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for those who used to know where to find things




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Upgrading from Office 2003

Upgrading from Office 2007

What This Book Does for You

‘Ribbon Quirks’

How this Book Came About


This is the book I wished someone had already written - because I was in need of it!


The new‑look ribbon interface of Office 2007 (and now, Office 2010) had me feeling almost like a ‘novice user’ again.  I was spending inordinate time trying to work out how to do even the simplest things which, previously, had become second-nature – a source of great personal exasperation.


What I needed was a book which told me only what I needed to know to get the job done, – without all the explanatory information an experienced user doesn’t need.  I was unable to find a ‘beyond novice’ publication.   And so, this book was born.

‘Word & Excel -  ExpertEase’ is now available 

‘Publisher & PowerPoint -  ExpertEase’ will be available shortly


Ribbons are here to stay – so, even the add-in which provides access to Office 2003™ menus while using Office 2010™, only postpones the inevitability that we will all have to make the transition eventually.  This book is designed to make that transition ‘seamless’.


If you’re upgrading from Office 2003

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You will discover that the layout and organisation of the commands section at the top of the screen is totally different from what you’re accustomed to.  Commands are no longer where you expect to find them, nor are they organised in the same manner as they were in earlier versions of Microsoft Office™.



If you’re upgrading from Office 2007

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You will already be familiar with the ribbon interface, but some changes have been made to the ribbon bar in Office 2010, and new features have been introduced.



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Enables you to:


restore processes to one-click operations


make permanently available those commands you use frequently


customise Microsoft Officeprograms to your needs

Acknowledges that you are an experienced user, and addresses you accordingly

Demystifies why your ‘old’ documents don’t always behave as you expect

Provides a concise, portable, user-friendly ‘ready-reckoner’ which is not dependent on internet access and/or switching back and forth between multiple windows


In short, this book provides you with an invaluable ‘ready-reckoner’.  It enables you to quickly navigate through the ribbons to exactly the command(s) you want, relieving you of the need - and considerable time involved initially - to ‘feel your way’.

Access to the information you need is instant, concise, user-friendly, portable and independent of internet access.



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Within the ribbon interface, commands have been grouped using a different logic from that underlying Office 2003 and its predecessors.  This new grouping takes considerable time to become familiar with.  So, if you are like me (an Office user for many years), even when you’ve used the ribbon interface for some time, finding what you’re after involves ‘feeling your way’ for quite a while.


In this transitional period, there will probably be many occasions when you will need to work on a document which was created using an Office 2003 program.  This can be a source of both perplexity and exasperation – Office 2010 often treats 2010-created documents and 2003-created documents differently.


This old-vs-new quirk manifests in different ways:

new features not being accessible for the ‘same’ feature from an older version

ribbon commands changing from what you’ve started becoming used to, depending on whether your document was created in Office 2010, or created in an earlier version

new features being accessible with limited functionality for the ‘same’ feature from an older version

dialogue boxes for a particular feature reverting to the ‘old’ version

sometimes, the requirement to convert the document to 2010-type.  The risk then exists of losing some newer features if the document is converted back to an earlier version for use on a different computer.

Where those old vs new anomalies exist, they are noted in the text, with separate instructions provided where necessary.


Having gone through the work of writing and testing the instructions myself, and having others review and test them also, I find that I still need this book – it is my ever-present desktop reference.


I hope you find it as invaluable as I do.




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As an IT trainer for 25 years, the totally-new-look ribbon interface presented me with two challenges:


the need to quickly assimilate the ribbon interface and the logic behind it, so that I could modify my training approach


the absurdity (as I consider it) that not all programs within the Office 2007 suite were transferred to ribbon format (some only partially) and the implications for training


To address these challenges, I set about re-writing my Word and Excel training resources – since these are the most broadly-used programs within the suite, and both were transferred to the ribbon format in Office 2007.


In going through that process, it became evident that training alone would not provide the solution for experienced Office users.  The logic underlying the organisation of commands within the ribbon interface, and the predominantly graphics-based (rather than text-based) presentation takes time and repetition to familiarise.


Training can provide an overview – it cannot provide ‘familiarity’.  In this transitional period, a user-friendly ready‑reckoner is the answer.


With the release of Office 2010 – within which the ribbon format is applied across the board – the refinement of those training resources developed into this book.  ‘Word & Excel -  ExpertEase’ is now available.  ‘Publisher & PowerPoint  -  ExpertEase’ will be published shortly.



Upgrading from Office 2003

Upgrading from Office 2007

What This Book Does for You


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‘Ribbon Quirks’

How this Book Came About