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Old 04-23-2010, 11:01 AM   #18
Steve Rindsberg
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>> Long ago I came up with a better way. The program should have dynamic menus, but instead of making the items show up that Microsoft felt were important, only the ones I need would appear.

And perhaps not so long ago (2000) Microsoft added this to the Office apps. Well, something very like it. Word et al started with a default and highly simplified set of menus, with a "More commands" sort of option at the bottom of each. It then added new items and removed others depending on the menu items you used, the frequency with which you used them and so on.

Result:

People who knew Word well hated it and immediately turned it off. Thank heavens you COULD turn it off.

People who didn't know Word well tended not to notice the More option and often never learned that there were more commands than just those shown by default.

Perhaps if MS had *really* simplified the default interface to the point where you HAD to go to More Commands to get anything done, people would have worked out that that's where the goodies were hidden. As it was, it simply didn't work well and we got the ribbon instead.

If you don't know the app, it really is easier to find most commands in the ribbon. Problem is, if you DO know the app, even marginally, suddenly all of your brain and (to me, more annoyingly) muscle memories are wrong.

As Michael points out, most if not all of the keyboard shortcuts still work as before. I'll give the ribbon this much: nothing has ever so motivated me to learn keyboard commands.

   
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