Office 2007 add-on adds back classic menus

Sick of Ribbon? One Chinese developer has a fix

A Chinese developer is turning back the clock with an add-on to Microsoft's Office 2007 that returns traditional menus to the suite's applications.

Addintools in Hai Nan, China, sells Classic Menu for Office 2007 as an add-on for users leery of Microsoft's new interface and its "Ribbon." The Ribbon, a major departure from earlier Office application interfaces, groups commands by tasks rather than by hierarchical menus. When the new look was unveiled more than a year ago, many users balked at the idea of walking away from long-learned habits.

The US$29.95 Classic Menu for Office 2007 displays a 2003-esque main menu bar, standard toolbar and formatting toolbar in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. All commands, including those new to Office 2007, are included in the menus. Users can also add the menu and toolbars to the Office 2007 Quick Access Toolbar -- a top-of-the-window section for placing often-used commands. The add-on supports all major languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian.

Classic Menu for Office 2007 can be downloaded from the Addintools site in versions for Windows XP or Vista. A free trial is also available.

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