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Search Commands for Office 2007 – GREAT!

May 5, 2008

I’ve been using Office 2007 for, well, almost forever.  Compared to the prior versions of Office, it’s better than expected—and quite a dynamic change.  By that, I mean the ribbon toolbar. 

I understand Microsoft’s UI “goodness” and some of the ribbon logic—especially on smaller applications, but the ribbon is still painful to use in huge rambling applications like Microsoft Word and Excel.  I still, after all this time, spend time going, “where the heck is {command}?”

Most of the time, I fall back to using old Office commands that, thankfully, still work.  Other times, it’s an adventure!

That adventurous spirit, however, isn’t shared by every user of Office 2007.  The learning curve of the ribbon and other Office 2007 features has been the leading reason why the latest application suite is still frowned upon in our organization.  Face it—the UI for Word looked the same from about Word 6.0 to 2003.  In one version, that’s a lot of users to reeducate.

To ease those users along and empower the “power” users of Office products, the Office Labs team has released a sweet plugin for Microsoft Office 2007–-Search Commands.  Search Commands is exactly what it says, rather than wading through the half-dozen menus, you enter what you want to do in the search box and the ribbon automagically builds for you.

I’ve been using it for a week or so now, since it came out on 23 April, and love it.  Once you get the Search Commands hot keys down (Alt-Y, E and Alt-Y, 1–9) you can wiz through commands.

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