Chapter 6. Working with the Ribbon Interface


  • Understanding how the Ribbon can improve your application

  • Working with Office, which currently uses the Ribbon interface

  • Defining Ribbon functionality for application updates

The Ribbon interface has received more than a few comments from people. In the past, Microsoft relied on a menu and toolbar interface that new users seemed to find confusing and veteran users learned to love. For those who have learned to do everything with the keyboard using shortcuts, the Ribbon represents a new learning curve and a relatively steep one at that. On the other hand, new users are finally able to get up and running relatively fast, and smart developers have found ways to create task-oriented Ribbon additions that make it even easier to get the new user working quickly. This chapter isn't about politics, nor is it going to settle the question of which is best: Ribbon or menu and toolbar. The question is probably rendered moot anyway by whatever policies your organization has in place.

The news for Windows 7 is that the Ribbon has left Office and is now in the operating system. You'll see the Ribbon in all kinds of places (such as Wordpad), and it's a good bet that Microsoft will continue adding the Ribbon interface to other applications (such as Notepad). A few applications will probably retain their quirky interfaces (such as Windows Media Player) simply because there isn't a good alternative that works well. Whether you believe ...

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