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Use old-style Excel and Word menus in new versions of Office

A common complaint people make when they install Word 2007 (or Excel 2007) or later is that they don’t like the ribbon and prefer the menus used in Word 2003 (or Excel 2003) and earlier. Microsoft insist that things are easier to find in the new version, but many of us beg to differ. For me, my main qualm with the new version is that it takes me longer to browse through all the options than it did with the old system.

Also, certain options are in illogical places. For example, if you want to insert a row or column in Excel you’ll probably look in the “Insert” tab. But you won’t find it. It’s in the “Home” tab. Why on earth is an “insert” option not in the “Insert” tab?

The Swiss company UBit has produced an add-on that creates a ribbon tab called “Menu”, which contains old-style menus. The add-on can be downloaded from here.

Unfortunately it doesn’t allow you to open the menus with the keyboard. And that’s where I come in! I’ve produced a script to be used with UBitMenu that allows you to open up the menus using the keyboard (i.e. alt+f opens the file menu, etc.) and browse through with the cursor keys. Click here to download the script.

Once you have installed UBitMenu and my script, you can browse through the menus almost as easily as in the old version of Word and Excel.

Please note it currently only works with the English menu shortcuts, and it may not work with certain screen resolutions, as it relies on clicks on the correct part of the screen.

If you test it, please report back whether it works for you.

If you would like a version for your own language, please tell me the shortcut letters for the different menus (File, Edit, View, Format, Tools, Table and Window) in your language.


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