on that icon within the quick access toolbar, it does the same thing with one mouse click that requires two with method you described. Granted, we're talking about a second or two difference, but the "new" icon is visible and less distance, mouse travel wise, than having it on a tab. I use the quick access toolbar for a couple of dozen frequently used actions and it works like a champ.
    Is there some larger advantage to creating the tab for holding such icons/activities? It just seems like the method you described is much more time consuming in terms of creating a shortcut to roaming through menus.
    Thanks,
    Mike Butler
    Jackson, TN

  3. #3
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    Woody

    Thanks for the great article.

    Here is my question:
    When I am in Contacts I want to eliminate the Delete icon.

    Or if I cannot delete it I want to move it to another location.

    So far, I have found no way to do either.

    Thanks

    John

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    Long live UBit

    I've been using UBit for a few years now and absolutely love it!

  5. #5
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    "Making simple changes to your Ribbons"

    Thanks for that section on customizing the Ribbon. I have Office 2010, and followed the example to add a group with the New command to the Home tab in Word. However it opens the new document without giving you a choice of template, as with New on Word's File tab. Is there any way to get the custom ribbon command to work like New on the File tab?

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    Thanks for a great article. The introduction of the ribbon was when I stopped using Microsoft Office entirely, but I still have to support family members. I can't begin to estimate the time I've wasted trying to figure out where something is in the %$#@! ribbon! Maybe we can just create a tab called "Useful Stuff" and put everything there.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for these tips. I have been using the Free Classic Menu from addintools.com and it works for Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Onenote, with others you pay for. The free version only works for 2010, and it uses whatever is the language of the original Microsoft installation.

    The big problem is to find a menus restorer for Wordpad. Any ideas?

    The different (enhanced??) Wordpad in Windows 7 has only a ribbon. The nearest equivalent to the old Wordpad is Jarte, and I have not dared to try to copy over a Wordpad from Vista on another computer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsliesse View Post
    Thanks for a great article. The introduction of the ribbon was when I stopped using Microsoft Office entirely, but I still have to support family members. I can't begin to estimate the time I've wasted trying to figure out where something is in the %$#@! ribbon! Maybe we can just create a tab called "Useful Stuff" and put everything there.
    Just put all the "Useful Stuff" on the "Quick Access Toolbar"
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  9. #9
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    I'm surprised Microsoft didn't include the option of disabling the ribbon if the user didn't like it. Analogy: in every version of Windows I've used you could make it look more or less like the previous one. If the ribbon was so brilliant, would this issue even arise?

    For the record, I'm quite happy with the ribbon, but there's the rub; opinions are like left nostrils - everybody's got one.

  10. #10
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    Typo

    You had one little typo in your excellent article on the Ribbon, but it caused me some problems until I realized what you meant to say. In the paragraph labled STEP 5, you said to highlight "Next" on the left pane when you meant, I believe, to say "New" in order to follow the steps you described to place a "New" icon on the ribbon under the Home tab.

  11. #11
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    Cute idea. I agree with you that the ribbon stuff is silly, but no one gave me a vote when this was introduced. Maybe someday MS will come to their senses and return to simple menus again, but I'm not holding my breath.

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    Software manufacturers who are constantly fixing things that aren't broken simply to have a new "version" to sell are the bane of existence. As is planned obsolescence. If they keep it up long enough they'll drive half of us back to pen and paper, and maybe rotary dial phones. sigh.

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  14. #13
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    Hey Woody, thanks for your excellent piece on the %$#@! Microsoft Ribbon. Yeah, I use it and mostly like it, if I can memorize the functions between the hundreds of options on the Quick Access Toolbar vs. the Ribbon. The frustrating thing for me--and a huge waste of time--is searching through the often mislabeled and ambiguous functions listed in the Tool Bar options, e.g., I just finished wasting about 20 minutes trying to find the old familiar icon that will set the distance between lines from the standard "1" (single space) to other options such as "1.5" or "2" (standard double space) when using OneNote. Come on, Microsoft, provide a search option and/or clarify and expand your terminology such as "File" or "Instant Search." Good gosh, the choices are great, but help us find them.

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    Another Ribbon Alternative

    Also consider "Classic Menu for Office 2007" and "Classic Menu for Office 2010" by http://www.addintools.com/english/menuoffice/

    Can't stand the ribbon and I am not interested in spending "relearning" time just to please Microsoft.

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    I agree wholeheartedly with 'dsliesse' (above) - whoever came up with the idea of the 'ribbon' should be made to use it for eternity with its content changing all the time so that where an item is becomes unknown. THEN we might be able to have a 'classic style' option as with 'Control Panel'.

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