Hide the Ribbon in MS Office 2007 Products

As I mentioned earlier, I have recently started using Office 2007. So far, it hasn’t wowed me, but I don’t really have complex needs in the word processing department, so I guess I haven’t really fully tested its abilities. The main thing that I need a word processor to be able to do is “track changes” — which means to keep a record of what changes have been made to a document and by whom. I need to use that function on a daily basis as an editor.

Another thing that is important to me is screen space. The more of a document I can see at once, the more efficiently I can do my job (because I don’t have to fill up my short term memory with what comes before and after the paragraph that I am currently working on, and I don’t have to spend time scrolling up and down when I inevitably forget). This is especially important when I am translating documents from Japanese to English.

For that reason, the “ribbon” on Office 2007 products really gets in the way of me doing my work efficiently. I don’t see the need for having all the guts of the program splayed out for me like that. I would rather put that space to work displaying my documents. Luckily, Microsoft has provided a way to hide or minimize the ribbon. You can either hide it permanently or temporarily. Since it is pretty much impossible to do you work without ever using the ribbon, you may be satisfied with the temporary option of double clicking the name of the ribbon to hide or restore it quickly. If you really don’t want the ribbon to show up at all, you can click on the little arrow at the top of the screen and choose “minimize ribbon”. Then, if you need to use the ribbon, you can just click on the tab that you want and select the action that you need. The ribbon will minimize itself again once the action is complete. Once you get familiar with the placement of the commands on each of the tabs, this may become a more appealing option. Either way, for those of us who work with a lot of text in a day, minimizing the ribbon is pretty much essential, in my opinion.