Category Archives: UI

How to make Office UI look like Adobe UI

This is a special post for avide Adobe users. Adobe products have dark gray menus. It reduces the eye-strain. Office UI are white in color by default. And many people work on Office as well throughout the day… so how do you reduce the eye-strain? Simple.

Go to File – Options and choose Dark Gray theme. This theme was introduced in Office 2016. Office 2013 also has a gray theme but it is not as dark. See the difference for yourself.

Office UI Office Theme

Default Theme is white

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Change it to Dark Gray theme

change Office UI to dark gray theme

You can also try the Colorful theme. It changes color based upon the product.

image    Office UI - colorful theme   image

Which version of Office are you using? A new way of finding out

The official answer to finding the version of office is here. But it requires some trial and error. I found a very simple way. Rather than asking the user (or customer) to find out this information, it is simpler to detect it myself. I ask the customer to send the screenshot of File menu to me. That shows the version number easily.

 

2003 and before – File menu has a Page Setup menu option.

2007 – NO File menu. Instead there is a round, colorful button image

2010 – File menu has Save and Send option

2013 – File menu has Share option

Simple and effective. Works all the time.

How to get the good old File Open dialog with CTRL O

Small but useful post. Since Office 2012, CTRL O or CTRL S do not open Open / Save dialogs. You must click CTRL O – Computer – Browse to get that dialog. This is a GOOD THING. Because Microsoft wants to change our bad habit of storing everything locally and help us move to internet storage (OneDrive, SharePoint, DropBox, etc.).

In some cases, you want to do some quick and repeated operations on local PC. Want the simple Open / Save dialog just with CTRL O and CTRL S. Wish granted!
File – Options – Save – Don’t show the Backstage when opening or saving files.

Use CTRL O

Use this option temporarily. When the job is done, go back to the Backstage view. I will write more articles about Why Backstage is important very soon.

Have you noticed the miraculous Touch Mode in Office 2013?

Using Office on a Windows touch tablet is difficult – because all the buttons and menu options are very close together. You end up choosing the wrong option by mistake. Frustrating! Solution has been given since the Office 2013 version was released. On top left corner of Office tools, look for the Touch Mode button.

Touch Mode in Office 2013

Why Choose Touch Mode?

Choose Touch Mode and miraculously your problem is solved – instantly. Of course, number of options available do not reduce (that is not an option for Microsoft!). But the SPACING between them increases so that you can confidently touch what you want with your finger.

Also notice that the right click menus, drop downs and galleries also get spaced out. Can you even begin to imagine how much extra effort went into implementing this feature? Appreciate it and use it!

… Are you noticing these “cool” / “awesome” menu options?

menu options

Photo credit: Donald Jusa / Foter / CC BY

In today’s world of mobile phones and apps, finding options is becoming more and more difficult. These weird looking symbols have now become the default of showing menus with more options. I realized that many of us do not notice these symbols and therefore lose out on lots of nice features. Hence this article.

Continue reading … Are you noticing these “cool” / “awesome” menu options?

Did you know Right Drag Drop works?

This article assumes that you are a right handed person, if you are a left handed person, you have to use the other mouse button (secondary mouse button).

Drag and drop performs most popular action

When you drag and drop items, the most commonly expected logical action happens. For example, when you drag a file from one folder and drop it into another folder, it is moved.

That is called the DEFAULT ACTION.

Another example is… when you drag a number from the corner of the cell, it automatically adds further numbers.

This is a good thing in most cases. But if you don’t like the default or standard action, then you have a problem. To solve this issue, there is RIGHT DRAG DROP.

Press the RIGHT mouse button while dragging

That is called Right Drag (Drop). So what is the big deal? What benefits do you get?

right drag drop

Right Drag Drop shows you all the actions available

Here is what happens if you right drag drop a file… The item in bold tells you what is the default action.

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Right drag a number in Excel

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Right drag a shape in PowerPoint

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Right drag a mail from Inbox and drop it into Task folder

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The list is endless…

Simple rule: Try right drag drop and learn more Smile

Published my first book: Ribbon Hater’s Handbook

This book explains how the Ribbon is an empowerment rather than a disappointment. Office Ribbon was introduced around for 7 years. Still most of us are still not comfortable with it. Some of us hate it actively, most of us just settle for a compromise.

Ribbon Hater's Handbook

View details on Amazon Kindle bookstore. Only available on Kindle platform.
USD 5 (INR 307).

If you don’t have a Kindle device you can still read it by downloading free Kindle Reader Apps for Windows PC/ Mac, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, iPhone or iPad devices.

Book Summary

  1. Ribbon is good for you.
  2. Read  each tooltip in each tab to learn more about great features which you may be ignoring
  3. Add commonly used buttons which don’t have keyboard shortcuts to Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
  4. Add buttons which you need but are not available in the Ribbon to the QAT
  5. First 9 buttons get automatic shortcuts Alt 1 to Alt 9
  6. Therefore, arrange the most useful 9 buttons in QAT at first 9 positions
  7. Create Custom Ribbon and Custom QAT as per your needs
  8. Commonly used buttons go into QAT. Activity related buttons go into custom Ribbon tabs
  9. The File menu now occupies the full screen for a purpose. Explore all options there and you will be surprised how much you were missing out on.
  10. Quick Print button can be activated by using the dropdown next to the QAT
  11. You must share your customization with your colleagues using Export / Import feature
  12. IT can deploy pre-customized ribbon automatically using a login script and group policy
  13. Sometimes, you need to create a custom ribbon for a specific document.
  14. Such documents, if commonly reused, should be stored as templates.
  15. Templates can be shared using email (not recommended), SharePoint + Group Policy or SharePoint Content Types
  16. Download interactive command guides. These help you find old commands in the new UI.

Features NOT mentioned in the book

Specially for followers of this blog Smile

Double click works with some buttons

Try using it on Format Painter and Highlighter. Double clicking allows you to use the button repeatedly – it remains in the same ‘Mode’.

For example, if you want to copy formatting from one shape and apply it to multiple shapes (even across slides) – this is how you do it.

  1. Select the original shape from where you want to copy the formatting.
  2. Double click on Format Painter.
  3. Now the mouse cursor changes.
  4. Now click on one or more shapes.
  5. You can change to another slide, still it is in Format Painter mode.
  6. When you finish, press Escape.

Double click DOES NOT work with shapes

This is unfortunate because we do need to draw multiple shapes of the same type quite often. But don’t worry. Right click on the shape and choose Lock Drawing Mode.

Now you can draw multiple shapes of the same type without clicking on the shape icon repeatedly.

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Next Article

I will cover what I learnt while creating and publishing the Kindle Book.