By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Manage your Cookies Settings.
445,857 Members | 1,816 Online
Bytes IT Community
+ Ask a Question
Need help? Post your question and get tips & solutions from a community of 445,857 IT Pros & Developers. It's quick & easy.

Office 2000/XP Menu items

P: n/a
The pop-up (drop-down?) menu items that appear in both built-in and custom
menubars since Office 2000 now sometimes appear "sunken" and by default are
not visible, unless the chevron is clicked at the bottom of the menu.

How does Office determine which menu items are visible, and which items are
sunken/initially not visible?

I've noticed this happens with my custom menus too, but can't figure out the
"rhyme or reason" that Office uses to determine which items it initially
hides.
Anyone know how it is determined?

Thanks,
Ian.
Nov 12 '05 #1
Share this Question
Share on Google+
4 Replies


P: n/a
On Sat, 13 Dec 2003 09:16:58 GMT, "Ian Hinson" <pp******@bigpond.net.au>
wrote:
The pop-up (drop-down?) menu items that appear in both built-in and custom
menubars since Office 2000 now sometimes appear "sunken" and by default are
not visible, unless the chevron is clicked at the bottom of the menu.

How does Office determine which menu items are visible, and which items are
sunken/initially not visible?

I've noticed this happens with my custom menus too, but can't figure out the
"rhyme or reason" that Office uses to determine which items it initially
hides.
Anyone know how it is determined?

Thanks,
Ian.


Items that have been used recently are shown. Items that have not been used
recently are hidden. Fortunately, this is an option you can turn off because
it's a hideous design. Computer users get used to using muscle memory
clicking on frequently used items by location quickly, and without having to
search visually for where it can be found.

When items move around in the list all the time, muscle memory is thwarted,
and it actually takes longer to navigate the menus. Furthermore, an item may
be frequently used as a general rule, but not used for a while, and even
knowing how the item hiding works, there is -always- a moment of confusion
upon pulling down the menu and not seeing the item.

Funny enough, it is a respected Microsoft Press author, Alan Cooper who
explained the muscle memory principle far in advance of Microsoft making this
blunder. FWICT, though, all thoughts of good UI design went out the Window
when Windows XP and Office XP were being designed, and they fell victim to the
"wouldn't it be cool" factor. This, after having just done a pretty decent
job with the Windows 2000 interface.
Nov 12 '05 #2

P: n/a

"Steve Jorgensen" <no****@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
news:vp********************************@4ax.com...
Items that have been used recently are shown. Items that have not been used recently are hidden. Fortunately, this is an option you can turn off because it's a hideous design.


Thanks for that.
While I found you can turn it off at the Customize (toolbars) dialog, this
seems to be an application-based setting, not a database setting. That is,
it affects any dbs that I open in my copy of Access, but won't affect copies
of the db distributed to customers.

There is probably a way this option can be set programmatically so it can be
applied to my customer's applications, but I haven't figured out how to do
it yet.

Before you gasp at me "taking control" of my customers settings you should
know that I sell to a market (child care workers) that often never use a
computer apart from using my particular software.
Many of those carers are of the "Mrs Doubtfire" variety, and are even
unlikely to "notice" the chevron at the bottom of the menus - let alone
figure out what it means.

Ian.
Nov 12 '05 #3

P: n/a
no****@nospam.nospam (Steve Jorgensen) wrote in
<vp********************************@4ax.com>:
On Sat, 13 Dec 2003 09:16:58 GMT, "Ian Hinson"
<pp******@bigpond.net.au> wrote:
The pop-up (drop-down?) menu items that appear in both built-in
and custom menubars since Office 2000 now sometimes appear
"sunken" and by default are not visible, unless the chevron is
clicked at the bottom of the menu.

How does Office determine which menu items are visible, and which
items are sunken/initially not visible?

I've noticed this happens with my custom menus too, but can't
figure out the "rhyme or reason" that Office uses to determine
which items it initially hides.
Anyone know how it is determined?

Thanks,
Ian.

Items that have been used recently are shown. Items that have not
been used recently are hidden. Fortunately, this is an option you
can turn off because it's a hideous design. Computer users get
used to using muscle memory clicking on frequently used items by
location quickly, and without having to search visually for where
it can be found.


It also completely defeats the purpose of a MENU, as the purpose of
it is to show you what all the options are in an organized
presentation. Hiding the ones you don't use means you can't find
the things you are least likely to know about.
When items move around in the list all the time, muscle memory is
thwarted, and it actually takes longer to navigate the menus.
Furthermore, an item may be frequently used as a general rule, but
not used for a while, and even knowing how the item hiding works,
there is -always- a moment of confusion upon pulling down the menu
and not seeing the item.
Menus serve the function of providing information that you'll know
where to look, even if you don't know exactly what you're looking
for. Hiding the ones you've never used is so bone-headed stupid as
to defy my imagination as to how such a feature ever got enabled as
the default (even how it got implemented at all).
Funny enough, it is a respected Microsoft Press author, Alan
Cooper who explained the muscle memory principle far in advance of
Microsoft making this blunder. FWICT, though, all thoughts of
good UI design went out the Window when Windows XP and Office XP
were being designed, and they fell victim to the "wouldn't it be
cool" factor. This, after having just done a pretty decent job
with the Windows 2000 interface.


I don't see anything in Windows XP at any level that is an
improvement over Windows 2K.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 12 '05 #4

P: n/a
Just a footnote for anyone interested.

The programmatic way of changing this feature is:
Application.CommandBars.AdaptiveMenus = True/False

Ian.

"Ian Hinson" <pp******@bigpond.net.au> wrote in message
news:7J******************@news-server.bigpond.net.au...

"Steve Jorgensen" <no****@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
news:vp********************************@4ax.com...
Items that have been used recently are shown. Items that have not been used
recently are hidden. Fortunately, this is an option you can turn off

because
it's a hideous design.


Thanks for that.
While I found you can turn it off at the Customize (toolbars) dialog, this
seems to be an application-based setting, not a database setting. That is,
it affects any dbs that I open in my copy of Access, but won't affect

copies of the db distributed to customers.

There is probably a way this option can be set programmatically so it can be applied to my customer's applications, but I haven't figured out how to do
it yet.

Before you gasp at me "taking control" of my customers settings you should
know that I sell to a market (child care workers) that often never use a
computer apart from using my particular software.
Many of those carers are of the "Mrs Doubtfire" variety, and are even
unlikely to "notice" the chevron at the bottom of the menus - let alone
figure out what it means.

Ian.

Nov 12 '05 #5

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.