November 22, 2010, 11:14 AM — A while back, we asked you to submit your questions about Microsoft's new Office 2011 suite. We've answered your questions about Excel and Outlook; now here are answers for Word 2011.
I think the Ribbon is ugly. Can I disable it and return to normal toolbars? First of all, it's not an either/or thing: The Ribbon doesn't replace "normal toobars." Those toobars are all still there. Secondly, it's easy to make the Ribbon go away: You can hide it temporarily by clicking on an arrow in the upper right of Word's window. Or, if you want to get rid of it altogether, you can go to the Ribbon pane in Word's preferences and uncheck Turn On The Ribbon. If you really wanted to, you could make Word 2011 look just like Word 2008 by disabling the Ribbon and then selecting View -> Toolbars and enabling the floating toolbars.
All that said, don't assume that you'll want to get rid of the Ribbon before you try it. It's true that some who've used Word 2010 for Windows hated its version of the Ribbon. But the Ribbon has evolved; many (including some Macworld editors) have grown to like it. Don't be too quick to turn back the clock.
One thing I really hate about Word 2008 (and Excel) is that when you open the application, a new document automatically appears. I then have to delete the new document before I can open the existing document I want to edit. Does Word 2011 fix this? By default, Word 2011 opens the Document Gallery when it launches. You can turn it off (in Preferences -> General)--but then the program will open a blank document on launch. And I haven't yet found a way to turn that off.
Can I simplify the toolbar so that it has exactly the same things on it that I had on it in Word 5.1 (in my opinion, the best Mac version of Word ever)? You can customize toolbars by going to View -> Toolbars -> Customize Toolbars And Menus. This command is also available by Control-clicking or right-clicking on the standard toolbar.
Is it possible to make Paste & Match Style the default action for Command-V? No, that isn't an option.
Can I set up Word so that when I insert an image in a document and double-click on it, it will open in the image editor of my choice? Unfortunately, no. Office 2011 does include its own set of image editing features--located on the Format Picture Ribbon tab--that allow you to adjust brightness and contrast, correct colors, and remove backgrounds.