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The Incredible Size Changing Ribbon Buttons

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help

The Incredible Size Changing Ribbon Buttons

Still finding yourself frustrated with the new user interface ribbon in the new MS Office 2007 programs?

Maybe you find yourself constantly going to a tab, only to find yourself clicking on a button to get to the options within the group. You’re probably also thinking how you thought it was supposed to be easier and yet, you’re going through layers and layers just to get to the feature you need.

Or, maybe you’ve noticed a time or two when I showed you something on the ribbon, but when you went looking for it, you didn’t have it displayed right and you still had to jump through loops to get what you needed.

What’s going on here?

Well, while Office is trying to display as many details as possible right on the ribbon, sometimes there just isn’t enough “space,” based on monitor size, screen resolution settings or other working conditions.

I even notice the difference from home to work. My home monitor is a lot bigger, so the ribbon I see often has rather large buttons.

At work, the same buttons are smaller and they’re stacked into columns, sometimes with a text label and sometimes without.

Or, worse yet, they’re sometimes grouped under one button, requiring more search and clicking time.

All of this:

Now requires you to click first to access them:

So, is there a solution that doesn’t require a new monitor?

Luckily, I have a couple of suggestions.

  • Always work with your program window maximized, especially on smaller monitors. The new Office programs will combine and shrink things to fit into whatever size window you give it to work with. So, give it all you can.

  • If you like low screen resolutions that tend to keep things rather “big,” try a higher screen resolution (found in your display settings from the desktop). By increasing the screen resolution, you’re shrinking the displayed size of everything and allowing more to be displayed on the same monitor size.

Either way, the general idea is by giving Office more “space” to work with, you’ll find it automatically expands your ribbon as much as it can!

~ April

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