Finding Office 2003 Commands in Office 2010′s Ribbon Bar

Posted on June 10, 2010 by


After Vista, one of Microsoft’s biggest missteps was their failure to provide a simple set of migration tools helping users embrace the benefits of Office’s Ribbon Bar interface.   As a result countless firms passed on an Office 2007 upgrade choosing to remain on 2003.  With the release of  Office 2010 firm’s will feel a foreboding sense of deja vu, not realizing the stakes are higher this time with improved collaboration features and expanded SharePoint integration. 

I was recently asked to help justify the move from Office 2003 to 201o and decided to focus on the root problem, not the symptoms. Simply put people are afraid of change, they get intimidated by it, anxious over it, fearful of not performing their jobs as well or extra work because of it and never really take the time to understand it.  While most IT shops fail to address the human element they also put little effort into articulating business implications providing a simple ROI of tangible and intangible benefits or project plan. 

Hence the challenge is how to overcome the human side of technology user perception, because as I have been known to say a person’s perception is their reality.  For Office 2007 and 2010 the reality is a lingering negative perception of Office’s Ribbon Bar being difficult to use, confusing and requiring a steep learning curve. 

For now I will address the later with a nod towards Jeopardy answering in the form of a user’s question  “How do I perform this command in Excel 2010?” or “Where did they move the Print command in Excel 2010?”  On Microsoft’s website they have published a series of Interactive Guides titled “Learn Where Menu and Toolbar Commands are in Office 2010“.  Additionally they also have published a  list of Office 2010 Reference Workbooks providing a cross-walk of how to perform an action or where to find a command.  Interactive Guides and Reference Workbooks are available for every Microsoft Office application including  the lesser used ones (i.e. Project, OneNote, SharePoint Designer).

When you open one of an Interactive Guides you get a screen image of the 2003 application, in this example Excel 2003.

After you click on a menu choice the screen transforms into Excel 2010 displaying where the old command is now located and steps on how to find it.

The Reference Worksheets provides a detailed cross-walk for every  2003 command and where it can be found in 2010.

The Microsoft Interactive Ribbon Guides and Workbooks can be found at the following URLs:

I hope this helps to get you started in building a program for providing users with much-needed tools to help bridge the knowledge gap during times of change.

Over the next few weeks I’ll circle back around and some thoughts around change management for such a roll out.