Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Introducing the Command Well

Seldom used commands as part of the UI in Office 2007 ...

"There have always been certain commands in Office which aren't available as part of the default user interface. Sometimes, these commands are seldom-used alternatives to features that are part of the common UI. For instance, there are many commands that can be used select cells or regions in Excel in slightly different ways. It turns out that only a few of them are necessary to do pretty much everything that's possible though.

More frequently, there are features which had their day but have long-since been replaced by better features. In some cases, we keep these old features around in case someone wants to use them, but we don't clutter up the main user interface with them. For instance, there are a few features available to slightly change the 3-D orientation of comments in Excel... but since only about 5 people have clicked these commands in the whole time people have been using Excel 2003, it's a better use of space to bring forward more useful features instead.

Finally, there are a set of features which were built for whatever reason and they've never been exposed as part of the default UI. Some of the best ones from previous versions we've actually gone out of our way to expose on the Ribbon, such as Zoom to Selection in Excel. Others in Excel I'd love to know the history behind, such as Multiplication Sign (which types the "*" character at the cursor) and Solitaire which... well, launches Solitaire.

Where do these phantom features live? A place we call the Command Well."   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

Command Well in Excel 2007 - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Command Well in Excel 2007

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