Ribbon Creation Tool
You pushed upon the Office community the Ribbon back in 2007, when are you going to finally give us a GUI tool to develop ribbons properly? Right now, the ribbon is a half-baked concept with no tool to develop with.
At the moment there is no plan to develop a tool for creating ribbons.
This suggestion should probably be directed to a broader UserVoice site as it relates to all Office products and not just Access.
Frank Rotolo commented
Yes indeed, there is ANIMOSITY towards the half baked Office ribbon. Maybe we'll get lucky, and MS will deprecate it due to its unpopularity.
Meantime, if anyone here thinks its worthwhile to post a suggestion in the Office User Voice forum for reducing the size of the ribbon, think again, because it already has 809 votes.
Also note that the Office forum has 441 posted ideas, but only ONE under review!.. Is anyone at MS listening to this forum?
Grover Park George commented
You DO realize, I would hope, that the OFFICE ribbon is an OFFICE component, not an Access component. Any changes to the OFFICE ribbon would happen at the OFFICE level, not within Access alone.
Given the level of animosity towards the ribbon, in general, I'm sure there are many folks who would love to see wholesale changes to it. Somehow, though, it doesn't strike me as the most productive investment MS can make.
Frank Rotolo commented
@George, "ribbons are not really core Access functionality". This is true, however, it does have an impact on how Access applications are designed. If MS is not willing to provide a GUI for customizing ribbons, then at least provide options for re-sizing the ribbon, and/or icons, so that it doesn't take up so much valuable screen space. The only options currently available are, display it, or hide it. Maybe MS can also hire back Jensen Harris so he can finish what he started?
Grover Park George commented
IMO, ribbons are not really core Access functionality. If I had real dollars to invest, as opposed to virtual votes, I'd certainly be plunking those dollars down on getting ODBC and DAO related issues hammered out. The future of Access doesn't depend on prettier ribbons. It does depend on functional data flows.
Sam Smith commented
I would disagree or perhaps you misunderstand. In Access you create your own menus from scratch and we used to be able drag and drop such menus with the command bars of old. When the ribbon came a long this graphical editing was lost replaced with a clumsy XML based command line system. You wouldn't need such a system in any other Office app as the ribbon items are predefined.
Ribbons are integral to Microsoft applications so if we want users to more easily adapt to applications that we create, they are already familiar with this U.I. I have found using ribbons rather fun to incorporate. As far as working on multiple devices, I think Microsoft Ribbons should adapt to the device and show more or less depending on whether they are being used on a phone, a tablet or a laptop/desktop computer.
Robbons are good when you have hundreds of menus and/or commands and a complex interface, like Word or Excel. Most Access applications are not as inticate as that and the old menu system was a far better and more friendly interface option. My opinion.
@George I suppose so. Better this than nothing at all. I just wish they would focus on making everything they started years ago (decades in some instances) work as they should before going and taking on all sorts of new requests.
They must already have a master list of things that need to be fixed. No? Do they really need us to say, hey, this causes and error, this doesn't work as it should? If they don't have a list, I'm available to create them a nice database for this purpose!
When Microsoft decided to open this public venue for direct feedback, it provided both a great opportunity, and a risk. The opportunity, of course, is that developers everywhere could submit their thoughts directly and unfiltered to the Access Team's management. That's good.
Unfortunately, it also opened a door for the occasional public outburst of frustration. The noise created by those incidents detracts from the overall process. On the other hand, it's probably healthy for the Access Team to get a measure of the depth and intensity of that frustration.
While the MVPs regularly have the opportunity to make their case to Microsoft, it's good to have a much broader set of voices, User Voices, offering their ideas for improving the product we all love.
@ Joe, too bad he (Rick Fisher) doesn't actually reply to orders so not like you can actually get the tool to do the job (3 months and still waiting upon him and still nothing). Back to MS taking responsibility for their half-baked software and start adding the functionalities they should have created 10+ years ago.
This is why uservoice is counter productive. MS should focus on finishing what they started. Then let consider new things. The way thing are going we're going to end up with a myriad of new features, none properly completed and continue with the existing not completed features. Nothing new I guess.
James Muka commented
The Ribbon Menu looks great and is very functional. I believe it gives my applications a more professional look…however I do agree an easier development tool would be great.
I have been using a combination of Notepad ++ and Monta Ribbons http://www.ribbons-access.com/index.htm - it works great for me
Dick Burgers commented
An even better idea about ribbons is to get rid of them ;-)), second best would be indeed a better built in tool for it.
@Dudley RE "I must say it amazes me how MVPs are justifying and supporting Microsoft in not having provided a proper tool"
That is completed FALSE. Neither George or myself are trying to justify any such thing. Of course Microsoft should ... have done this. But at this point in time, that is not likely to happen.
Just like Microsoft never created a real 'find & replace' covering ALL objects (including VBA code). Fortunately, Rick Fisher did!
You appear to be mainly to bash MVPs. That is not exactly the intent of UserVoice.
A couple of days have passed, and so far, no one has pointed out the obvious shortcoming in my previous example of a customization to the Access ribbon. I have to do it myself.
There is a difference between "customizing THE Access ribbon" and "creating A custom ribbon for Access".
While it is easy to do the former, using the built-in option in the Backstage, the latter is not so easy, even if it is possible. Creating a custom ribbon to REPLACE the built-in Access ribbon requires significant XML editing skills and advanced knowledge. You can Bingoogle for help, and there is a lot of good reference material available, but it is still not something for the faint-hearted.
Therefore, while I stand by the assertion that customizing THE ribbon is not at all complicated, it is important to acknowledge that there is still room for improvement in the area of tools to create A custom replacement ribbon.
Gunter Avenius tool does that. If Microsoft wanted to do so, I'm sure it would be possible to add the functionality into Office--and not just for Access.
Therefore, I'm keeping my vote for this suggestion.
Create a tab? Here's one. I created it with the built-in Ribbon Customize option. If you want detailed instructions on how to do this, let me know and I'll put on a PDF stepping through it.
You show me how I can create a tab for my database with Access as is. You can't. Thus, Office is incomplete, half-baked even after so many years.
As for 39$ or 3000$, that isn't the point at all. In controlled environments, it simply isn't possible to install any 3rd party tools.
But, as I tried to make clear, they actually DID provide the mechanism to customize your ribbons--Office wide.
Go to File. Then Select Options. Then go to something called "Customize Ribbon". It's not a complete solution, but you can actually use it to create new groups, new tabs, and new actions. I have done that in Word, I have done it in Outlook, AND I have done it in Access.
Plus, for more sophisticated ribbons, I paid $39 (US) to use Gunter Avenius Ribbon Creator.
As I said, this ain't about the tools being available, This is about whether you want to pay for them.
Sorry George, but your own argument actually works against you in this case. The fact that this even an Office wide component make it that much worse the fact that MS still hasn't provided any form of tool to work with it!
The ribbon, which is part of Office after all, is not an Access specific component. After nearly 8 years, it is a bit exasperating to continue to see such animosity about it. In 2007 and 2008, I was also pretty distressed at having to learn a new paradigm, and I complained publicly about it. But then, starting sometime in 2009 and on into 2010, a very strange thing happened, I adjusted. In fact, I even learned how to use the ribbon effectively, and not just in Access! I used it in Word, in PowerPoint, in Excel even. Microsoft Project, for goodness sake, adopted the ribbon! I have even used it there.
Now, when I have to open Access 2003 to work on an old mdb, I find it unfamiliar and, yes, slightly annoying. I have created customized QATs that have all my frequently used buttons close to hand without clicking through a menu bar for them. And starting in 2010, as I recall, the built-in ability to customize our ribbons began to get better, too.
In other words, you can actually put your own custom buttons onto your own custom ribbon in Access (or Word) and run your macros from there, with no additional tools at all. I have actually done this in both Word and Access, right in the tool and right out of the box. Is it perfect? No. Does it work? Of course. I’d show you a couple of them, but I don’t know how to put screenshots in this app.
But, then, this is only partly about whether or not we can adapt and how hard it is to do certain things.
In my opinion, the other main issue is really not so much about having, or acquiring, tools to do our jobs as much as it is about who is going to pay for them.
Given the fact that there is a built-in Ribbon Customization Tool under Options in the BackStage (a free, included-by-default part of Access) there’s probably not much call for a more sophisticated tool in many organizations. Sad to say, a lot of Access “developers” are not all that sophisticated to begin with.
Add to that the availability of at least one cheap 3rd party tool, and it’s hard to see any motivation, other than the desire for more “free” stuff, behind this request.