Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Unbelieveable!!!! (Actually quite believable but totally outrageous)

So the ME computer lab has just recently switched over to the new version of Microsoft Office, Office 2007. The new version features a broad swath of occupied space at the top of the screen called the ribbon. This replaces the toolbars of the previous version that could be torn off, placed wherever you wanted, and customized to contain what you wanted in whatever order you wanted. The toolbars were good. Put power in the hands of the people.
I had naively assumed that the ribbon would be an improvement on this. Wrong! Since I mostly use a MacBook, my screen is wider than it is tall, and I typically tear off the toolbars and put them on the side of my screen so that I can see as much vertical distance on my document as possible. The ribbon, however, uses up something like a quarter to a fifth of my screen across the top so that I get a relatively thin sliver to view and work with. I've avoided using Office 2007 up to now, when the option to use good ole Office 2004 disappear on the lab computers.
So I set about trying to find out how to add superscript and subscript to the ribbon. These are vital engineering edits in combustion science, which is full of chemical names and variables with exponents. I've always added these easily to the toolbars and been quite happy. Here's what the Microsoft Help says: "Because each tab relates to a type of activity, such as writing or laying out a page, it is not possible to customize the Ribbon without using XML and programming code."
I'm floored.
Not surprised. Floored. They've taken away one of the best features and required us to learn XML to get it back.
I determined long ago that Microsoft's motto goes something like this: "The dumb get dumber, and we'll get richer because we know better than you."
How long until Google Docs presents a usable alternative? I'll jump ship as soon as I possibly can.
Now I need to get over my rant and get back to work.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Still using MS Office 2000 here at home, LOL. Sounds like I don't need to upgrade anytime soon!!