An add-in lets you relive the Office 2003 experience on Office 2007.
It had to happen, someone has filled the gap left by Microsoft. Addintools has produced an additional ribbon for Word 2007, Excel 2007 or Powerpoint 2007 which mimics the Office 2003 menus.
The download is under 3MB with a 30 day trial available. Installation is easy and you can choose how the ribbon will show up. The default is a new tab called ‘Menu’ before the Home tab.
There is also an option to have all the menus show up under a single ‘All’ pull-down list. We’ll show how this can be useful later.
You’ll have to restart your Office 2007 apps for the new ribbon to show up.
With the default options, your Word 2007 will look quite different. The Menu tab has a reasonable facsimile of the Word 2003 menu and toolbar with the Office 2007 features added where appropriate. The Office 2007 ribbon and tabs remain unchanged.
If that was all the add-in could achieve if might be enough for some people. With some of the cleverness in the Office 2007 ribbon you can make the Office 2003 menus available as a backup to the new interface.
Any of the items on the ‘Menu’ tab can be added to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) at the top, either individually, the menus only or the entire ribbon.
Right-click on the ‘Toolbars’ label at the bottom of the Menu ribbon and choose ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’. Then the entire ‘Office 2003’ ribbon and toolbars will show up under the green dot on the QAT.
To show just the ‘Office 2003’ menus on the QAT, is where the ‘All’ menu comes in handy. Right-click on the ‘All’ menu item and choose ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’. A green dot will appear on the QAT, click on that to see a pull-down list of all the ‘Office 2003’ menus.
Either way it’s a nice compact reference to the ‘old menus’.
You can do the same for any of the menus or toolbar buttons on the ‘Menu’ ribbon. For detailed control of the Quick Access Toolbar you can go to Word Options | Customize. The ‘Office 2003’ options appear under ‘Menu Tab’.
You might not like the prominent placing of the ‘Menu’ tab and this highlights the major problem with the Office 2007 interface. Microsoft has not provided a direct way to re-order the tabs on the ribbon. Thankfully the makers of Classic Menu for Office 2007 have allowed for this and let you move the Menu tab to the right-side of the tab list. Go to the Windows program list and start the Classic Menu for Office 2007, there is an option “Show the ‘Menu’ tab before the ‘Home’ tab” – uncheck that box, click OK and restart the Office 2007 application.
As a replacement for the Office 2007 interface, Classic Menu for Office 2007 works well. We still believe that, with some reservations, the Office 2007 ribbon is better but for people who don’t want to make the change, this product is a useful option. Network administrators can make it available for influential users who don’t want to change the way they work when the company deploys Office 2007.
It can also serve as a ‘half way house’ for people who are having trouble making the change.
Classic Menu for Office 2007 is available in 4 different packages. Individual software for Word 2007, Excel 2007 or Powerpoint 2007 for US$15.99 each or all three for US$29.95
The product works very well and has no adverse affect on Office 2007 that we could see. Microsoft has supplied a way for developers to add ribbons to Office 2007, this product isn’t doing anything extraordinary or ‘bad’ to the way Office works.
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