How to bring back the classic drop-down menu in Office 2007, 2010, and 2013 on Windows [Tip]

Have you ever freaked out when using Microsoft Office 2007/2010/2013? I know I did because Microsoft has killed the classic Office menu and toolbars which we were accustomed to for years, and come up with ribbon style! The result of this change? The learning curve is so steep that people get really frustrated. Well, if the ribbon is still bothering you, UBit has got a solution for you in the form of UBitMenu.

All you have to do is close all open Office windows, and download and install UBitMenu. UBitMenu is nothing but an add-on for Office, and works with Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint 2007/2010/2013. With it, you get the classic Office menu and toolbars just like the picture below:

ubit

The only problem with UBitMenu is you don’t see the keyboard shortcuts associated with the buttons that are added back. But don’t worry, if you know those shortcuts, they will still work. Do take note, however, the shortcuts will be in accordance with the version of Office you are using. For example, Microsoft has decided to change some hotkeys; for instance, Ctrl+Shift+C was the hotkey for Format Painter but in MS Word 2010, it does not work.

Version reviewed: 1.04

Download size: 359 KB

Supported OS: XP/Vista/Win7

Virustotal scan results: 0/46

UBitMenu download page

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15 comments

  1. Mukhi
    Author/

    [@Rob (Down Under)] Cheers Rob (Down Under) for sharing this software package link at (extremely) low price! It is showing me INR 759.20 only, and they will give Sütterlin-Collection, 20 Handwriting Fonts along with Internet Accelerator 3 for free! DVD will be shipped for free, too. If I would not have a licensed version of student edition of MSO 2010, I would definitely go for it.

  2. Rob (Down Under)

    Gizmo rated the FREE Kingsoft suite the highest.
    It did the conversion, but the program is horrible (and did not display an excel file that I had properly).
    The Ashampoo one looks great, displayed the file correctly, and opened very quickly.
    They have written back to me, and given me a link to share with dotTech members -
    https://shop.ashampoo.com/10/purl-onlineshop?scope=checkout&cart=93168&coupon=F7Z-NKT-CPK
    Only $10 if you untick the wee extras on the invoice.
    I recommend it.

  3. Rob (Down Under)

    [@Louis]
    I installed the free Kingsoft Office, and it can open the xlsx and save it as xls
    That went ok, but on a general note, I just did not like the rest of Kingsoft (Looks and layout etc.)
    I purchased the Ashampoo Office 2012, and that was much better. Loaded faster, looked proper (the display of my sample Excel file).
    It also, allowed me to load an xlsx, and save it as xls.
    That was $10 that I do not regret spending.
    This is it (normal cost $60, special for members $10) -
    http://www.ashampoo.com/en/usd/pin/0538/Office_Software/Ashampoo-Office-2012

  4. Louis

    [@Rob (Down Under)] You can download and install a compatibility pack directly from the MS website, to enable your Office 2003 to “open, edit, and save documents, workbooks, and presentations that were created in the newer versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint”. It’s become a necessity for me, as all my students email me the blasted docx and xlsx files all the time :

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=3

    MS mention that you should first update your Office 2003 with the latest MS updates, although I don’t know if that’s really necessary. You could of course download and install the Service Pack 3 for Office 2003 :

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8

  5. Mukhi
    Author/

    [@Mags] I agree with Mags that it is a matter of personal liking or disliking. If almost everybody would dislike ribbons, MS would surely have gone back to the classic menu by now. I know this may not be a good analogy but, in a similar way, Apple has introduced HDMI port in MBPs which most people demanded but Apple took long time to give in to their demand. Absence of Start Menu in Windows 8, anyone?

  6. Mags

    [@Rob (Down Under)] I don’t know if Ashampoo’s Office 2012 can open docx or not, nor if it can save to doc.

    However, if you check their email to you again, you will see that they have a 30 day free trial. Why not download it, give it a try and see if it can.

    BTW, if people are sending you docx files etc., contact them and ask them to resend as doc files. It is easy enough to do. When one clicks on Save As, go down to where it says Save as Type, click on the down arrow and you have a choice of what file type you want to save as. I’m surprised at how many people don’t realize they can do this.

    I also use MS Office for compatibility reasons. I also understand the frustration re MS forcing upon us changes that they decide we should use. So I also am not a MS lover.

    However, having said that I’m not a
    Ribbon hater. Before I purchased Office 2007 I had read about all the hate for the ribbon. But once I gave it a try I now prefer it. Hate me if you want, but frankly I find it easier to use than the old drop down menus.

    I think it is more of an issue of change. Most people don’t like things changed on them. I agree when changes are for the worst. IMO the Ribbon is a good change. One of the few things IMO that MS did right.

  7. Louis

    [@Mukhi] Hi Mukhi, no special procedures necessary — if you have an old Office2003Pro installation cd ready, with the serial nr, and you want to install it on your Win7Home64bit machine, just install it the usual way — Win 7 picks up automatically that it’s a 32bit program, and installs it in a folder on your system drive called c:/Program Files (x86) — as opposed to c:/Program Files where all 64 bit software is automatically installed.

    Since the majority of software is written to be backwards compatible, this is where most of your software will be installed anyway — usually the more serious types of software like AV etc gives you the 64bit option, the rest don’t seem to care and just code in 32 bit, as they’ve been doing for decades.

    So you don’t need to change any settings, like manually adjusting anything to run in ‘XP Mode’ etc, it just installs (Win 7 probably does install it to run in ‘XP mode’, but if it does, it’s done transparently in the background).

    You can also install an Office 2003 Service Pack, and a compatibility pack that allows Office 2003 to read docx & xlsx files etc.

    The MODI was a virtual printer driver, much like we would install something like doPDF etc to virtually print a PDF file, you could print a virtual file with an extention called .mdi.

    You could also have used, instead of your scanner’s software, a MS Office 2003 Tools piece of software called “MS Office 2003 Document Scanning” which scanned and saved the file as a .mdi file. This was in fact a pretty neat piece of software by itself, which allowed you to also crop the image it pre-viewed for you before scanning it.

    The beauty of this thing was that you could load it (the .mdi file) into another MS Office 2003 Tools piece of software called “MS Office 2003 Document Imaging ” and perform OCR on it, with remarkable quality, equalling or exceeding the best OCR software I’ve since managed to collect. And of course this came for free, that is, until the oh so great Office 2007 made its appearance. complete with flying ribbons and what not.

    Office 2007 removed the .mdi (MODI virtual printer) format, and replaced it with the new format they called .XPS, which in their dream world was going to replace PDF files.

    The only hassle, and I’m still working on a workaround, is that apparently the MODI driver can’t (or perhaps ‘won’t') work on a 64bit machine — although I do seamlessly run Office 2003Pro , in the Office 2003 Tools the MODI driver is still constantly replaced by the XPS driver — I’m still figuring out how to prevent that.

    In the meantime, I do create .mdi files on my Asus netbook, which runs Office 2003 under XP, so there’s no problem with it’s MODI printer, or working with those files on my 64bit machine. The “MS Office 2003 Document Imaging ” works perfectly on my 64bit machine, and also have no problem opening the .mdi files I currently create on my netbook, and then performing OCR on it using the Office 2003 software on my 64bit machine.

  8. Rob (Down Under)

    PS to other members.
    I just received an offer from Ashampoo for their Office 2012 for $9.99
    I am tempted, in the hope that it can solve one problem when using MS Office 2003 -
    People sending me docx or xlsx files.
    Do any of you know if Ashampoo Office 2012 can open docx files (it can), and then save them as doc
    Thanks,
    Rob
    PS I have written to them asking that question, but don’t know how long it will be, before getting their answer.
    I have also asked them if I can share the link to the $9.99 offer, with dotTech members.

  9. Rob (Down Under)

    [@Mukhi]
    Office 2003 was most comfortable in Win XP 32 bit, so you can set the compatibility of the program to XP.
    You do that by right clicking the exe, and going to Properties, then go to the Compatibility Tab. XP can be chosen from the drop down list at the top.
    Before you drop (select from) that list, I would first tick the box down the bottom to run for all users. That should bring up an identical Dialog, where you then select your options.
    There are checkboxes in the middle of the dialog that you can ignore for the moment. You will only need them if Office starts conflicting with Win 7′s fancy graphics.
    After you have saved the changes to the Properties, go to the shortcut that you (or Startup) uses to start Office programs, and ensure that your compatibility settings are the same. If not then set them for the shortcut.

  10. Mukhi
    Author/

    [@Louis] Thanks for your excellent comments. I have never used XPS Writer, can you please tell me what MODI exactly does? And yes, people using VBA codes have no reasons to switch. I am also wondering how you use Office 2003 Pro in 32 bit mode in Win7HP64 machine. Is there any special procedure of installation or after normal installation you select some options to make Office run in “32 bit mode”?

    Also, thanks goes to Rob [Down Under] for sharing more options.

  11. Rob (Down Under)

    [@Mukhi]
    I also use Win XP and MS Office (2003) for the same reasons as you (compatibility).
    I help out family and friends, so it would be counter productive for me to be using the free alternatives.
    But I do complain about MS’s arrogance wherever I can. In fact I may have been the first to call what they are (continuously) doing arrogance.

  12. Rob (Down Under)

    Here is a comparison of three products -
    http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Office-2003-Menus-and-Toolbars-in-Microsoft-Office-2007-and-2010
    The more comprehensive one Addintools might even be free for personal use (?)
    Rob
    PS I wish you MS lovers (or I’ll LiveWithWhateverTheyDoToMe ) would stand up and tell MS to stop foisting untested (by the masses) changes on us.
    They hire young programmers, and let them dream up new features.
    MS should hire and retain Analysts, that would not accept MS’s arrogant changes.

  13. Louis

    Interesting post Mukhi !

    That eliminates 1 of the 3 reasons I’m still sticking to the superior Office 2003 Pro :

    1) Now eliminated — the repulsive ribbon

    Now if we can just eliminate the other 2 problems :

    2) The dumping by MS, no doubt with a money reason, of the excellent MODI virtual printer driver, and replacing it with the utterly useless XPS Writer

    3) The instantly making useless a large library of
    VBA code collected over a long period of time

    Aargg, not a problem, I just stick to installing Office 2003 Pro running happily in 32 bit mode under my Win 7 Home 64 bit machine — besides MS didn’t add ONE SINGLE new or improved feature to Office 2003 with any Office Suite from 2007 up to the present (the ribbon, plus a confusing new number of methods to essentially do exactly the same functions as before, only less effective, was its only ‘contribution — it has successfully messed up a good few features though.