Microsoft Office Interactive Guides

In 2007, Microsoft threw away more than a dozen years of baggage and clutter when it introduced the Ribbon. The bold move signaled a dramatic rethinking in how to present relevant tools at appropriate times. New Office users uncovered powerful functionality fast, much faster than they would have in a previous version of the suite. However Office experts, some with many years of experience, battled the new user interface and were confounded by some of the arbitrary placement of their favorite tools. Fortunately, Microsoft created guides to lead them into the new world.

Microsoft Interactive Guides

A simple Google search returns Microsoft's guides. They promise to help you, "Learn where menu and toolbar commands are in Office ... and related products." For Office 2010, available guides include Word and the standard suite, as well as Project, Access, OneNote, Publisher, and others.

How it Works

  1. Browse to the interactive guide.
  2. Click to open one of the guides.
  3. If necessary, install or update Microsoft Silverlight.
  4. "Use your knowledge of old menus and toolbars to find buttons and commands in the new ... user interface."
  5. In the simulation of the Office 2003 program, click a menu or command.

The window flips around, revealing Office 2010 and the Ribbon. It then highlights the corresponding command and displays simple text instructions.

Download the guides for offline use by clicking Install. Or, download a comprehensive reference manual by clicking Reference.

Does Office 2013 Have Interactive Guides?

No. Guides are available for Office 2007 and Office 2010. The good news is that the Ribbon has not changed much across any of these programs.

The next time someone asks where a command is in Word, Excel, or some other Office program, direct them to the interactive guides.