I'm enjoying the new Office ribbon but I'm also a fan of clutter-free interfaces, so I wondered how to use the ribbon selectively. This short screencast illustrates two ways to do that.
You can use Control-F1 to minimize the ribbon, and Control-F1 again to restore it.
There's also a subtler technique I like even better. If you double-click a menu item, you'll enter a mode in which single-clicking will hide or show the ribbon. When shown in this mode, the ribbon floats on top of your document.
These methods work hand in hand with Office 2007's contextual toolbars. If you want to highlight some text, for example, you can summon the basic formatting toolbar by just sweeping out a selection.
For me, at least, this is the best of both worlds. I can use the ribbon to more easily discover and access the more advanced features of Office when I need them. But when I'm doing basic stuff, I can work in the minimalistic way I prefer. And it's quick and easy to switch between these two modes, using the mouse or the keyboard.
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