Take control of Microsoft Office's ribbon with Ribbon Helper

Save clicks on the Ribbon with the Ribbon Helper for Office add-in.

The Ribbon interface that Microsoft introduced with Office 2007--and refined in Office 2010--makes it easier to get at all of Office's features. But there's one small, annoying problem with it: When you want to go from one tab to another, you're forced to click that second tab, rather than merely moving your mouse over it. Office add-in Ribbon Helper for Office ($15) solves the problem.

With the exceedingly simple Ribbon Helper for Office add-in, simply hover your mouse over the Ribbon tab you want to use, and the tab automatically appears. Once the tab appears, it works as it does normally in Office. Hover your mouse over any feature to see a tip about that feature; click the feature to use it.

You can turn Ribbon Helper for Office on and off by clicking the File tab (it's the only Ribbon tab that won't drop down when you hover your mouse over it) and then selecting Ribbon Helper. Uncheck the box beneath Ribbon Tab to turn it off; check it to turn it on.

Ribbon Helper for Office is simple and nifty. Whether it's worth $15 depends on how you use Excel. If you're the kind of person who likes to save yourself of clicking throughout the day, you may want to fork over the money. But if hovering or clicking is all the same to you, it's likely you'll keep your wallet closed.

This story, "Take control of Microsoft Office's ribbon with Ribbon Helper" was originally published by PCWorld.

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