In My Office Luddites for Progress Unite!
(Everything New Is Old Again)
Shepard B. Gorman
There are few
things more frustrating to any presenter than having to edit a
PowerPoint slideshow or a Word document for a handout just before the
presentation begins and suddenly discovering that they donít know how to
use what they think is the same software they have used in the past.
Such is the case for many college professors and lots of business people
with any of the Microsoft Office 2007 products
The new user interface ( the
Ribbon), (see below) was heralded at the Office 2007 roll-out as the
result of lots of human engineering study hours. One of the claims was
that it unified the Office product line, so that similar functions could
be found in the same location for all products. This proved to be true
only for a few products. Another claim was that the Ribbon would allow
unprecedented access to
underutilized features. This may be true but simply begs
the questions of whether the access is worth
the cost. The oft-repeated rule that 80% of the users use only 20% of
the features is still a good one. One has to ask if anyone, even office
technology professionals, even know or can productively use all the
commands in Word.
Ask the really
experienced, proficient users of Word and they will tell you that they
still use keyboard shortcuts and their own custom hot-key combinations
for oft-repeated commands. This leaves one to wonder how many of the
Microsoft test panel participants had used the older products for
years. The new user interface ( the Ribbon) may be a boon to the new
user, but it simply throws away much of the learning curve of the
veteran user of MS Office products. Many users, including the author,
(could you guess?) found that locating the same features was twice as
frustrating and significantly slowed throughput.
relief and productivity increase for the veteran user has arrived. The
folks at addintools.com have published
Classic Menu for Office 2007 v3.8 for
the lost souls among us who want to capitalize on what we already know.
A small ( 3.8 Meg), almost instantly installed, and inexpensive add in
to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access or Outlook, it gives you all the new
features of Office 2007 programs with the older, Office 2003 menu
interfaces. For those of you using still older version of Office
products, rest assured that 2003 menus are very, substantially similar
to those of Office XP and even earlier versions.
Consider this product
the learning curve flattener. You can find commands in their old
familiar (Office 2003) positions as below.
This example has all
the Office 2007 menu items and a new optional menu tab called ďAllĒ that
gives a horizontal presentation of the vertical menus, a sometimes handy
way of locating features in an alternate manner.
supports all the common MS languages and cost only $16 for any one
product or $30 for new (old?) menus for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access,
and Outlook. Setup is fast, with a small manager program that pops-up to
ask how you want your Office 2007 product to modify. The manager can be
easily used to re-configure the interface at any time. Removal is also
quite easy if you decide the Ribbon wraps your package at some later
date. If you are still not convinced, why not download the full version
for a free 15 day trial. The author did and it earned a permanent berth
on his PC in less than a week.