I have been doing community speaking lately. Last 2 weeks i have done 2 sessions as part of the community launch events of “Office 2010”. One was in Mysore along with www.MysoreGeeks.com and another was at Bangalore along with www.BDotNet.in. Both experiences were great for me since these were the first community speaking of my life.

While preparing for the session on “Ribbon Customization for End Users” i did scout for information on the internet. Especially went through many pages on Microsoft ecology i.e. MSDN, TechNet, MSDN blogs etc. What i found were some interesting content.

First and the foremost – i have to talk about the following blog post. This was a blog post from the Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering Team. This is on the Technet Blogs. Here is the link – “Making the Ribbon Mine”. An excellent blog post way back in Nov 2009 by the team. This kind of laid out the whole presentation of mine. I wanted to address my presentation from the perspective of “What, Why and How” and the blog post just laid out the same perspectives. Its always great to tell something with respect to a story – this makes the audience easy to relate to what i am talking about. This blog post was an excellent writing for me and gave me all the aspects of the things i should cover about. Also it made to understand that Microsoft is trying to push the customization of Office 2010 Ribbon with a new phrase – “Making the Ribbon Mine”. Interesting usage of words here. Observe that when we say Customization – it looks more technical. When we are talking about end users its more of office users who do not have any technical background. Of course even a techie is a end users but its just that he understands what a customization is. So instead of telling customization we are saying make it yours – Make the Ribbon Mine. I kind of like the idea of reaching out to the non techies. My two sessions were based on this content. So i thank the Office engineering team for such an excellent post.

The above blog post i mentioned is more of a primer to anybody. So i started searching if there is any content out of office site which will give you a step by step instruction for end users to achieve the customization. What i found out was this excellent help content both textual and video based.

  • Customize the Ribbon

    • This help content is like a step by step guide to any body – be it a techie or a non techie. Its a true help document because at the starting of the content you get a question – “What Do You Want To Do”. So from there on wards it takes you through the following pointers:

      • Download free customized Ribbons

      • Get to Customize Ribbon Window

      • Working with Tabs

      • Working with Groups

      • Working with Command

      • Reset the Ribbon

      • Export customization

      • Import customization

So an excellent source of customization help content.

  • Video: Customize the Ribbon

    • This help content is very similar to the one described above – the textual help content – but only difference is as the name says this has video describing how to do it Smile. So this will give anybody a way to easily do what they want to do since they have visuals to support. Personally i felt excellent concept. I am not sure if we had video based help content for any of the office applications before this. May be i am ignorant of any such content. But this one i really liked it. Way to go Microsoft. This help content also starts with “Watch what you can do to customize the ribbon”. Just look at the wording. Since this is a video based content – the keyword “Watch” has been used Smile. Nice. So you have the following help topics in this content":
      • Choosing Commands
      • Changing default tab
         
      • Creating your own tab
      • Hiding a tab
      • Sharing the ribbon customizations

All the videos are clear and crisp in the content. They tell you exactly what you need to do. No messing around unnecessary things, its right up to the point.

Well that was my take on the help contents available for the Office 2010 Ribbon Customizations for the end users. Of course for the techies there are ways to customize the ribbons programmatically. May be that will be another blog post in future.

Till next time Happy coding. Code with passion.

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