Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Excel’s User Interface
Excel 5/95 dialog sheets
In Excel 5 and Excel 95, you created a custom dialog box by inserting a special dialog sheet.
Excel 97 and later versions still support these dialog sheets, but a much better alternative is
available: UserForms. You work with UserForms in the Visual Basic Editor (VBE).
If you open a workbook that contains an Excel 5/95 dialog sheet, you can access the dialog sheet
by clicking its tab.
I don’t discuss Excel 5/95 dialog sheets in this topic.
Excel’s User Interface
A user interface (UI) is the means by which an end user communicates with a computer program.
Generally speaking, a UI includes elements such as menus, toolbars, dialog boxes, keystroke
combinations, and so on.
The release of Office 2007 signaled the end of traditional menus and toolbars. The UI for Excel
consists of the following elements:
h The Ribbon
h The Quick Access toolbar
h Right-click shortcut menus
h Dialog boxes
h Keyboard shortcuts
h Smart Tags
h Task pane
About the Ribbon
In Office 2007, Microsoft introduced an entirely new UI for its product. Menus and toolbars are
gone, replaced with a tab and Ribbon UI. Click a tab along the top (that is, a word such as Home,
Insert, or Page Layout), and the Ribbon displays the commands for that tab. Office 2007 was the
first software in history to use this new interface, and a few other companies have incorporated
this new UI style in their products.
The appearance of the commands on the Ribbon varies, depending on the width of the Excel
window. When the window is too narrow to display everything, the commands adapt and may
seem to be missing. But the commands are still available. Figure 2-2 shows the Home tab of
the Ribbon with all controls fully visible. Figure 2-3 shows the Ribbon when Excel’s window is
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