The New Microsoft Office User Interface

In previous versions of Microsoft Office, the commands, buttons, and other controls you used to format text or sort columns of data, for example, were organized on menus and toolbars. The name of a menu provided some sense of the general function of the commands the menu contained, but finding a specific command—especially one for an operation you performed rarely—wasn’t always easy. In the 2007 release of Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word, menu commands and toolbars have been replaced with what Microsoft calls "the Ribbon," a change to the user interface that was designed to make program features easier to find and use. Only time will tell.

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For a detailed description of the new user interface, ...

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