Just like driving a new car, I will report the new facelifts Microsoft has done to this spreadsheet program!

Zippy startup and the familar Ribbon

The Excel 2010 starts up quickly and I finally saw how Excel 2010 looks like. There were no earth shattering changes to the command layout and colour scheme. Instead of the familiar blue in Excel 2007, the new Excel 2010 has an off-white color scheme.

Excel 2010 Home ribbon screen

Mystery of the Refreshing Ribbons

Excel 2010 had a strangely refreshing look thou I can’t put my fingers on the reasons why.  Excel 2010 felt more organized even thou the commands layout was exactly the same as Excel 2007. The ribbon names and command group names seem to leap off the screen. I could scan the entire ribbon with less confusion and less frustration compared to Excel 2007.

I did a careful screen-to-screen lineup with Excel 2007 and I discovered the reason for this mystery. The team at MS actually did a subtle “cleanup” of the ribbons! There is less color junk and useless lines were removed in the new ribbons.

  • The commands are no longer “trapped” in boxes. They are now laid out cleanly with a single line separting the command groups.
  • A single background color is used in Excel 2010 instead of double color scheme in Excel 2007.
  • The box surround the extire ribbon had been removed in Excel 2010.

A new Office Button

There was more eye candy in store when I clicked on the new green Office button in Excel 2010. The Excel 2010 Office menu tries to simplify the Excel 2007 Office menu. The “Send” command in Excel 2007 was gone. Excel 2010 rearranged “Save”, “Save As”, “Open” and “Close” to the top. The “Excel Options” and “Exit” button in Excel 2007 was placed sensibily along the up and down axis of the new Excel 2010 Office menu.

Excel 2010 Office button menu

I love the new Office menu for the following reasons:

  • You only need to travel up and down along the new menu system. Previously I had to move my eye and mouse all over the menu to perform the same tasks.
  • The most frequent commands are place at the top.
  • The confusing “Prepare”, “Send” and “Publish” Excel 2007 commands with its 2 level menus were gone.
  • The Exel 2010 menu is sleek, easy to understand and really zippy to use.

You can make your own Ribbons (I saved the best for last)!
I was pleasantly surprised to find a new category on the Excel 2010 options menu: “Customize Ribbon”.

Excel 2010 Customize Ribbon

Excel 2010 Customize Ribbon

Finally some control over the darn ribbons! I can now remove any existing ribbons from the interface and create new ribbons. This means I can throw away the default ribbons and remake them in my own image! No more confusing ribbons. Halleluah!