The Ribbon UI in Office 12 is an upgraded version of the menu and toolbar?

Microsoft did not use the menus and toolbars that have been standard UIs in Windows for over 20 years in Office 12, and introduced a new UI, the Ribbon UI.

the toolbar It was first introduced on the Xerox Alto Computer in 1973.From Word 1983 in 1.0 to Office 2003, it has been used as the main menu UI in Word for about 20 years.



The 'menu', which is said to have disappeared in Office 12, is not a menu commonly talked about in the UI, but the pull-down menu at the top of the window is called 'menu' in Windows. The main menu systems of Windows are 'Menu' and 'Toolbar', which means that Office 12 no longer uses these two menu systems.



The biggest reason for not using menus and toolbars in Office 12 is the scaling problem of menus and toolbars. In a situation where there is no more space to add, features are constantly being added, and users are not finding new features.

To solve this problem, the Office User Experience team created a new UI codenamed Ribbon.



The Ribbon UI has the appearance of a toolbar with tabs. So, you can see a toolbar with several commands in the same space.

Of course, it's not technically a toolbar. There are buttons and there is an input window in the dialog, so you can immediately execute the necessary commands without opening the dialog window.

The command area in the ribbon tab that looks like this toolbar is really innovative. In any case, the command area has several virtual spaces in the same screen area through the UI called tab. And the level of the existing hierarchical menu with about three layers has been lowered. At least the first tap must be determined, so there is at least one level of depth.

No pull-down menus are used, so there is no need to navigate hierarchical menus. Commands have been rearranged by frequency of use by the user, grouped, labeled with icons, and can be entered directly. Therefore, there is no need for the user to customize the necessary icon, it is easy to find the necessary command, and the function can be used immediately without opening a dialog window.

The arrangement of this command was arranged according to the frequency of the user based on the data collected from the user experience program of Office 2003, and the infrequently used function is used through the dialog by pressing the advanced function.


The position of the ribbon is the same as the menu and toolbar, and the controls in the ribbon are similar to the existing toolbar. The menu is said to have disappeared, but the File menu is still alive in the form of a menu. And, the quick access button on the ribbon consists of only icons like a toolbar, and can be customized by the user. Of course, menus and toolbars have modes that are activated and deactivated depending on the state, but the ribbon does not have a mode and the detailed UI of the ribbon is different from menus and toolbars.

It is said that the menus and toolbars have disappeared in Office 12, but looking at these points, the Ribbon UI doesn't seem like a completely new thing from the menus and toolbars. Rather, I think that the menu and toolbar have been upgraded.


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