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Menus to Ribbons: Find Commands in Office 2010!

Submitted by on June 23, 2010 – 1:11 pm | | 35109 views 10 Comments

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This phrase has echoed across the globe ever since Microsoft introduced the ribbon user interface and increased our productivity!

But help is on the way.

No, wait! It’s already here!

I was worried that I was going to have to develop something to solve the problem of “translating” old menu commands to new ribbon commands. Indeed, I’ve already written Visio 2010 Ribbon Commands Mega List to help you use your browser’s text searching functionality to find commands to add back to your Visio 2010 ribbon.

Pretend You’re in Visio 2007!

This interactive Visio command finder uses Silverlight to give you simulated user interfaces in Visio 2007 and Visio 2010. They’re kind of fun to use, and put you into a virtual Visio 2007 environment, where you can go through the menus as if you were using Visio 2007!

Here we go to show the Shape Data window. In Visio 2007, it was View > Shape Data Window.

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When we click, the screen rotates (in 3D!) around to show where the item is in Visio 2010. Easy enough to find under View > Task Panes > Shape Data.

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The interactive viewer didn’t feel the need to mention the alternative Shape Data check box located on the Data ribbon, though.

When we try something a bit more complicated, it gets a bit weird. In Visio 2007, it wasn’t hard to show the ShapeSheet:

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In Visio 2010, there’s a whole production involved. Go into the Backstage area by clicking File. Click on Options, then Customize Ribbon…then what?

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After a few seconds, a pop-up further explains what the visual was supposed to be showing us. Visio 2010: File tab, Options, Customize Ribbon, Main Tabs, then Developer.

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So you can’t get to the ShapeSheet unless the Developer tab is showing. Ouch!

So the Silverlight Interactive Menu Translator definitely gets points for being fun and…interactive, but it isn’t always super clear. It isn’t complete either. I looked up an operation I use all the time as a Visio devloper: open group. In Visio 2007, it was simply: Edit > Open Group. In the interactive translator, it wasn’t in the 2007 menu at all. They probably developed some sort of tool that made this thing automatically, and open group requires a shape to be selected in the drawing window, which isn’t possible in this Silverlight tool.

Not Just Visio!

On the same page, you’ll also find interactive menu-to-ribbon locators for Access, Excel, InfoPath, OneNote, Outllook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher and Word. Note that at the time of writing a few of these were starred as “coming soon.”

I think the interactive locators are great if you’ve got a sort of visual- or muscle-memory way of remembering command like me. If you ask me the name of a command, I probably can’t tell you. But I can find my way there once I see the menus laid out on the screen in two dimensions!

Look It Up in Excel

If you like lists and text and information that can easily be printed, then there’s a solution for you too!

There’s a set of Excel workbooks that list all of the menus in pre-ribbon versions along with their current ribbon locations. The Microsoft Office site has twelve ribbon-reference workbooks published, covering these applications:

  • Access 2010
  • Excel 2003 – 2010
  • InfoPath 2007 – 2010
  • PowerPoint 2003 – 2010
  • Project 2007 – 2010
  • Publisher 2007 – 2010
  • OneNote 2007 – 2010
  • Outlook 2003 – 2010
  • SharePoint Designer 2007 – 2010
  • SharePoint Server 2007 – 2010
  • Word 2003 – 2010
  • Visio 2007 – 2010

Be sure to notice that the Excel files have one tab for each menu item. Here’s the Visio 2007 File menu and it’s Visio 2010 equivalents:

click to view larger image

Thanks to Scott Helmers for getting the ball rolling with an e-mail amongst the Visio MVPs!


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