Thursday, April 20, 2006

Finding a New Purpose

Customizing the Office 2007 ribbon ...

"Today we're going to take a break from control types to highlight one of the more powerful features exposed by RibbonX: Command Repurposing.

In our research to understand how people were using extensibility in Office 2003, we found that developers at corporations often modified the built-in UI. Beyond adding a few buttons to the menus and toolbars, developers fundamentally changed the behavior of built-in buttons. If you're not familiar with Office development, you might ask, "Why in the world would someone do that?"

Imagine the international law firm of Faller, Mogilevsky, and Luu. FML doesn't want its employees printing Word documents or PowerPoint presentations unless they conform to the firm's strict standards for document formatting and style. To ensure standards are met, FML's software development team builds, as one of their many add-ins, a solution that overrides a click on the Print button. Clicking on Print now runs FML's code that checks the document for errors. If there are any errors, the user is notified. If not, the code sends the document to the printer.

You can imagine this same scenario applying to the Save button. FML wants to make sure all the metadata attached to a document is properly formatted before the user saves it. So FML takes over the Save button as well. When the user clicks Save, FML's code runs, updates metadata, and permits Office to continue with the built-in Save operation."   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

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