Re: buying Microsoft Office first time


On Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 04:25 pm, Robert Logue <bobcat11@...> wrote:
Actually there is a serious difference to me with ribbons.  That is they are not liniar navigation. 


           I've had an extended private back an forth on the Ribbons with another regular here off-forum.  He taught me a new things and, I hope, vice versa.

           The first thing he made me aware of is that the custom for going through menus was almost strictly using arrow keys.  That's definitely the direct route to madness with the ribbons.  TAB and SHIFT+TAB are the ways to move sequentially through (and even between, if you keep on going) the various ribbon groups, which can be thought of as submenus if you think of the ribbon as a whole as a menu.  You can move directly from one group to the next one/previous one, using CTRL+Right Arrow/Left Arrow.  Eventually this can move you out of the Ribbon to a couple of other controls that are in "the general area" but are not in the ribbon itself.  I'll use WordPad and the Home Ribbon as an example.  I always teach my clients to invoke a ribbon with whatever ALT+letter combination is appropriate, ALT+H in this example, then to use a single TAB to enter the rightmost group in a ribbon, and that's virtually always the Clipboard group.  If you keep hitting TAB you will go through each control in the Clipboard group then, once you're on the last one, the next tab takes you to the Font group, and "lather, rinse, repeat" with using TAB or SHIFT+TAB if you want to go forward/backward one control in a given group.  When you hit the last control in a group, the next TAB will always take you to the first control in the next group over, so in WordPad that would be Clipboard, Font, Paragraph, Insert, and Editing.  Of course, once one is familiar with what's in each of the groups you certainly don't want to TAB yourself to death, so, you can use the CTRL+Right Arrow/Left Arrow to jump between them then TAB to the specific control you want.  Finally, for controls you find are part of your "greatest hits" collection it's worth learning the keyboard shortcut that gets you directly to it.  For example, the Font selection dropdown can be reached directly, and ready for you to change it, using ALT+H+F1 in WordPad.  Since other programs, e.g., MS-Word, have a lot more options in the Font Group than WordPad does the keyboard shortcuts will vary a bit.  Getting directly to font selection in all the MS-Office programs is ALT+H+FF and, so far, all of the controls that "span programs" in Office also share the same keyboard shortcut in each of them.

           The various ribbons in MS-Office are customizable, wildly so in fact.  If you bring up the File tab, Options Option, which I suggest you do with ALT+F,T, "Customize Ribbon" is one of the options.  Getting into the mechanics of customizing the ribbon itself is outside the scope of this brief conversation.  Since the Ribbon content is dependent on the program in question, though many similarities exist between the various programs, you have to customize the ribbon(s) for each program within that program.  But the previously mentioned key sequence will bring up the Options dialog in any of the Office suite programs.  I generally discourage customizing the ribbons, or at least extensively so, because if you have to use another machine with the "usual Office default layout" you often end up quickly lost and/or frustrated because you're not accustomed to the typical layout.  But only you know whether that's a legitimate concern in your own circumstances.

           Try what I mentioned in the first paragraph for navigating in any ribbon and I suspect you'll find it a lot less hellish than you currently do.  


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