Posted by: kurtsh | April 30, 2007

3RD PARTY: Add the original Office toolbar back into Office 2007

Wanna add the original Office 2003 toolbar interface back into Office 2007?  Here are a few solutions as noted by ComputerWorld.  (Product descriptions are lifted from their respective product sites.)  Personally, I haven’t tried any of these yet, although Ribbon Customizer looks very promising.

  • The first thing I noticed is the price differences.  See below.
  • Classic Menu
    • 2007 Ribbon Tab – similar but not exactly the same as the original Office 2003 interface.
    • Keyboard shortcuts are there, but don’t map to the original Office 2003 shortcuts
  • ToolbarToggle
    • No Powerpoint toolbar
    • No keyboard shortcuts
  • Ribbon Customizer
    • FREE version to add Word’s 2003 toolbar called "Classic UI for Word 2007"
      (Excel & Powerpoint coming)
    • Extremely customizable.  Kinda scary actually.  Almost a bit complicated but I could be wrong.
    • Patrick Schmid seems to actually be a fan of the Ribbon
      He gives several reasons why here:
      1. Keyboard shortcuts to open menus (e.g. Alt-F) cannot be used with a Classic UI, because Office intercepts those shortcuts and either offers a 2007 feature triggered by it, or lets you enter a complete 2003 menu shortcut in order to trigger the command it would ordinarily have triggered in 2003. A Classic UI in 2007 is therefore mainly going to be controlled by the mouse.
      2. Where do you put new features of Office 2007? A major reason that Microsoft decided to do the Ribbon is that they did not really know where to put all the new 2007 features in the menus and toolbars. A Classic UI will therefore always have difficulties with new features.
      3. The Ribbon has contextual tabs that appear once a user inserts or activates an object. That means, that whatever tab holds the Classic UI will no longer be in the foreground. Alternatively, as done by ToolbarToogle, you can have a Classic UI in a task pane and therefore visible independent of whatever tab the Ribbon is showing currently, but you have to sacrifice additional screen real estate for that.
      4. A Classic UI lets one defer learning the Office 2007 Ribbon. Considering the investment Microsoft made into the Ribbon, it can be expected that all future Office versions will have the Ribbon as UI. Menus and toolbars will not return to Microsoft Office. If one defers learning the Ribbon, one will eventually be simply behind.


Classic Menu for Office 2007 – $29.95
Show classic menus and toolbars on the ribbon of Microsoft Office 2007. Bring back the Office 2003 menus and toolbars to your copy of Microsoft® Office® 2007. Frustrated by endless searches for features on the Ribbon? Download and install this software and easily use the familiar main menu, the standard toolbar and formatting toolbar in Office 2007, as you did in Office 2003. All new features items of Microsoft Office 2007 have been added into the main menu and toolbars. Supports all languages that are supported by Microsoft Office 2007: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, Korean, Russian, Chinese… Add the menus and toolbars to Quick Access Toolbar, then you can minimize the Ribbon and finish all operations without Ribbon.

Toolbar Toggle – $19.95 (Volume discounting available)
Lost without your toolbar?  Miss the simplicity?  ToolbarToggle brings it back for you.  Microsoft Office 2007 is a powerful new program that helps you do all sorts of things better.  But it doesn’t have a toolbar!  ToolbarToggle puts the toolbar into Office 2007 without removing the Ribbon.  Work with the toolbar and the Ribbon side-by-side on your desktop or you can hide the Ribbon and work with the toolbar alone, just as you always have.  With ToolbarToggle,it’s your choice.  Whether you’re a power-user who can’t live without completel customization of your menus and toolbars or an everyday user who isn’t ready to change, ToolbarToggle is a great way to transition to Office 2007 without losing productivity.

RibbonCustomizer Professional V1.1 – $29.95
RibbonCustomizer is an add-in for Microsoft® Access™, Excel®, Outlook®, PowerPoint® and Word 2007. It allows you to customize the Ribbon User Interface with only a few mouse clicks.  Microsoft did not include that ability in Office 2007, but with this add-in you are no longer stuck with a static User Interface!


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