Appendix B. Customizing PowerPoint

Although PowerPoint works great right out of the box, it can work even better for you with a few tweaks. In this appendix you will learn about the customizations that you can apply to PowerPoint 2007 to make it work better for you.

What You Can't Do

If there is one way in which PowerPoint 2007 is actually a step backwards from earlier versions, it is in the area of customization, so don't get your hopes up too high. For example, in earlier versions of PowerPoint, you could create your own custom menus and toolbars. Menus and toolbars technically do not exist anymore in PowerPoint 2007, but you might expect that you could customize the Ribbon and perhaps create your own tabs.

Not so. Or at least, not so easily anymore. A Ribbon customization utility called RibbonX is available from Microsoft, but it is not for end users. To use it, you need to know something about XML, and you need to be able to hack the data files or templates to implement your custom code. Third-party utilities are available to make this process easier, but they are still trying to do something that Microsoft does not want you to do, and so the whole process is awkward. As a result, you are better off not trying to customize the Ribbon.

Tip

Patrick Schmid's Office 2007 RibbonCustomizer utility, available from pschmid.net/office2007/ribboncustomizer/, is one attempt to make it easier for end users to customize their Ribbon.

So what can you do, then? Well, you can add and remove buttons ...

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