Ribbon Hero 2 Teaches You The Office Ribbon

Ribbon Hero 2 Teaches You The Office Ribbon
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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.

Ribbon Hero 2


  • The ribbon sucks. Been using office since DOS versions and the changes have simply driven me back to Office 2003.

    I cannot use the menus the way I want to. Just one more reason to change to a freer, in terms of money and how I want to use, program.

  • I have to disagree wholeheartedly Andrew. While you may have been using office since DOS most people haven’t had over a decade to learn the increasingly complex menu system. If you ask MS nearly all the feature requests for Office were for features that were already implemented, just that nobody could find them. That means something was broken and had to change. The ribbon might not be perfect, but for new/casual users it’s much better and the hardcore will learn it in time. At least it’s possibly to improve the ribbon. It was impossible to improve the menu system.

  • I agree with Justin. I think the ribbon causes some headaches initially for experienced users finding where things have moved to, but for new users the ribbon is so much easier and more usable. Andrew, the trick is to think of the ribbon in terms of actions…I want insert something, review my doc etc. I’m an IT trainer currently working to transfer a govt dept from 2003 to 2010 and it hasn’t taken long at all for me to become a 2010 convert.

  • Agree with Andrew — I hate the Ribbon. The worst thing about it is it penalises power users by (a) changing all the menu shortcuts with which many have become familiar and (b) it makes the new alternatives very difficult to find. For example, I wanted to do a simple macro the other day and could find nothing in the Ribbon. I didn’t realise I had to enable display of the “Developer” tab — that’s just ridiculous.

    Whilst I’ve absolutely no problem with making the interface easier for casual and business users, I abhor the decision to penalise power users.

  • Andrew and Graeme – I’m with Justin and Glenda. I’d say that a *real* power user would be flexible enough to adjust their practices and learn new shortcuts, rather than just get “stuck” when something changes :–P

    I’m no power user myself, but my sister’s work as an accountant with a bank means her Excel-fu is unrivalled by anyone I know. She hated the Ribbon at first, but mostly because her old keyboard shortcuts no longer worked. She got over it, learned the new shortcuts and now says that she works faster and better with Office 2k7.

  • When I open the program a strip of cartoons crawls slowly across my screen. When it finally reachesthe left edge of the scrfeen it stops and nothing I do can gbet a response. I have to hit ctrl+Alt+dele to close the cartoon strip. What is wrong or what should I do to start the training??

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