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Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 technology  research  practice

A Technology Tip

  • Technology

Many installations of Microsoft Office have “Full menus” disabled. What does this mean? You only see limited menu choices (i.e., the ones you have used before and recently) when you click on File, Edit, View, Insert, etc.

When Full Menus is off you can’t see menu commands that you don’t use often or have never used before unless you click the two downwards pointing chevrons at the bottom of the menu – this forces Windows to show all the available commands on that menu. You can also double-click the menu to expand it.

When you expand one menu, all of the menus are expanded until you choose a command or perform another action. After you click an item on the expanded menu, the command is item added to the short version of the menu. If you do not use the command often, it is dropped from the short version of the menu.

Duh! This has to be the dumbest feature ever. Why hide menu items from yourself? This forces you into clicking a few extra times every time you want to use one of the hidden menu items. And for those just learning how to use Office, out-of-site means out-of-mind for menu items that they aren’t familiar with. This makes it harder for them to learn and use the true abilities of Office.

To work effectively or efficiently you should see all menu options all the time. To make this happen in any Office application, click on Tools, then Customize, then the Options tab, and check “Always show full menus”.

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