1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Bits Why the Microsoft Office Ribbon is still rubbish

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Meanmotion, 20 Feb 2014.

  1. Veles

    Veles DUR HUR

    Joined:
    18 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    6,188
    Likes Received:
    34
    At work I'm in Excel pretty much all the time - I work for a pretty large business so there are quite a lot of excel savvy people and I'm one of the more advanced users of Excel in the business so I'd consider myself an excel power user - my job pretty much revolves around it.

    We moved from 2003(?) to 2010 a couple of years ago, and while it took a little bit of getting used to, the new layout is far superior.

    Aside from adding a few often used commands into the quick access toolbar to save a few precious clicks and enabling the Developer tab, I've made no customisation to it. I wouldn't want to do anything more than that anyway - I go to work to work - not to spend half an hour getting excel setup for how I like it (which was something I had to do on the old layout as not enough of the common commands were provided in the default toolbars - and enabling a toolbar containing them added a load more irrelevant ones).

    Another issue with customising the layout - is when I inevitably go to help a colleage with an excel problem - I don't want to go over to them and then go "oh - you don't have the button you need because you've not customised your layout to include it so you have to go through this long menu chain to get to it). It's much better to go to a colleagues computer, and aside from the quick access toolbar and possibly the Developer tab - they will have exactly the same layout as me.

    I'm not saying the ribbon is perfect, but it works well, and I would prefer MS to work on other issues that have plagued office for decades - like how awful shared workbooks are, how sorting destroys hyperlinks, and for some strange reason why by default all workbooks start with three sheets.
     
  2. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    1,965
    Likes Received:
    48
    It's not the best layout/design, but moving away from having everything buried in menus was a step in the right direction.
     
  3. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

    Joined:
    19 Apr 2005
    Posts:
    4,655
    Likes Received:
    151
    You can change this in Options - in Excel 2013, it's on the General page (I think in 2010 it's in the Popular page): Under the "When creating new workbooks" section, there is an option called "Include this many sheets" - change this number to however many you want the default to be, and click OK.
     
  4. Veles

    Veles DUR HUR

    Joined:
    18 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    6,188
    Likes Received:
    34
    Yeah I know it's there - it's just one of those things that should be defaulted to 1 seeing as creating sheet 2 is just as easy as clicking on sheet 2.
     
  5. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

    Joined:
    7 Aug 2005
    Posts:
    6,783
    Likes Received:
    101
    I think it probably goes back into the mists of time. I think the first spreadsheet programs only had one sheet, and so when they added multiple sheets they had them come up as default to show that you could now do multiple sheets, and it's just stuck around ever since.
     
  6. cornelius1729

    cornelius1729 New Member

    Joined:
    28 Feb 2011
    Posts:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    My biggest gripe with the ribbon is the is the fact that it takes up so much vertical space. 16:9 is the standard aspect ratio on most monitors, which is great for watching films but a little too short vertically for office tasks (16:10 is better for this.)

    That means that the ribbon should have been placed on the side of the screen rather than the top. Autohiding or minimising itself when the mouse isn't on it would also be a blessing.
     
  7. leslie

    leslie Just me!

    Joined:
    19 May 2009
    Posts:
    412
    Likes Received:
    11
    Shouldn't it be reversed then, make Windows easy and the content creation more difficult? Non-power users are far more likely to use Windows than a power user.



    Take the icons off your desktop and taskbar and what are you left with? A blank screen with almost no indicators of where anything is. It's 100% opposite of the ribbon.

    MS actually used to brag about the consistency of their UI.
     
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    33,657
    Likes Received:
    1,284
    That's a bit like saying that when you remove everything, you have nothing left. :p Although I agree that accessories and system tools are harder to find out of the box.

    Having thought about it, I think there could be a solution that is Start Menu like, but also much more over seeable and allows for live tiles. It's so obvious really that I wonder why nobody has thought about it before. Although Ubuntu Touch comes reasonably close.
     
  9. blackworx

    blackworx Cable Wrangler

    Joined:
    31 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    77
    Likes Received:
    2
    The ribbon interface broke all the Excel add-ins I maintain at work. Well, it didn't break them, but it unceremoniously dumped all their menus and toolbars out of sight.

    Providing decent interface customisations for add-ins in the ribbon interface is such a nightmare that I no longer bother, so I'd say the main thing they need to bring back is the ability to customise - both at the user and programmatic level.

    The ribbon doesn't make me rage as much as it did in the early days (I got nicknamed Buster Bloodvessel for a few months back in 2009) but, for an interface that was meant to simplify things it sure does make you do a hell of a lot more clicking than you used to.
     
  10. Veles

    Veles DUR HUR

    Joined:
    18 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    6,188
    Likes Received:
    34
    Except that most offices don't use widescreen monitors for this sort of reason - widescreen is great for gaming and suchlike but not so good for lots of computer basked work tasks.

    Might be good as an option or a feature that detects what aspect ratio you're using and adjusts the placement to match, I can see how the thick ribbon would be irritating in widesceen, especially in things like Word.
     
Tags: Add Tags

Share This Page