A free way to give Office 2007 the classic look

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There’s a free add-on that returns classic Office 2003 menus and toolbars to Office 2007.

UBitMenu is a simple and free way to bring classic Office 2003 menus and toolbars to Office 2007 programs.

UbitMenu - Insert menu.jpg image from A free way to give Office 2007 the classic look at Office-Watch.com

Under a new ‘Menu’ tab you get all the traditional pull-down menus plus two long rows of toolbar buttons.

The toolbars scroll off the edge of the screen, there are scroll buttons on right and left (if necessary).

The menus are mostly the same as Office 2003 with some changes to allow for Office 2007 improvements. For example the File | Save As menu has the new save to PDF or XPS (if you’ve installed the free add-in).

The style list is much smaller than the equivalent gallery on the Home tab. Even better the UbitMenu style list changes style name as you move through a document, something the Office 2007 gallery stubbornly refuses to do (making it hard to know at a glance which style applies).

However there is no Most Recently Used (MRU) list you have to go back to the Office button on top left for that.

UbitMenu has created an Office 2007 menu using the developer tools available. This means it installs easily and should have little impact on performance. The downside is the lack of configuration options available for Office 2007 interface developers – you can’t change anything on the Menu ribbon and it’s fixed into the tab position decided by the developers.

Moving to the top row

You can put any item from the new Menu tab onto the Quick Access Toolbar. Right-click on the item and choose Add to Quick Access Toolbar. That includes the classic menus so you can add one or all the menus into the QAT for ready access. Unfortunately each of the classic menus has the same light green icon so it’s hard to tell them apart. It would be nice if the menus could be added to the QAT and display either the full name (File, Format etc) or at least different icons.

UBitMenu is available in many languages including French, Spanish, Chinese and Hebrew though sadly the often overlooked Klingon tongue is missing from an otherwise commendable list .

The freeware UBitMenu is available from here. For easy setup choose the setup.exe version for your preferred language, download and install. You have to re-start any open Office 2007 program to make the Menu tab appear.

A corporate version is available for a reasonable rate of just ten Euro plus 0.65 Euro per user.