RibbonX: Customizing the Office 2007 Ribbon Paperback – Jan 10 2008
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From the Back Cover
Microsoft MVPs teach you new skills for customizing the Ribbon
If you like to build custom applications or customize the Office user interface, this book is for you. Written by a team of Microsoft MVPs, it shows you—step by step—how easy it is to modify the Microsoft Office® 2007 Ribbon, how the Ribbon works, and how you can customize it to add functionality. You'll learn to leverage the RibbonX API to hide, create, add, and group controls.
Along with techniques for using XML, VBA, and Access macros, you'll find clear instructions, practical examples, and real-world code you can use. This is the perfect guide for beginners, developers, and power users alike.
Explore the Ribbon user interface and Quick Access Toolbar
Access the CustomUI Editor and start modifying
Learn the essentials of XML and why you need it
Write and debug your own code with Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA)
Master RibbonX basic controls and create custom, static, and dynamic menus
Deploy your Ribbon customizations across files
Gain a working knowledge of key aspects of Office security such as digital certificates and privacy settings
Inside you'll also find a handy table of RibbonX tags, a tool to quickly reveal the imageMso references and generate its XML, and much more.
About the Author
Robert Martin is an Excel MVP and Microsoft Certified Professional. With a background in finance, he has worked as an IT director for an investment bank in the UK, and worked on charitable projects in Africa before turning to authoring on MS Office development.
Ken Puls is an Excel MVP and a Certified Management Accountant in Canada. He works as the Controller of a resort, teaches Excel courses, and has authored all of the articles at the www.excelguru.ca website.
Teresa Hennig is an Access MVP and president of the Pacific Northwest Access Developer Group and the Seattle Access Group. She is the lead author of the Access VBA Programmer's Reference series and is a lead on three national committees for INETA. Her company, Data Dynamics Northwest, provides data management solutions and consulting services.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book teaches you the difficult process needed in order to modify the Ribbon in each Office program. It is not an easy process, as it involves writing XML code in addition to macro programming code. And opening the necessary XML files in order to modify them isn't easy either.
The book does a fairly good job of presenting the process, and documenting the various XML "tags" needed. However, it is not well written, and its explanations of the programming concepts are a bit muddled, especially for novices like me. The constant statements of "we'll explain this later" become aggravating after awhile; its like the authors themselves are feeling their way along with their readers. I guess by the end of the book, they have figured out what they were trying to teach; that should make the next edition a little better!
One thing you should know if you want to modify the Ribbon in the Office programs is that there are programs out there that have been and are being written to automate the process so that you don't really need to know the details in the depth this book attempts to teach. (But having this book could be a help in using and understanding those programs.) There are two programs available now, one of which is called RibbonCustomizer (and is very well designed).
Also, if you are a programmer using Visual Studio 2008, you can obtain from Microsoft a free addin called VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office) that contains features that allow you to write your own programs to modify the Ribbon. I'm not sure about this (I'm a novice programmer myself), but I think the free VSTO addin for VS 2008 eliminates the need to purchase the VSTO program separately. You had to pay a hefty price for the VSTO program needed as an addin for VS 2005, but it seems that now it can be added for free to VS 2008.
I liked discovering the ribbon customization for the three applications discussed in the book (although I focused mainly on Access); and, the tools mentioned in the book, XML Notepad and the Custom UI Editor, made the process easier. While the book is also geared to users with little or no experience in ribbon development, if you are new to XML and VBA, it may not be as smooth a read as it would be if you already have some basic knowledge under you belt. However, if you are determined to learn the new techniques (and looking up this book is an indication that you are), you will end up gaining a solid foot in the custom ribbon development arena with the help of this book.
Previously I have worked with VBA in Access and had no background in programming for the menu or ribbon. The VBA section of the book was most helpful in that the authors examples can relate your prior experiences.
The coverage of the topic of XML is very good for getting through the parts you need to use in prograsmming the ribbon without overloading the reader.
After having worked with the examples in RibbonX, I still like to use the book as a desktop reference. The use of well organized tables listing the functions and their optional and required parameters is very handy.