First, a good taste warning: this post mentions Clippy, the irritating helper paperclip that Microsoft thankfully dumped from Office back in Office XP. If the mere mention of that digital excrescence doesn’t send you running to the hills screaming for gin, then you might want to check out Ribbon Hero 2, a game designed to teach migrating Office users how to use the Ribbon found in Office 2007 and Office 2010.
The Ribbon represents a fairly radical change of interface from traditional menus, so after an initial period of pretending that no-one would require any help with learning it, Microsoft admitted that changes were needed. Ribbon Hero 2 (yes, a sequel to an earlier, Clippy-free concept) teaches people new elements of the interface and awards points each time you complete specific activities. There’s a cheesy cartoon storyline and an odd medieval-themed interface, but it does do a good job of walking through Ribbon basics.[imgclear]
Ribbon Hero 2 is a free download, requires Office 2010. It’s a beta product and we did find some notable bugs (as you can see above, at one point it failed to recognise Word was actually installed on our PC.) If you can’t face Clippy in comic form, you can also check out our guide to making the most of the Ribbon.