The biggest feature in Microsoft's new Office 2007 suite is most certainly the interface. Gone are the menus and the toolbars -- now all the commands are available in the various tabs of the Ribbon. The Ribbon is much more intuitive -- but for seasoned users who have been working with Microsoft Office applications for more than a decade, it does involve a serious amount of unlearning.
An interesting add-in for Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel now brings back the menus and toolbars -- all inside a new Ribbon tab called "Menus"! The add-in is called Classic Menu Manager -- read on to learn more.
Classic Menu for Office 2007 is from Addintools, a company based in Haikou City, China. To learn more about other products and Classic Menu Manager visit their site.
Classic Menu for Office 2007 is an addin for some Office 2007 applications which allows the user to bring back the familiar menus and toolbars from previous versions of Microsoft Office in Microsoft Office 2007. This add-in supports all languages that are supported by Microsoft Office 2007.
Figures 1 and 2 show you the PowerPoint 2007 interface before and after installing Classic Menu for Office 2007.
Figure 1: Before installing Classic Menu for Office 2007
Figure 2: After installing Classic Menu for Office 2007
The figures above show PowerPoint 2007 -- and it works the same way in Word 2007 and Excel 2007.
My contact at Classic Menu for Office 2007 for this review was Lin Jie - thank you, Lin.
Download the installer, run the setup routine and follow the instructions. You'll end up with a Classic Menu for Office program group in your
Windows Start menu (see Figure 3 below).
Figure 3: Classic Menu for Office 2007 Start menu group
Follow these steps to use Classic Menu Manager for Office 2007 applications:
- Go to your Windows Start menu and choose All Programs | Classic Menu for Office | Classic Menu Manager (see Figure 3 above).
- This opens the Classic Menu for Office 2007 dialog box that you can see in Figure 4 .
Figure 4: Classic Menu for Office 2007
- As you can see, the window has four tabs -- one each for Excel, Word,
and PowerPoint -- and another About tab. In our case, we chose the PowerPoint
There are three options in the window which are explained below:
- Show Classic Menu and Toolbars in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 adds the Menus tab within the Ribbon in PowerPoint 2007.
- Show "Menu" tab before "Home" tab -- this option shows the new Menus tab of the Ribbon before the Home
tab, as you can see in Figure 5. Otherwise, the Menus tab shows up after all the other Ribbon tabs (see Figure
Figure 5: Bring the Menus tab right in front of all tabs
- Show the menu items of "ALL" in the "Menu" tab adds
a convenient All button that contains all the menu options (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Add an All Menus button
- Choose as required and click OK to apply the changes.
- The above steps can be applied for other Microsoft Office 2007 applications such as Excel and Word.
Classic Menu for Office 2007 costs $29.95.
Support option includes e-mail support and an online FAQ.
If you are a diehard Office user who misses the menus and toolbars, Classic Menu is a great and economical way of getting them back.
However, I would suggest that you also get familiar with the Ribbon tabs that have replaced the menus since they do create an interesting, alternative workflow.
Having said that, it is good to see that the option of choosing between the menus and the Ribbon now gets back to the user -- and it's a no-brainer choice since you can now have both menus and Ribbon tabs!