Readers with ideas write to Windows Secrets


Notable Microsoft user-interface features of historic and recent varieties prompted Windows Secrets articles — and reader responses. In addition, a reader offers suggestions on how to manage resource hoggery.

How to contain a mess: Minimize the Ribbon

Re: Woody Leonhard’s Feb. 9 story, “How to change Microsoft’s %$#@! Ribbon”

► Thanks for your Ribbon reference article in the February 9 issue; I can be counted as one of the haters.

One of my biggest pet peeves about the Ribbon is its messiness. Fortunately, you can minimize the Ribbon; this works great for the visually distracted like myself and for people who want to see more of their document and less of the Ribbon. Office 2007 has a command nicely hidden in the down arrow to the right of the quick-access toolbar. Unfortunately, Microsoft messed me up again with Office 2010, replacing the nice old trick with a new arrow that directly minimizes the Ribbon — although once you know it’s there, the new method is actually easier. [You can also minimize the Ribbon by double-clicking a Ribbon tab. — Ed.]

This trick is also helpful for people who have to use onscreen or virtual keyboards to type on the new short/wide screens (versus the older, taller screens where you saw more content than now). Nothing like a monitor aspect-ratio change along with the Ribbon to mess you up.

Regardless, I’m still awaiting a “switch to classic view” command (classic being 2003 or earlier) for Office. Until then, thank God I’m a keyboard-command guy who believes in the “mouseless way” — or should I say the “way of the keyboard”?     —Steve Terhljan

Reader takes cues from two articles

Re: Woody Leonhard’s Feb. 23 story, “The Windows Start menu super guide — Part I,” and Lincoln Spector’s Feb. 23 story, “Smart configuration tricks for Win7 Explorer”

► Just had a couple comments about Woody Leonhard’s article, “The Windows Start menu super guide — Part I,” in the February 23 newsletter. In the “Pinning folders and files to the Start menu” section he says, “There is, unfortunately, not a simple way to pin a folder to the taskbar.” But in the previous section, he identified the location where the taskbar shortcuts are stored (C:usersyour nameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar). Why not simply create a shortcut to a folder from this location?

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2012-03-14:

Kathleen Atkins

About Kathleen Atkins

Kathleen Atkins is the Windows Secrets associate editor. She's also a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. Prior to joining Windows Secrets, she worked at Microsoft Press.