Add missing built-in commands to the QAT or Ribbon

Hi all

I add this page to my site last week with a few examples to add missing controls
to the Quick Access Toolbar or Ribbon.

I am curious which missing built-in commands the readers of this blog have add to the QAT or Ribbon.

Tip: John WalkenBach posted a add-in for the speech controls on his site this week.
You see the speech controls also in the example ribbon group that is on my site.

Ron de Bruin

Posted in Uncategorized

7 thoughts on “Add missing built-in commands to the QAT or Ribbon

  1. I am treating the QAT very passive-aggressively. I resent the loss of unlimited, infinitely customizable commandbars, and the attitude with which we were told, use the QAT, it’s great. It’s not great, it’s a sorry replacement for a tremendously useful UI element. The QAT ain’t worth squat.

    Needless to say, I have added nothing to the QAT on my machine. If I need to add anything, I’ll write the XML and put it into an xlam file (which I learned in good part thanks to Ron’s web site: Thanks, Ron!).

    One thing I’ve added, which even improves on the way Excel 2003 handled it, is a Custom Error Bar dialog. It lets you select a series, then add custom error bars by selecting ranges containing values, or just entering a constant value. I’ll post it on my blog soon, after a little more testing, and an enhancement or two I thought of while writing this comment.

  2. I added the Form control, View Gridlines, Freeze Panes, and Print Preview.

    I do not like the Ribbon interface. I find it awkward compared to the old customizable Menu and Toolbars UI. The Ribbon has significantly reduced and limited my productivity when using Excel and Word.

    I hope that customization will be added back in Office 14 and touted as a “new, improved feature.” Unfortunately, not enough people complained loudly enough when Office 2007 was released. If you look at the Mac side, Office 2008’s removal of VBA caused such a ruckus that Microsoft has promised to put it back in the next Mac Office release. Shouldn’t we Windows users be complaining just as loudly about the lack of customization inherent in the Ribbon?

  3. Richard
    There were plenty of us making plenty of noise, some of us still are. Sadly its not loud complaining that needed, its some form of interplanetary communication so we can reach the ribbon team on their home planet.

    VBA got sorted because the product teams have more control in that area.

    I don’t worry about the qat as I’m sticking with ‘compatibility mode’. (Excel 2003)

  4. I have Productive Excel(2003) for day to day Work
    I have Playtime Excel (07) with Classic Menu (from Addin Tools) with all other tabs hidden + a Very heavily customised QAT. – It still doesnt come close to 2003 but I am sure it will get there…once the Astronouts leave…


  5. Some of us are still complaining about the ribbon, which was (apparently) developed in isolation from the actual product groups. Some of us are going one step further, developing add-ins that bypass the silliness introduced with the ribbon, and bring back more productive functionality.

    The Mac-VBA thing was more complicated than we’ve all heard. Apparently with Mac’s switch to Intel, the whole of MacVBA had to be rewritten, and it could not be accomplished within the existing product cycle. Hence a generation of MacOffice suffered due to the push to get a product out the door. Like us Windows users and the ribbon, I suppose.

  6. For a differing view the ribbon user interface (in general) you might find Jakob Nielsen’s article interesting reading:

    10 Best Application UIs of 2008

    Here’s his summary:

    Many winners employ dashboards to give users a single overview of complex information and use lightboxes to ensure that users notice dialogs. Also, the Office 2007 ribbon showed surprisingly strong early adoption.


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