Classic mode for 2007

classic modeThere's been some talk today about the add on for Office 2007 which reverts back to classic mode.  In their own words:

Could not see the main menu and any toolbar in Microsoft® Office® 2007? Just download and install this software, you will see and enjoy classic menu and toolbars of Microsoft Office 2007 (include Excel®, Word® and PowerPoint®), as in the Office 2003/XP/2000.  Supports all languages that supported by Microsoft Office 2007: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian...

So is it any good?

Well what it seems to do is put a new "menu" tab on the ribbon with a variant of the 2003 UI below that.  To be honest I found it totally confusing for a while because its not the classic mode, its kind of reminiscent of 2003 but confusingly still in the 2007 ribbon UI.  To me, if the ribbon confused people then a variant of the old menu wrapped up in the new one has to be more confusing.  I also cannot figure out how the keyboard shortcut keys work.  Hitting ctrl-E seemed to put it into some sort of mode receptive to 2003 keystrokes but I couldn't get any of them to fire.  Also as soon as you use anything, it throws up the same galleries as 2007 so again you sort of have a mix of old and new.  Every time you use one of the new capabilities and the ribbon carries out a context switch, you have to click back on "menu" tab to see your classic menus.  This would get very annoying in a matter of seconds if it wasn't for the fact that this hides the abortion of a menu system and lets me carry on working in the ribbon but that's cheating.

Some other weirdness started happening on my pc as well - right clicks stopped working on my flickr addin which was not filling me with confidence.

I think if you want classic mode you may be better advised to stay on 2003.  This hybrid is really more of a curiosity than a solution for any real company IMHO.  You would need to train people in the old system, the new system and the hybrid so for people struggling to make the transition to the new UI, this is going to make matters worse.  Still you have to give them marks for entrepreneurial spirit.

menu tab

classic gallery









Right, next stop.. control panel - remove programs..

Comments (5)

  1. John says:

    Well I think I’m slowly getting used to the new UI although it would have been nice to keep the menu bar at least!

    Talking about classic, how about an add on that returns the old help environment as well?

  2. I just checked out my StatCounter links and decided to have a squint at what OS people were using. Pleased

  3. Austin says:

    The ribbon takes too much space from my working area, and they are too confused to use. I need to keep hiding it and look carefully which icon to select. I am not sure what MS was thinking… That is a very stupid design. A classic menu should be good enough for adding new features.

  4. says:

    I have no problem with the Ribbon on any of the applications except Access.  When designing or modifying a database app, the separate tabs for tables, queries, forms, reports, macros and modules made coding easy.  I could easily flip from one to the other.  While tables, forms and reports can be edited, macros can’t – at least, I can’t find where to do it.  The Access IDE has been pretty much stable for a decade or more.  Now, they give of this.  I reminds me of OpenOffice Base.

  5. Every day on the blogsphere (I hate that word) I see one topic of discussion come up a lot.  I have

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