Right click obliteration

The right click used to be the most useful commands in any particular context. But in 2007 those fail UI engineers just couldn’t help themselves, they had to put another bunch of pointless formatting front and centre. I think it is/was called a floatie, but of course its more of a floater!

Now within the grid it just hides key parts of your work.

And there is no way to turn it off. [Edit sm Ken Puls provides some VBA to disappear this bag of hammers in the comments]

They killed right click in 2007 – its now well worse than useless.


Now I can’t see what the sales figures are for months 2-6, how crap is that?

How hard would it be for them to put in a checkbox in options:

show/hide pointless space wasting right click format toolbar?     Δ

(triangle because I couldn’t find a checkbox symbol)

In Word and Outlook there is the option to not have it on hover, which you have to set unless you are a gynaecologist or postman and can work through that sliver of a gap between the proper right click menu and the pointless format nonsense.

Of course the ribbon team don’t expect us to be actually looking at the content, just polishing it. Thats all theyv’e  done right?

This post marks the end of Ribbon Lovers week here on SOS. Obviously not the end of moaning about the ribbon completely – its too rich a vein of fail for that.

Codematic is on the cusp of releasing a Ribbon enhancement, that will reduce the pain of moving to 2007 by providing 2003 style menus. If its not available by the end of this week I’ll be getting several kickings froma a range of people.



6 Responses to “Right click obliteration”

  1. Ken Puls Says:

    Hi Simon,

    Try this code in the VBE:

    Application.ShowMenuFloaties = True

    Then give your cell a right click…

  2. Harlan Grove Says:

    MSFT has a very long track record of not providing options to disable unwanted ‘features’. For example, Excel’s annoying habit of applying the number format of precedent cells to dependent cells.

    MSFT just knows that 90% of what most users do is formatting. They have all that customer feedback data to prove it. And in case you want to quibble about the value of that data, the customers who left customer feedback enabled are MSFT’s target customers. The rest of us who disabled it are ignorant whiners who don’t deserve MSFT’s attention. What we do with Excel is a matter of at best indifference to the Office UI team. And as you’ve mentioned, it’s the Office UI team rather than the Excel team who’s determining Excel’s future.

  3. Simon Says:

    Stunning Ken, thanks a million for that.

    I could have sworn I read somewhere/was told that feature was not user configurable, great to learn that it is removable. (hurrah for VBA, again?)

    I could be tempted to think setting show menu floaties to true to remove them is a tad counter intuitive?

    Is that in your book? (I have only read the first couple of chapters so far)

    Harlan, yep, that Customer Improvement program data is the root cause of much Excel misery

  4. Ken Puls Says:

    You find that counter intuitive? Really? One thing I can tell you is that it won’t change now, as MS would be worried that they’d break any workarounds programmed using this.

    Unfortunately it’s not in the book, no. This trick wasn’t discovered until recently.

  5. Omar Says:

    So I’m reading this, and thinking, “but mine fades out!” Of course when I test it, it stays put. Finally, I clicked on one of the choices on the floatie (say the background colour) which closed the menu, then moved the mouse cursor away from the floatie. If I stayed close to the floatie (especially within the selected range), it would fade out and come back according to distance. If I got too far away, or too long in time, the floatie disappeared.

    I’ve noticed that I can dismiss both the right click menu and floatie by clicking outside of them. My cell selection stayed enabled which is what I want. Also, I can control where the floatie sits just by where in the selected cells I do my right clicking. In other words, I have a lot of manual control over the thing, even if I can’t make it stay disappeared.

    Of course, I like the thing (you’re thinking, not “that” guy again!). It was what sold me on the ribbon. I leave the ribbon on the Formulas or Data tab, and make minor formatting changes using the floatie. It beats going back to the Home tab everytime I want to change the cell format to percent.

  6. Bob Phillips Says:

    Simon, why bother with that addin, there are loads out there already.

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