Re: Outlook Training Error

Quentin Christensen

Quick update on this whole Outlook ribbon issue.  I investigated some more and wrote up some information on our blog this week:

TL;DR: Our recommendation is to switch back to the classic ribbon interface in Outlook.  Press alt to access the ribbon, applications key to open the context menu and choose "Use Classic Ribbon".

I've passed on a fair bit of feedback to Microsoft on this and I'd encourage anyone else who has feelings on it to do likewise.

On Thu, Sep 2, 2021 at 2:56 PM Quentin Christensen via <> wrote:
Brian, you're absolutely right!  It's one of the trickiest things about Office.  If you're using Office 2003, or 2007, or 2010, I can tell you the keystroke for a particular function (well, maybe not off the top of my head, but they don't change).  Office 2016?  There were several updates which changed things around.  And Office 365 is constantly changing.

So I've looked a bit more at this ribbon change, called the "Simplified" ribbon.  Microsoft apparently introduced it early this year, although seemingly to the online office first, then Outlook, and I haven't seen it anywhere else yet, but I expect it will find its way across the suite.  Here's their page:

It indicates it applies to Office 365 and Outlook 2016.

It's basically a nightmare, designed entirely for touch users, and I would strongly encourage everyone to switch to the classic ribbon, for several reasons:

- The classic ribbon is consistent.  The keystrokes often don't make sense, but at least they don't change.  In the simplified ribbon, items can move in or out of the "overflow" area depending on how often you use them (or you can manually pin or unpin things).  That wouldn't be so bad for keyboard users, if the keystroke wasn't completely different depending on whether an item is in the ribbon or the overflow area.

- Using the classic ribbon, you can tab through every option.  Using the simplified ribbon, you can tab through the visible options, but you will need to enter one, and sometimes more than one, overflow ribbon, in order to explore features.

You can revert to the classic ribbon by pressing alt to move to the menu, then applications key to open the context menu, and choose "Use classic ribbon".


On Thu, Sep 2, 2021 at 1:01 AM Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

One bit of input from me:  The use of Outlook 2016 and Outlook 2019 remains very common.  I don't know where the ribbon changes occurred, but you might want to find out where, and leave in the old information with the proviso, "If you're using {insert version(s) of Outlook}," prior to each so that users will have the full skinny.  Eventually, the old version section needs to come out.  But at this juncture I think it's definitely premature to believe that all Office users are using Microsoft 365.  And given how long older versions often get kept "in the community," it makes sense to note those differences for a while, at least.

I have to imagine Outlook 2021 will follow precisely the pattern of 365 at the moment, but there's even the potential for a split to eventually happen there, too.

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

         ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


Quentin Christensen
Training and Support Manager

Quentin Christensen
Training and Support Manager

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