I’ve been trying out Office 2007 for a few weeks to give the ribbon UI a chance. I’m a shortcut key fanatic and frig, frig, FRIG!!! I frequently use Paste Special to paste unformatted text. In shipping versions of Word I press Alt+E, S, Ctrl+End, Enter (I’m pretty fast at that combo). Eventually I get around to recording a macro and assigning it Ctrl+Alt+Shift+V. With the new ribbon interface I have to press Alt+E, C, V, S, Ctrl+End, Enter. Not too short for a “shortcut”.
“Oh, Derek,” you say. “Stop whining and go create a macro.” Sure, OK. Wait a minute… How do I create a macro? There is no longer a Tools menu. No mention of macros on any of the tabs. Grrrr…
The solution? Go to File | Word Options. Select Views. Check Developer Tools. A new Developer tab now shows up providing access to macros and some other stuff (like XML schemas). Yeah, I know – exceedingly intuitive compared to Tools | Macro | Record New Macro.
Now, I’m not exactly a Word power user but I can hold my own, and I suspect I am not the only person who is not going to appreciate feeling like a novice in my word processor. I am convinced that ribbon-enabled Office 2007 products will ultimately ship with a compatibility mode (standard menus, toolbars, etc.). I personally won’t use it, I’ll fumble my way through figuring out the new UI. But lack of a compat mode will hinder adoption. Or maybe everyone has forgotten how essential it was to have a WordPerfect compatibility mode.
Update: Turns out the Developer tab is also how you edit document properties like Author and Title. I was wondering where that functionality went since it’s not accessible under the File menu. Personally I think this feature should have been made more accessible, not less. Document properties can really matter when you start putting things into SharePoint or some other document management system.