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Minimizing the Ribbon: Exposed

Catching some rays
It’s Jon again from the Office User Experience team. I started at Microsoft a little over 2 years ago and one of the things that inevitably happened is that I instantly became the IT guy for everyone I know. The nice part about this is that every now and then I get to show off something that’s really cool to impress everyone in the room.

When I get asked about Office 2007, an interesting trick I like to mention is the ability to minimize the Ribbon by double clicking on the active tab, pressing Ctrl+F1, or using the Ribbon’s right click menu.

Word 2010 with the Ribbon minimized

Minimizing the Ribbon is great when I know I won’t be making many changes to the document and just want to focus on the content that’s already there. It’s helpful when I’m looking at a spreadsheet with lots of data to absorb, reading a very long document, or working on a laptop with a small screen size.

We thought minimizing the Ribbon was a useful feature for more than just the intrepid power users who discovered it in Office 2007, so in Office 2010 we’re bringing the functionality front and center (well, a little off-center). We’ve added an easier to find arrow widget next to the Help button in the top right of every Office 2010 application.

Click the arrow to minimize the Ribbon so only the tabs show. Once the Ribbon is minimized you can click on the tabs to use them like menus. When it’s time to do some more serious editing, click the arrow a second time to expand the Ribbon so you can more efficiently get to all of the Ribbon’s commands.

Increasing the discoverability of minimizing the Ribbon is nice because now lots of users will be able to enjoy it. The only downside is that I’ll have one fewer cool trick to show off to friends and family.


My Computer

System One

  • CPU
    Cyrix 233
    Jetway m342
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sound Card
    soundblaster 16
    Hard Drives
    40meg seagate

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