The Ribbon bet

A few of you might have picked up on a small wager between myself and Bob – which I apparently haven’t paid.

So I’m having to stay in the furthest away hotel at the user conf because its the cheapest so I can afford to pay Bob because I lost.

And the bet?

I bet that Microsoft would give us some sort of classic menus and toolbars in Service pack 1. (this was before or around the 2007 RTM, or SP1 RTM? – so its obvious now but way back when…). Bob bet they wouldn’t.

Anyway I lost, he won, so I owe him a tenner.

I know a lot of people who wished all they had lost on moving to office 2007 was just 10 pounds!



6 Responses to “The Ribbon bet”

  1. Ross Says:

    Money changing hands in low cost hotel rooms…times must be hard! lol!

    I was thinking about the ribbon again yesterday, I have 2 “new” questions,

    will office 14 have a ribbion API/OM?
    will it change in any way from the current offering?

    One thing that I would like to see is a way to stick all of the buttons I wont on one tab – I know this is not really the point, but at least then I would not have to jump around so much!

    Anyone have any insight? Thoughts?

  2. Bob Phillips Says:


    I wasn’t at the summit, but I believe that all Office 14 info is under NDA as it is still not yet finalised. As such, I don’t think we will hear much.

    I agree with you that the worst thing about the ribbon is never having the right table available when you need it.

    Recently, I formatted a table in 2007, and the Table tab was not active. Why not, I thought the ribbon was supposed to be contextual, I was in a table, why wasn’t the table tab prominent.

    Mind you, if it were, I am sure that I would be complaining that the home tab wasn’t visible, so I couldn’t use formatting or such. Which in essence is the problem to me, contextual tabs are a good idea, on the drawing board, crap in reality because you never have what you want available.

    I think Jon Peltier said recently (apologies if wrongly attributed Jon) that he has a custom tab with all his most used stuff on, but this basically is ditching the ribbon, and you can bet it is just as non-contextual.

    I find it a nuisance when developing too. I write addins as xlsm when testing, then save as xlam to ship, but to make my addins tab, I have to have my workbook active. But of course, the addin works on other workbooks, so when I activate that, my tab loses focus, so I have to activate it again. What a fuss. We should be able to set a tab as having focus in code as well, but I don[‘t believe that we can.


    When I first saw Office 12 I thought that I would be use it significantly within a year. I lost that. I keep returning to 12 trying to make it my Excel of first call, but I just can’t do it. I had a situation the other day where one of my clients workbooks had some CF on, and some code was adding more (should have been over-writing but wasn’t, so the conditions were piling up). I thought I would change it to clear all the existing conditions out before adding the new conditions, so I went through these steps with the macro recorder on (CF is different in 12!), and then went to the code, and guess what. Apart from the selecting I did, there was none. Now I know that MS don’t believe in VBA, but everything they haven’t re-written doesn’t record now, charts, CF. So I just can’t love 12, and it is not because of the ribbon even though that does annoy me.

    As I am sure that you know, there are classic menu addins out there. I have 4 at the moment that I am reviewing, and I will be posting shortly. Personally, I think classic menus in 2007 are pointless, if you want classic, use classic Excel, and my big worry is that if MS do provide them, it deflects the criticism from the real problem(s).

  3. Bob Phillips Says:

    Just an added thought. Are you as worried by me at all the companies following the MS lead with the ribbon.

    I got hold of MindJet the other day, and that has a ribbon. Now MindJet is a mind mapping tool, so clearly you want as much screen real-estate as possible to see all those threads. The ribbon is totally at odds with that concept. Just bananas.

  4. Harlan Grove Says:

    Bob – you mean you’re not salivating over the prospect of a beribbonned Notepad in Windows 7?

    As long as it’s possible to kill off the entire UI via XLM, I won’t worry too much. Ribbons and menus are for sissies. Real men use keyboard shortcuts!

  5. Bob Phillips Says:

    I don’t use Notepad Harlan, so I am going to miss that praticular joy.

    I am not too bothered about the ribbon in Excel, I still use 2003 predominantly, but I guess it gets a bigger problem every day. But MindManager is a different matter, I wan t that screen, and I don’t think you can switch off that ribbon.

    As for keyboard shortcuts, yes I use them when I can remember them, but there are far too many over all apps.

  6. Project Gemini - XXL, Excel on Steroids « Gobán Saor Says:

    […] forced to do so. (Excel 2007 also has the ribbon issue, not one I find a major problem myself, but others do).  But I would upgrade to a version Excel that offered Project Gemini capabilities and I’m […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: