Three programs tackle Office 2007's locked-down user interface. Two take you back to the menus of Office 2003, while one lets you customize the Ribbon itself.
Computerworld - Microsoft Office 2007's new Ribbon interface, which discards the familiar menus and tool bars of earlier versions of Office in favor of tabs that group icons, options and drop-down menus, is certainly the first change you'll notice when you open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint 2007 for the first time. The interface isn't just a radical departure from previous versions -- for the first time in Office's history, this collection of commands and options can't be modified from within the applications themselves.
Microsoft says a survey it conducted revealed that only a small percentage of Office users modify the interface. Furthermore, an unchangeable interface can streamline UI-related calls to your help desk. Nevertheless, Office power users have been clamoring for a way to customize Office 2007 apps since the new interface was unveiled.
Sensing an opportunity, third-party software vendors have stepped in with products that either replace or enhance the new Ribbon interface in several Office 2007 applications. We examined three such programs.