Ribbon is a modern user interface design Microsoft started to put in Office 2007 to replace a long time classic dropdown menu. It’s an interface meant to be more efficient and more pretty but it also may not be everyone’s favor, especially those who have been digging the dropdown menu for ages. If you are one of them, here are 3 tools that can help.
UBitMenu adds Office 2003 type of classic menu and toolbars back to Office 2007and 2010, under Menu Ribbon, once it’s installed. The free version, which works for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, is only for personal use, but still fairly cheap for use at work. Their license model is quite competitive, with the first license at $10 EUR and additional clients only at $0.65 EUR each.
The classic menu for Outlook is on paid version only and charges separately at the same price and model as the office version. I guess it’s fair, since the Ribbon on Outlook is quite different from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
UBitMenu is an add-in to Office but really, it’s just a template file, UBitMenu04_UK.dotx, added in the StartUp folder that gets loaded up every time when the program is launched. So there is no performance sacrifice and security breech.
Addintools is a high performance Microsoft add-ins and tools provider, a variety of editions to add classic menu to different Office editions in either 2007 or 2010. Most of their products are commercial with free trial. The only free version offered only to personal, is the Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 edition, with the support only to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
The Office 2003 type of classic menu and toolbars are also added under Menus ribbon once it’s installed.
A few notes
Both tools work quite well as advertised. UBitMenu could be better if you only are going to use it at home for non-commercial use. It’s also better when used at work, since its license model is more competitive. But Addintools supports a wider range of Microsoft Office products, such as Access, InfoPath, Publisher, Visio, Project, and my favorite OneNote.
However, ribbon is designed for future, and it does work better if you overcome the learn curve, IMHO, and I think you will like it better once you do. Plus, here is a fun way to get more familiar with it.