Work Menu - Word:mac 2008

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born...@officeformac.com

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Jan 18, 2008, 3:29:36 PM1/18/08
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I find the Work Menu to be very helpful. It is certainly obvious and easy enough to add items to the Work Menu in Word 2008.

However, the key combination to remove an item from the Work Menu that was to be used in Word 2004 to remove an item does not seem to function with Word 2008.

Does anyone know how to REMOVE an item from the Work Menu of Word 2008?

Thanks,
Michael Hughes

CyberTaz

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Jan 18, 2008, 5:10:22 PM1/18/08
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I think the keystroke was removed because too many people were hitting it
accidently & wiping out menu content without realizing what was happening...
Or it may have been that the stroke conflicted with an OS X assignment -
can't remember for sure.

You can still assign a keystroke if you wish - but as a thought - I added it
as a command to the bottom of the Work Menu itself leaving no possibility of
inadvertently keying it. I believe you still can do either in 2008.

--
HTH |:>)
Bob Jones
[MVP] Office:Mac

<born...@officeformac.com> wrote in message
news:ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw...

Unknown

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Jan 19, 2008, 5:26:06 AM1/19/08
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Hmm. Not sure about this. I can't find any command at all (let alone a keystroke) to remove something from the Work Menu. Result: I have items that I managed to add to the Work Menu that are now still stuck there. What's more the item actually appears as a command in the command list, which seems rather odd. Would be grateful for a solution to this

Unknown

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Jan 19, 2008, 8:34:01 AM1/19/08
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I've found an answer, though it's a pretty dumb one.

Open Customize Toolbars and Menus
Choose Commands
Go to 'Tools Customize Remove Menu Shortcut'
Drag this to the Work Menu on the floating Menu toolbar
When added, double click it to change the name.
Exit Customize

When you now select that item it will delete the next Menu item you select. If you do all this in a blank document it will save the settings in the normal template (I think.)

Use with care - when trying to sort this I accidentally deleted the Customize Toolbars and Menus item. What a pain that was.

But there must be a better way surely. What kind of software is this??

CyberTaz

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Jan 19, 2008, 10:14:05 AM1/19/08
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Glad you found the solution even if you're not overjoyed:-) Just keep in
mind that we don't write the program, we just use it. If you have any
comments or viable suggestions feel free to use Word's Help> Send Feedback
option to let MS know what they are.

Regards |:>)


Bob Jones
[MVP] Office:Mac

On 1/19/08 8:34 AM, in article ee89...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"

Unknown

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Jan 19, 2008, 11:03:56 AM1/19/08
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I wasn't criticising anyone on this forum. But even on the last version of Word there was no simple way to remove items from the Work menu. It seems a bit crazy to have an 'Add' item but not to have the equivalent 'Remove' item. OK so last time there was a keyboard shortcut (now gone it seems). Is it that difficult simply to have a 'Remove'? If my memory serves me there used to be such an item a couple of versions back. Surely this can't just be oversight can it?

Daiya Mitchell

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Jan 19, 2008, 11:46:34 AM1/19/08
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You just put the Remove item on the menu. What you did is pretty much
exactly what the Word developers should have done by default. There you
call it stupid--here you ask for it? :)

In the last 3-4 versions, there has been a keyboard shortcut---but then
Apple used it for the system (zoom in Tiger 10.4?) and it became all
confusing. I'm guessing that's why they removed it--if they did. You
could of course set up your own shortcut as well.

Use Help | Send Feedback to suggest the Remove item be in the menu by
default. I'm guessing it is just oversight.

By the way--when you change menus, it always gets saved to the Normal
template. No need to do it in a blank document.

Re "what kind of software is this?"--one of Word's strengths is that it
has thousands of built-in commands in Tools | Customize. But if they
were all on the menus, it would be impossible to use. It's designed to
let you tweak it to suit you--as you just did. This particular missing
item is just silly--but the general concept of customizing your own
menus is one of the best things about Word.

Daiya

Unknown

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Jan 19, 2008, 1:18:34 PM1/19/08
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No I haven't done what the Word developers should have done. I've used the general command for removing any menu item from any menu, which is a pretty powerful thing to leave lying around on any menu, as I've already found out to my cost. As you say, it's quite possible to add the old keyboard shortcut (or a different one if you want to avoid the conflict with zoom), and therefore to make the latest version like the previous one. That's what I managed to do.

The 'oversight', if you like, (or anyway my complaint) is the absence from this version and the previous one of an item for the Work Menu which is the equivalent in reverse to the 'Add to Work Menu' i.e. 'Remove from Work Menu'. The current arrangement will take anything off any menu - not very sensible IMHO. (Or , as you say, 'just silly'.)

You will find another post just a few days ago from someone (like me) who has repeatedly forgotten how to take things of the Work Menu and in that post Cyber Taz (like me) has imagined that there actually is such a simple item. But not in Office 2004, nor in Office 2008. Looks like we'll have to wait till 2012. Mind you, as far as I can see this is just a Mac issue since I don't think the Windows version even has a Work Menu...

Clive Huggan

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Jan 19, 2008, 4:20:16 PM1/19/08
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Why don’t you send your comments to Microsoft? (see the Help menu).

CH
==

Unknown

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Jan 19, 2008, 4:52:14 PM1/19/08
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Because I can't believe that nobody has ever raised this with them before since the release of Office 2004. And what action did they take? On the other hand I could be the only person who's bothered, in which case they are hardly likely to take notice now.

In fact a quick Google will show that people have been complaining about this for years. From PC World in 2002:

'If you think the procedure for adding the Work menu is hidden, wait until you get a load of how to remove files from the Work menu: To remove a file from the Work menu, first you must wait until the third Thursday of the month, but only if it's rainy. Then you must position your monitor so that it's facing Italy, and press the Home key seven times while chanting... Sorry. It's not quite that bad. Here's really how you do it: Hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys and press the Hyphen key. Your mouse pointer will turn into a large green minus sign. Now, open the Work menu and carefully click the file you want to remove.'

In fact the whole arrangement is quite bizarre, but someone at MS obviously thinks it a feature worth hanging on to.

John McGhie

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Jan 20, 2008, 4:41:16 AM1/20/08
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I think so far we have five or maybe 20 "users" who have complained about
this using the "Send feedback" control on the Help menu in Word.

They need to get up to about 1,000 before the item gets enough traction to
make it onto the "Must Do" list.

And that's the only feedback that counts :-) Complaints in here may
entertain us, but the Software Architect with the "To Do" list who is
currently designing the next version of Word will never see them... He will
see the "Send feedback" items. All of them :-)

Cheers


On 20/01/08 7:52 AM, in article ee89...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"
<aliquis> wrote:

--
Don't wait for your answer, click here: http://www.word.mvps.org/

Please reply in the group. Please do NOT email me unless I ask you to.

John McGhie, Consultant Technical Writer
McGhie Information Engineering Pty Ltd
http://jgmcghie.fastmail.com.au/
Sydney, Australia. S33°53'34.20 E151°14'54.50
+61 4 1209 1410, mailto:jo...@mcghie.name

Unknown

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Jan 20, 2008, 7:43:59 AM1/20/08
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So what you're saying is that the Software Architect (just 1?) only takes notice of what's submitted via the Help menu? And only then when there's a large enough number saying the same thing? You mean MS does its software design by plebiscite? They never read reviews, look at forums, blogs and the rest? They don't even take any notice of the MVPs? (See: http://word.mvps.org/FAQS/General/WorkMenu.htm) I don't think so. C'mon John - you're an expert - you know it's not like that.

Wouldn't this mean that the reason the Work Menu has disappeared from Word 2007 is because more Windows users than Mac users pressed the feedback button? Of course that's not how it happened. The fact that it's gone is because the Word developers know it's a BAD feature on whatever platform and have actually made a half-decent attempt to address it in Word 2007 through pinning the Recent Items. (But there of course you can unpin them as well.) So why not fix it in Word 2008? Certainly not because they're saying 'Well if you'd only told us you didn't like it...'

CyberTaz

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Jan 20, 2008, 9:52:50 AM1/20/08
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Hello again -

On 1/20/08 7:43 AM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"
<aliquis> wrote:

> So what you're saying is that the Software Architect (just 1?) only takes
> notice of what's submitted via the Help menu? And only then when there's a
> large enough number saying the same thing? You mean MS does its software
> design by plebiscite? They never read reviews, look at forums, blogs and the
> rest? They don't even take any notice of the MVPs? (See:
> http://word.mvps.org/FAQS/General/WorkMenu.htm) I don't think so. C'mon John
> - you're an expert - you know it's not like that.
>
> Wouldn't this mean that the reason the Work Menu has disappeared from Word
> 2007 is because more Windows users than Mac users pressed the feedback button?
> Of course that's not how it happened. The fact that it's gone is because the
> Word developers know it's a BAD feature on whatever platform

Absolutely not. The Work menu is absent in Word 2007 because *MENUS* are
absent in 2007, as are just about all customization capabilities Mac Office
users still have at their disposal... And if you look at the PC Word groups
you'd find quite a few who are quite perturbed about it.

> and have actually
> made a half-decent attempt to address it in Word 2007 through pinning the
> Recent Items. (But there of course you can unpin them as well.) So why not
> fix it in Word 2008? Certainly not because they're saying 'Well if you'd only
> told us you didn't like it...'

Pinning & unpinning is useful, but 2007 still gives you no way to *remove*
individual items from the list... Nor can you rearrange or group them.

In your previous post you lambasted the dangerous aspect of the removal
command, but there are a few points to consider here:

First of all, *any* technique to remove commands from the menu structure is
going to be a "powerful" tool. That's why it & the Work menu are not a part
of the default UI - you have to specifically seek out & activate both.

Any powerful tool can be dangerous in the hands of careless, inattentive or
irresponsible individuals - and yes, even accomplished professionals make
mistakes. I'm not sure that justifies taking scalpels away from surgeons,
taking saws away from carpenters or yanking torches out of the hands of
welders. The appropriate cautions are there and, IMHO, anyone who chooses to
use the features must also assume the responsibility of using it wisely.

Objectively, the accidental removal of a menu command is little more than a
trivial inconvenience which can readily be corrected. Compared to other
"features" of the program which can literally destroy documents - even if
used "as directed" - the entire argument about this feature pales to the
point of transparency.

BTW - just for the record - contrary to you allegation in an earlier
message, I haven't imagined *anything*:-) The removal tool *is* a "simple
item" & it works like a charm. I believe you're missing a key part of it's
being available because you are viewing exclusively in the context of
removing items from the Work Menu. What you are failing to take into
consideration is that the removal command is a feature to be used more
globally by those who customize a wide range of menus, literally redesigning
the UI... Taking items from the Work menu is but one minor aspect of its
purpose & usefulness.

Unknown

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Jan 20, 2008, 11:53:36 AM1/20/08
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Hi Bob,
You raise some interesting points. I take your point about the menus being absent in 2007, but my own point is that the very concept of the Work Menu has been abandoned, whereas it could easily have been retained, even as an item on the Quick Access toolbar for example. Although in fact menus have not really gone, since the Office Button opens up what is essentially a menu list. And yes, you are right that there is no way to remove Recent items (very odd) or re-order them (not so odd for a Recent Items menu.)

I also agree absolutely with what you say about the 'dangerous' tools. Of course they have a reason for being there and I can see why the one one we're talking about can have a function on a menu, for the reason that you say. But you guys are the Word surgeons - I'm not. In fact when I was struggling with getting the thing working for removing things from the Work Menu I made the mistake of activating it and then selecting the Customize Menu item. Try getting that one back when you're fumbling around. It was not quick, I can tell you. (I think that little problem is almost worth a thread of its own.)

Most of us using Word just want the most popular commands and functions to be readily available and to be able to make adjustments to suit our own way of working when they're not. What we don't really want is what is almost a developer tool (and therefore rarely used by the non-surgeons) to be necessary as an everyday device for doing something quite simple. I repeat: given that there is an 'Add to Work Menu' command, isn't it reasonable to expect that there should be a 'Remove from Work Menu' command as opposed to a 'Remove Anything from Any Menu Command'? I don't actually hear anybody disagreeing with me on this. Or do I?

My point was not against the Remove Menu Item command as such but against using it as a substitute for a command which intuitively everybody really knows ought to be there. OK so you deny imagining anything (it wasn't an accusation) but what you actually wrote was:

'Add the Remove Work Menu Item command - I think that's the right wording - to a toolbar or menu (I've added it to the Work menu itself).'

Well it was not the right wording, but your wrong wording actually captured the right idea - but it just doesn't exist in reality. And that is really my beef.

So while the command remains absent there will regularly be people who forget how to remove a menu item and you heavy-duty Word guys will be regularly and repeatedly writing articles and giving handy hints to help us out. Somehow I think MS could quite easily have helped us all out. Mind you I think it's now very unlikely that I will ever forget how to remove a menu item ever again. In fact my brain now holds more information about removing menu items than I would ever really consider sensible for an ordinary person.

Just one final thing. Suppose all those people using Word 2007 who don't like the loss of the Work Menu all press their feedback buttons, and in response to popular demand MS bring it back in Word 2011. Do you think they'd be likely to leave out the 'Remove from Work Menu' item again? I doubt it.

MC

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Jan 20, 2008, 12:08:02 PM1/20/08
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In article <ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw>, aliquis <> wrote:

> You raise some interesting points. I take your point about the menus being
> absent in 2007, but my own point is that the very concept of the Work Menu
> has been abandoned, whereas it could easily have been retained, even as an
> item on the Quick Access toolbar for example.


I hateto sound ike a complete novice, but could someone briefly explain
what the Work Menu is (was?) supposed to do?

--

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter
and open a vein." -- Red Smith

Unknown

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Jan 20, 2008, 12:29:41 PM1/20/08
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Sure - in Word 2008 it's the 3rd menu in from the right (next to the help menu). You'll see it at the very top of the screen on the menu bar. It's supposed to be where you lodge links to documents that you might want to return to. If you just rely on the Recent Items list, items will disappear if not recently used. Those on the Menu bar won't. Ever. They are stuck there for good. Permanently. Even when the document is deleted. Hence the question at the start of this thread.

John McGhie

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Jan 20, 2008, 11:44:55 PM1/20/08
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Yep, I am an expert. Yes, I do know how it works. It does indeed work the
way I said :-)

Yes, there is only one Software Architect for Word (and one for Office
overall). Yes, I know them personally. I meet them roughly once a year.

No, they are far too busy to be reading forums, blogs, reviews, and the rest
:-) They sometimes WRITE entries in their blogs, but trust me, they do not
spend a large fraction of their lives READING any :-)

No, Microsoft software is not designed by plebiscite. Not exactly. It is
designed by a very extensive statistical analysis of the feedback arriving
from normal users. If you do not put your feedback in via the mechanisms
provided, it's not in the database to be analysed :-)

Within this context, MVPs are NOT considered "normal users". So YES,
Microsoft's ability to ignore MVPs is practically limitless :-) While some
Microsoft staffers may indeed have time to read blogs and forums and such,
what they read there will have little or no effect on the process.

Software Architects do not get to design things the way they want them.
They must the product Marketing specifies that it wants to sell. And
Marketing obtains its ideas almost exclusively from the feedback mechanisms.

And yes, the Work menu did indeed disappear because no PC users wanted it
either.

The MOST important feedback mechanism is the CEIP program (Customer
Experience Improvement Program). Look it up in the Help under " Provide
feedback".

That enables Microsoft to retrieve anonymized data that shows exactly which
commands we are using, and which we are not. That is producing gigabytes of
feedback a month, straight into the database where the statistical weenies
in Marketing are having a field day with it.

Sadly, it has removed our ability to fib about how important things are :-)
If you wish to claim that the Work menu is "critically important and in
daily use for 20 per cent of users" they can see at a glance that it just
ain't so :-)

So it's a very democratic process. You get a vote. So do I, but my input is
automatically reduced by a weighting factor because I am outside the target
market for Microsoft Office. Anything arriving via the Send Feedback menu
is automatically up-weighted by a very large factor, because whatever it
was, a real user was sufficiently engaged to go to the trouble of sending
feedback. So Send Feedback easily drowns out a 1,000 CEIP records :-)

You can choose to turn CEIP off. If you do, you have declined to vote. You
can choose not to Send Feedback. If you do, you have declined to vote. The
product will be designed according to the votes received. Whether yours is
amongst them or not :-) A president will be elected, whether you vote or
not. Out here in the rest of the world, we are really really hoping that
you WILL vote this time :-)

Cheers


On 20/01/08 11:43 PM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw,
"aliquis" <aliquis> wrote:

--

Unknown

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Jan 21, 2008, 8:41:34 AM1/21/08
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Hi John,

Thanks for your very interesting and informative post and I must obviously defer to your better knowledge. But does this mean that nobody at MS with any influence on the software design ever reads or takes notice of software reviews, forums etc? You seem to be saying that the ONLY form of feedback that is taken into account is users’ direct responses. This strikes me as very strange. But if you say so, I’m sure that must be right.

But I'm also aware that this has gone a bit off-topic, so let me relate it back to the Work Menu item. If what you’re saying is correct, then not enough people complained about this after 2004, so they kept it in 2008. (This was not the case with PC users who did complain about it in sufficient numbers, in fact enough to get the whole Menu removed.) This must also mean that the very principles of good software design are decided solely by users’ feedback channeled through Marketing. OK, but wow!

But Word is a very complex piece of software and most of its features are not used by most people. So if there’s a really duff feature that’s tucked away deep in the entrails but relied on by just a few people, it’s hardly going to turn up much in the responses is it? Even if the weighting takes this into account. The Work Menu could just be one of these. It’s not exactly buried away, but maybe it’s not used by a sufficient number of people to generate the responses that will cause someone at MS to say, ‘oops, we have an issue here.’ It’s hardly anything other than a minor feature and hence a minor irritant. So my one vote isn’t ever going to get my president elected. Not after all this time anyway.
On the other hand just look at the public comment that there is on the Work Menu. There are very few people who comment with any authority on this who don’t think that it’s a bit rough when it comes to removing items. But nobody at MS knows that, and if they did know they wouldn’t care? When it came to the detail of the 2008 design, it must have gone like this: ‘OK guys, what do we think about the Work Menu. Did we do alright? Do we need to change it? Never mind the reviews and the know-it-all MVPs. Does it turn up in the users’ feedback? Not much. Right then it must be OK. We did good so it stays. OK, so what about the Help Menu?...’

On the other hand it is possible to construct an argument in support of the current position. Since nobody is going to argue with me on the substance of the issue I may as well do it myself:

‘Listen up aliquis. You really haven’t got a clue about menus. The whole point about menus is that they are the setting within which you do your day-to-day work. Documents come and go; the menus stay fixed. The whole point about the menu is that you don’t change it. But hey, MS are not software fascists like those guys at Apple who don’t let you change a thing. If you want to alter your menu then sure they’ll let you do it, but you’re not going to want to be doing this every day. You’ve got to know what you’re doing. So if you’re dumb enough to put a letter to your Aunty Betty on your Work Menu then don’t cry if you can’t get it off. Menus are menus – they’re not scratchpads.’

Now this is an argument I can kind of respect. I don’t agree with it in terms of the end-user experience (which is, after all, the reason for this thread), but at least it’s an argument (and there could be other, better ones) from certain design principles, not the lowest common denominator of mass feedback. I’m not decrying the use of user feedback as such, just the idea that it can or should be the sole source of software improvement.

So it really seems to me that in all this there are 3 separate issues:

1 Is the Work Menu operation a poor piece of software design and does it need changing? (I think so, but I could be persuaded otherwise.)

2 Is the answer to this question entirely one to be decided by popular acclaim? (Is Madonna better music than Mozart? - I guess Mozart might lose on the popular vote.)

3 How does MS decide what’s going to feature in its next release? Principles of good design or vox pops? Or maybe they’re the same thing to MS. I don’t know.

Hey John, perhaps you could mention the Work Menu to the Architect next time you meet him. I know he’ll probably tell you to use your feedback button, but it might be worth a shot.

BTW – I did send my feedback after all as you suggested. I may be obstinate but I’m not totally stubborn.

Unknown

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Jan 21, 2008, 2:01:22 PM1/21/08
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I can assure you that many Microsoft employees do read these forums. It's one of the ways that we try to listen to customers.

John is, of course, (more or less) correct that some of the folks leading the development of the product are quite busy, and they usually don't have a lot of time to read the forums. That doesn't mean that feedback in the forums doesn't get to them - it usually does, one way or another (although it's subject to filtration and interpretation by those of us who *do* lurk here).

John's also correct that sending in feedback is a good way to ensure your "vote" is counted. One of the challenges in a large organization that's trying to do many things at once is how to keep track of and prioritize all the user feedback, especially when there's lots of that, in a variety of different formats. Things that are sent directly to us on a specific subject are somewhat easier to manage and act on than newsgroup postings (which, as I'm sure you've noticed, can be unfocused, rambling, and often drift from their original subject). This is something we're working on.

Anyway, rest assured, there are Microsoft MacBU folks who read these posts (but by all means, PLEASE "vote" as John suggested above).

Cheers.

John McGhie

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Jan 21, 2008, 5:12:00 PM1/21/08
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Now we get to try to figure out "who" that was :-) I think I recognise the
style: My guess is ... Nope, I won't give it away.

The challenge for today, ladies and gentlemen, is to figure out WHICH
Microsoft Mac BU staff member that was :-)

{Giggle}

Yeah, they're in here reading right at the moment. But if you think they're
going to "remember" our vapid ramblings when they sit down to prioritise
their feature list for the next version, then don't forget to leave a
stocking beside the fireplace for Santa Claus next Christmas :-)

Cheers

On 22/01/08 6:01 AM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw,
"MacBUer" <MacBUer> wrote:

--

Unknown

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Jan 21, 2008, 6:35:41 PM1/21/08
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Well thanks for your intervention Mr (or Ms) Microsoft employee person.

Don't forget to look out for my vote - it's the one headed Work Menu in big red caps. You can't miss it.

John McGhie

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Jan 22, 2008, 8:29:20 AM1/22/08
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Hi Again:

On 22/01/08 12:41 AM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw,
"aliquis" <aliquis> wrote:

> But does this mean that nobody at MS with any
> influence on the software design ever reads or takes notice of software
> reviews, forums etc?

Yes.

To be technically correct, while they may "read" them (some of them, some of
the time...) they are not ALLOWED to 'take any notice of them' in terms of
influencing the design of the application.

> This must also mean that the very

> principles of good software design are decided solely by usersą feedback


> channeled through Marketing. OK, but wow!

The principles of good software design are applied AFTER Marketing says what
is to go in the product. Marketing reads the database (and conducts
useability studies with selected user groups). So "Yes" one way or another
it all comes directly from users, in a quantified manner, or it doesn't get
into the software.

> So if thereąs a really duff feature thatąs tucked away
> deep in the entrails but relied on by just a few people, itąs hardly going to


> turn up much in the responses is it?

No :-)

> So my one vote isnąt ever going to get my president elected. Not after all
> this time anyway.

Right. But you would really kick yourself if this feature was subject to a
hanging chad, and your one vote might just have pushed it over the line, but
you decided it was hopeless so you didn't vote. Now wouldn't you!

> When it came to
> the detail of the 2008 design, it must have gone like this: ŚOK guys, what do


> we think about the Work Menu. Did we do alright? Do we need to change it?
> Never mind the reviews and the know-it-all MVPs. Does it turn up in the

> usersą feedback? Not much. Right then it must be OK. We did good so it
> stays. OK, so what about the Help Menu?...ą

More like "Guys, we have 1,600 commands in the user interface of this damn
product. NO user can remember them all. 80 per cent of the users can't
even FIND the ones they WANT, let alone the 90 per cent they never use.

We are SICK TO DEATH of getting Feature Requests for functions that are
ALREADY IN THE DAMN PRODUCT!!

So WE ARE GOING TO CUT SOME COMMANDS.

Now, where's that database from Marketing of the commands the users are
actually using... Let's sort it by Frequency of Use. Right... Everything
below this line {Scrape!!} is OUT. No arguments, guys and girls, it's OUT!!

That is very close to the way it "really" happened :-)

I could name three or four I know of that were NOT removed by this process,
simply because removing them proved to be too much work, or when they tried,
something else crashed. They got a reprieve. For now...

> ŚListen up aliquis. You really havenąt got a clue about menus. The whole


> point about menus is that they are the setting within which you do your
> day-to-day work.

Oh, I'll argue with you :-) Always try to please :-)

The whole point about "Menus" is that they are "Yesterday's technology".
Nasty, inflexible, modal things that interrupt the user's flow of pearls of
wisdom. We would rather not have ANY menus. But the Apple guidelines
require use to have at least three. And there are some parts of our user
interface we haven't fixed yet that require a few more, otherwise we can't
drive the software. But they are on notice! They better make retirement
plans, because NEXT version...

> So if youąre dumb enough to put a letter to your Aunty Betty on your
> Work Menu then donąt cry if you canąt get it off. Menus are menus ­ theyąre
> not scratchpads.ą

Nah! That was a screw-up. Given the choice between a conspiracy and a
SNAFU, take the SNAFU every time :-)

> 1 Is the Work Menu operation a poor piece of software design and does it need
> changing? (I think so, but I could be persuaded otherwise.)

It was a great piece of software design: it has lasted all these years. But
most folks would suggest that there are better ways of achieving the result
in modern Applications/Operating Systems.


>
> 2 Is the answer to this question entirely one to be decided by popular
> acclaim? (Is Madonna better music than Mozart? - I guess Mozart might lose
> on the popular vote.)

Good heavens no! Bribery, corruption, inducements, intoxicants, thuggery
and stand-over tactics are equally effective methods of influencing software
design.
>
> 3 How does MS decide whatąs going to feature in its next release? Principles
> of good design or vox pops? Or maybe theyąre the same thing to MS. I donąt
> know.

This isn't a "design" issue. It's a "Feature Specification" issue. Current
software development methodologies dictate that the software will be
designed to implement the specified features. In software companies that
want to be around to produce Version Next, "Marketing" decides the feature
list, and the budget.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to use the words "good"
and "Marketing" in the same sentence without causing laughter-based injury
to the entire group.

> Hey John, perhaps you could mention the Work Menu to the Architect next time

> you meet him. I know heąll probably tell you to use your feedback button, but


> it might be worth a shot.

No way. I am compiling a lengthy list of other items I wish to "have a
little chat" about. With Marketing :-) Saying that kind of stuff to the
Software Architect would simply result in "You get Marketing's sign-off to
spend the money on that yet?"

Asking the same thing of Marketing will result in "Based on your survey of
what percentage of the potential customers for our next release?" I will
lie, bribe, cajole, offer personal services... Whatever it takes... I'm a
results-oriented kinda guy...

> BTW ­ I did send my feedback after all as you suggested. I may be obstinate

> but Iąm not totally stubborn.

Now, all you have to do is persuade all like-minded individuals to do
likewise. If I get to Redmond in April, I will look to see if you made it
onto the "Top Ten List" :-) You have three months :-)

Ever thought of politics as a career?

Cheers

Phillip Jones

unread,
Jan 22, 2008, 10:00:26 AM1/22/08
to

John McGhie wrote:
> Now we get to try to figure out "who" that was :-) I think I recognise the
> style: My guess is ... Nope, I won't give it away.
>
> The challenge for today, ladies and gentlemen, is to figure out WHICH
> Microsoft Mac BU staff member that was :-)
>
> {Giggle}
>
> Yeah, they're in here reading right at the moment. But if you think they're

> going to "remember" our vapid ramblings when they sit down to prioritize


> their feature list for the next version, then don't forget to leave a
> stocking beside the fireplace for Santa Claus next Christmas :-)
>
> Cheers
>

Aw Come on now John You just spoiled it for me. I thought there was a
Santa Claus. ;-)

-------------------------snip-------------------------

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phillip M. Jones, CET |LIFE MEMBER: VPEA ETA-I, NESDA, ISCET, Sterling
616 Liberty Street |Who's Who. PHONE:276-632-5045, FAX:276-632-0868
Martinsville Va 24112 |pjo...@kimbanet.com, ICQ11269732, AIM pjonescet
------------------------------------------------------------------------

If it's "fixed", don't "break it"!

mailto:pjo...@kimbanet.com

<http://www.kimbanet.com/~pjones/default.htm>
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<http://www.vpea.org>

Unknown

unread,
Jan 22, 2008, 1:12:32 PM1/22/08
to
Please understand that as a lay person I was using ‘design’ in too loose a sense and I understand your distinction between ‘design’ and ‘features’. Let me put it this way then – allowing for the proposition that Marketing dictates that there should be a set of features for adding project ‘bookmarks’ as semi-permanent but user-modifiable items somewhere in the software, then there could be several different ways of doing it. If you’ve got menu-driven software, then a Work Menu seems as good as way as any of delivering this feature. But then there are still ‘design’ decisions to be made. And by ‘design’ I don’t just mean whether it looks pretty. What I mean is: how do you design (i.e. engineer) the Work Menu to deliver the features that are supposed to be on offer? Again, within a Menu environment this will basically mean having a menu item to add something to a menu and a menu item to remove something from a menu. But the way that has been delivered seems to me to be flawed.

The design (in my sense) is flawed in several respects. First the user default menu presents an ‘Add’ item, but no ‘Remove’ item, so you have a basic visual and practical asymmetry. Secondly, when the user adds the menu item to remove things from the Work Menu the asymmetry remains because the Add item adds document links to the Work Menu, while the Remove item removes anything from any menu. Thirdly, the default set up in 2004 (I think I’m right about this) was a menu item for adding, but a keystroke for removal (another asymmetry), but still underpinned already by the underlying asymmetry of function. Overall the thing is a mess and I was very surprised that this hadn’t been sorted in 2008. In fact it was compounded because the default keystroke was taken out. Even at the level of a quick fix it should not be too much of a struggle to add a command that removes document links (and only document links) from the Work Menu.

My point all along has been that it shouldn’t take endless direct user feedback to trigger a realisation that this feature is a real dog’s breakfast in the way it’s delivered. The SNAFU is multi-layered and built in. The question is: why? Well surely the difficulty comes from the fact that the feature is wrongly conceived at the outset. What goes on menus are basically commands. What goes on the Work Menu are not (as far as the user is concerned) commands but documents. That’s why you have to add a dedicated Add command for this. You can’t use the generic ‘Add to Menu’ mechanism because the currency for this mechanism is solely generic commands. You have to have an Add command that specify a document to make into a menu item, but once you’ve got a menu item the generic command for removing menu items will do. (In fact even here there is an asymmetry because you can’t use one of the generic mechanisms, which is dragging it off the menu toolbar.)

Now let’s come back to your user-driven development model. Having been persuaded to press the feedback button I’ve been working overtime on this sending back a couple of hundred votes each night. By the end of the week I should have got the Work Menu issue above the notice-me threshold. So when it comes to Word 2012, the Acting Associate Deputy Chief Assistant Word Programmer (Work Menu) should be given his (or her) brief as follows: ‘Right, Marketing says we’ve had over 1400 feedbacks saying that they want a Remove from Work Menu item putting up. Funny nobody’s ever wanted this before, but all these feedbacks are in red block caps so I guess they think it’s important. So that’s your job for the week.’

But what should really happen is this: ‘OK Marketing says we’ve had 1400 feedbacks wanting the Work Menu adjusted. But I’ve got this one feedback from this guy who says that the whole Work Menu idea is fundamentally flawed and should be scrapped. He says we could either pin the Recent items like in Word 2007 or not have anything like it at all, because when you’re using a Mac there are half a dozen other places you can lodge a document icon. They don’t have it in Pages; why should we need it in Word? So I say: screw the 1400. We’re not going to give them what they want. We’re going with the one guy.’

What I’m saying is that user feedback is only ever going to be a rough indicator of the direction software should develop. This is for the simple reason that most users might identify what they think is problem, but the solution to that problem may not at all be what they think it is. You can get thousands of people all demanding a new menu item and half the time (as you say) it will already be there and the rest of the time it won’t be practical to add it. Particularly if a major decision as already been taken to do away with menu–driven software - and you can bet your life that that decision didn’t come from direct user feedback. My bet is that there is very little direct feedback that raises issues that the developers don’t know about or haven’t thought about. I'd be surprised if there's less than 99% dross.

Now I’m pretty sure that that’s not just the way that user-feedback should be limited, I’m also pretty sure that in any half-decent software company that’s the way that it IS limited. Software developers (in the aggregate) do read reviews, they do listen to MVPs, they do develop their own ideas and try to lead the market, not just follow the feedback. And sometimes this means taking decisions that will initially upset a lot of their regular client base, but in the interests of broadening that client base even further. And sometimes they get it right and sometimes they don’t. (And sometimes they might be constrained and hampered by their short-sighted Marketing Department.)

I realise of course that the one thing that threatens my whole position here is the crappy Work Menu design. I’m sure everybody in the Word Department knows it’s screwy, just as everybody whose ever written anything to help people use it knows its screwy. Probably people who use Word just live with it and the half dozen menu items they can’t get rid of, like they live with a crack in the wall. It’s hardly going to be a deal-breaker for buying the next version. But the question remains, which puzzles me no end. How did this crappy Menu survive from 2004 to 2008?

But I’d better stop there. I’ve got another 100 feedbacks to do before tonight.

Beth Rosengard

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Jan 22, 2008, 3:02:56 PM1/22/08
to
I like you, Aliquis ;-)!  I hope you stick around this neck of the woods.

P.S.  I suspect MSFT has a means for weeding out multiple feedback requests from the same source :-).  You should probably find a better way to spend your time!

--
***Please always reply to the newsgroup!***

Beth Rosengard
Mac MVP

Mac Word FAQ:  <http://word.mvps.org/Mac/WordMacHome.html>
My Site:  <http://www.bethrosengard.com>

Unknown

unread,
Jan 22, 2008, 5:44:39 PM1/22/08
to
Thanks for you nice comment Beth. I suppose it's about time I branched out to explore another menu.

As for the multiple feedbacks, don't worry - I thought of that. I'm using different wordings so they'll never spot it. Though I did discover by the time I'd done 120 that the number of different ways you can say 'Give us a command to remove items from the Work Menu' is quite possibly finite.

But just 20 more today and that's me done till tomorrow.

Beth Rosengard

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Jan 22, 2008, 6:18:26 PM1/22/08
to
But are you using different email addresses for each post :-) ??

Beth

Beth Rosengard

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Jan 22, 2008, 6:19:31 PM1/22/08
to
Oops!  Never mind that last comment.  I forgot that the Send Feedback feature was anonymous :-).


Beth


On 1/22/08 2:44 PM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis" <aliquis> wrote:

John McGhie

unread,
Jan 22, 2008, 9:35:37 PM1/22/08
to
Doesn't he work for the IRS?


On 23/01/08 2:00 AM, in article ucx6GeQX...@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl,
"Phillip Jones" <pjo...@kimbanet.com> wrote:

>
>
> John McGhie wrote:
>> Now we get to try to figure out "who" that was :-) I think I recognise the
>> style: My guess is ... Nope, I won't give it away.
>>
>> The challenge for today, ladies and gentlemen, is to figure out WHICH
>> Microsoft Mac BU staff member that was :-)
>>
>> {Giggle}
>>
>> Yeah, they're in here reading right at the moment. But if you think they're
>> going to "remember" our vapid ramblings when they sit down to prioritize
>> their feature list for the next version, then don't forget to leave a
>> stocking beside the fireplace for Santa Claus next Christmas :-)
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>
> Aw Come on now John You just spoiled it for me. I thought there was a
> Santa Claus. ;-)
>
> -------------------------snip-------------------------

--

Daiya Mitchell

unread,
Jan 24, 2008, 5:58:45 PM1/24/08
to
Late, but me too!

> been delivered seems to me to be flawed..

> We’re going with the one guy..’

Unknown

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Feb 12, 2008, 10:04:39 PM2/12/08
to

melisofao

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Feb 19, 2008, 7:32:01 AM2/19/08
to
Here is an applescript that works for me with Word 2008. It removes selected
Work Menu entries. Hope it helps. I keep it in the applescript menu of word.
tc

-- this script deletes items from Word Work Menu items
set work_list to {}
tell application "Microsoft Word"

set works to (count of work menu items)
if works = 0 then return
repeat with i from 1 to works
set work_list to work_list & name of work menu item i
end repeat

choose from list work_list with title "Work Docs" with prompt "Select
Document(s) to Delete from Work Menu:" OK button name "Delete" with multiple
selections allowed
set delete_doc to result
if delete_doc is false then return
repeat with i from 1 to (count items in delete_doc)
delete work menu item (item i of delete_doc)
end repeat
end tell

"born...@officeformac.com" wrote:

> I find the Work Menu to be very helpful. It is certainly obvious and easy enough to add items to the Work Menu in Word 2008. <br><br>However, the key combination to remove an item from the Work Menu that was to be used in Word 2004 to remove an item does not seem to function with Word 2008. <br><br>Does anyone know how to REMOVE an item from the Work Menu of Word 2008? <br><br>Thanks, <br>
> Michael Hughes
>

melisofao

unread,
Feb 19, 2008, 7:37:01 AM2/19/08
to
An applescript that easily removes selected items from work menu. I put it
into the applescript menu of Word 2008.

-- this script deletes items from Word Work Menu items
set work_list to {}
tell application "Microsoft Word"

set works to (count of work menu items)
if works = 0 then return
repeat with i from 1 to works
set work_list to work_list & name of work menu item i
end repeat

choose from list work_list with title "Work Docs" with prompt "Select
Document(s) to Delete from Work Menu:" OK button name "Delete" with multiple
selections allowed
set delete_doc to result
if delete_doc is false then return
repeat with i from 1 to (count items in delete_doc)
delete work menu item (item i of delete_doc)
end repeat
end tell

tc

Daiya Mitchell

unread,
Feb 19, 2008, 9:04:18 AM2/19/08
to
Thanks very much for sharing this resource, melisofao! I've linked the
thread from the MVP Word site.
http://word.mvps.org/Mac/DeleteFromWorkMenu.html

Have you also posted it at scriptbuilders.net?

If anyone is not sure how to make this script work, the instructions
here on installing an AppleScript should help.
http://word.mvps.org/Mac/InstallApplescript.html

I had to fix a line break at "selections allowed", as copy and paste
from the web is not 100% accurate.

Unknown

unread,
Feb 25, 2008, 12:34:31 PM2/25/08
to
Melisfao, I repackaged your script for ease of use and published it here, with full attribution:
<http://word.mvps.org/Mac/deleteFromWorkMenu.html>

Please post if you have a problem with that. I'd be happy to link to your site instead.

Unknown

unread,
Mar 5, 2008, 7:15:59 PM3/5/08
to
"What I’m saying is that user feedback is only ever going to be a rough indicator of the direction software should develop. This is for the simple reason that most users might identify what they think is problem, but the solution to that problem may not at all be what they think it is."

I know I shouldn't really comment on my own previous post, but I just saw this in Steve Jobs's Fortune interview:

"We figure out what we want. And I think we're pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That's what we get paid to do. So you can't go out and ask people, you know, what the next big [thing.] There's a great quote by Henry Ford, right? He said, 'If I'd have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me "A faster horse."'"

Thank you Mr Jobs - very well put. I think I'll stop sending all the feedbacks now. If MS really feel they've got to ask about software design then they ain't ever gonna know.

John McGhie

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Mar 6, 2008, 12:43:04 AM3/6/08
to
Hi Aliquis :-)

On 6/3/08 11:15 AM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"
<aliquis> wrote:

> There's a great quote by Henry Ford,
> right? He said, 'If I'd have asked my customers what they wanted, they would
> have told me "A faster horse."'"
>
> Thank you Mr Jobs - very well put. I think I'll stop sending all the feedbacks
> now. If MS really feel they've got to ask about software design then they
> ain't ever gonna know.

No, they are not asking about software design, they're asking you what YOU
want to do.

Microsoft taught Jobs the software game, and they're very good at it :-)

Tel them what YOU want to do, not what THEY should do. That way, you will
get what you want. Otherwise, you will just get a pile of horse....

Cheers

Unknown

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Mar 6, 2008, 2:46:26 AM3/6/08
to
But if I say to MS: 'I want a Work menu that's got a proper Remove item', that's like saying 'I want a horse that isn't lame.'

A) they ought to know it's lame without being told and B) asking for a horse that isn't lame isn't ever going to produce a car.

John McGhie

unread,
Mar 7, 2008, 4:03:50 AM3/7/08
to
Well, I am sorry, but that's telling Microsoft what to do.

Tell them what YOU want to do, and you might get it :-)

If you make enough of a fuss about the Work menu, they will probably just
delete it, so that you can't complain about it any more :-)

My Work menu has a Remove item: I put it there. Just the way we told you
that you could do it.

So Microsoft has to decide whether to spend scarce resources on a problem
most people don't even know about; and of those who do, most don't care; and
of those who do, most can fix it themselves. If you decided to spend money
on that while working for most corporations, I think you would have a pretty
short career.

But if you tell them why you want it, and what you want to do with it, they
may give you something better.

See the difference?

Of course, you don't have to believe me. I might be wrong. I am not
Microsoft, and I don't work there :-)

Cheers


On 6/3/08 6:46 PM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"
<aliquis> wrote:

--

Unknown

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Mar 7, 2008, 10:54:41 AM3/7/08
to
Habe gestern neue Software mac 2008 installiert bekommen und diverse Probleme. Mein größtest: Komme nicht aus der Kompatibilitätsprüfung.
Wie schaffe ich das? Bin seit Jahren Mac Liebhaber, aber Autorin und verstehe leider zu wenig von der Technik.
Wer kann mir helfen?
Paola Reinhardt

Unknown

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Mar 7, 2008, 11:20:45 AM3/7/08
to
Hi John,

Well actually no, I’m not sure I do see the difference. I can’t quite imagine what I could possibly say when I press the feedback button about this issue that would be saying what I want, but without telling MS what to do. But maybe you have a form of words in mind. In any case most people will not operate with such a fine distinction and will use the feedback button for anything and everything.

‘It is designed by a very extensive statistical analysis of the feedback arriving from normal users. If you do not put your feedback in via the mechanisms provided, it's not in the database to be analysed….Software Architects do not get to design things the way they want them. They must the product Marketing specifies that it wants to sell. And Marketing obtains its ideas almost exclusively from the feedback mechanisms.’

You see, this is the point that I just don’t get. I can understand that Marketing considerations might drive software development, rather than a Software Architect’s dream wishlist. And Jobs is not saying ‘we don’t care about the market’ - that would be stupid. But if Marketing at Microsoft does indeed obtain its ideas almost exclusively from the feedback mechanisms, as you say, then it seems to me that it’s doing something VERY different from Marketing at Apple. Now maybe that is one of the differences between MS and Apple: Apple is prepared to think beyond its user feedback, while MS is always going to be limited by it in the way you suggest. But I don’t actually believe that’s the way it works in practice at Microsoft any more than it does at Apple (according to Jobs anyway).

Unknown

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Mar 7, 2008, 11:34:37 AM3/7/08
to


Not quite Work Menu, but try this:
Word Menu: Preferences
Output and Sharing: Compatibility
Check box for Check Documents for Compatibility

Sorry, don’t know the German commands.

John McGhie

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Mar 7, 2008, 10:56:07 PM3/7/08
to
Hi Aliquis:

Well, I don't believe EITHER of them :-) "Q: What is totally transparent
and lies on the floor? A: A computer salesman after you have kicked ALL
the {rude word} out of him."

But while you continue to ask for "The Work Menu" you are going to be
ignored. Because the decision has already been made. Life is too short to
try to persuade a major American corporation to admit that it might have
stuffed up. Your grandchildren will retire before they do that...

"Menus" are "old technology", they will go away as fast as they can find
substitutes. The "Work Menu" is 'old old old' technology. It's hanging
around because it's too expensive to take it out and Microsoft thinks nobody
will notice.

But if you ask Microsoft to "Improve access to favourite documents I use all
the time" you will get what you want. And it may even look suspiciously
like the old Work Menu :-)

If you tell them exactly how you want to use this facility, and why the
current methods such as the Dock, the Project Gallery, and Open Recent don't
do what you want, you might even get it in the next version.

Office 14 is in design now (close to locking off its feature set for
coding...) so: up to you, but be quick if you want it in the next version.

How will you use it? What will you use it for? What percentage of Word:Mac
customers are likely to use it also? And: How?

Hope this helps

On 8/3/08 3:20 AM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"
<aliquis> wrote:

> Hi John,
>
> Well actually no, Iąm not sure I do see the difference. I canąt quite imagine


> what I could possibly say when I press the feedback button about this issue
> that would be saying what I want, but without telling MS what to do. But maybe
> you have a form of words in mind. In any case most people will not operate
> with such a fine distinction and will use the feedback button for anything and
> everything.
>

> ŚIt is designed by a very extensive statistical analysis of the feedback


> arriving from normal users. If you do not put your feedback in via the

> mechanisms provided, it's not in the database to be analysedŠ.Software


> Architects do not get to design things the way they want them. They must the
> product Marketing specifies that it wants to sell. And Marketing obtains its

> ideas almost exclusively from the feedback mechanisms.ą
>
> You see, this is the point that I just donąt get. I can understand that


> Marketing considerations might drive software development, rather than a

> Software Architectąs dream wishlist. And Jobs is not saying Śwe donąt care
> about the marketą - that would be stupid. But if Marketing at Microsoft does


> indeed obtain its ideas almost exclusively from the feedback mechanisms, as

> you say, then it seems to me that itąs doing something VERY different from


> Marketing at Apple. Now maybe that is one of the differences between MS and
> Apple: Apple is prepared to think beyond its user feedback, while MS is always

> going to be limited by it in the way you suggest. But I donąt actually believe
> thatąs the way it works in practice at Microsoft any more than it does at


> Apple (according to Jobs anyway).

--

aliquis

unread,
Mar 8, 2008, 7:00:57 AM3/8/08
to
Hi John,

Well it seems to me that our positions are beginning to converge. What you seem to be suggesting now is: MS knows already that the Work Menu is deficient but fixing it is not high priority; that the concept of the Work Menu is rather archaic anyway; therefore complaining about it is going to be pretty much a waste of time. (The last point was where I started out near the beginning of this thread.)

But using the feedback mechanism in the way you suggest sets a pretty high standard for feedback, particularly because the Dock, Project Gallery and Open Recent all do serve reasonably well as project-bookmarking devices. 99% of feedback to MS won't meet those exacting standards if you apply them generally. And you know something? I don't think I really care that much about it to engage in that way when it's like sending a (quite elaborate) message into a black hole. At least by sounding off here I get some pretty interesting and illuminating feedback, for which I thank you.

Paola Reinhardt

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Mar 8, 2008, 7:59:07 AM3/8/08
to
> &gt;Habe gestern neue Software mac 2008 installiert bekommen und diverse &gt;Probleme. Mein größtest: Komme nicht aus der Kompatibilitätsprüfung.
> &gt;Wie schaffe ich das? Bin seit Jahren Mac Liebhaber, aber Autorin und
> &gt;verstehe leider zu wenig von der Technik.
> &gt;Wer kann mir helfen?

>
> Not quite Work Menu, but try this:
> Word Menu: Preferences
> Output and Sharing: Compatibility
> Check box for Check Documents for Compatibility
>
> Sorry, don't know the German commands.
>
> :smile:

Thank you so, I try it!
Paola

Paola Reinhardt

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Mar 8, 2008, 8:01:31 AM3/8/08
to

John McGhie

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Mar 8, 2008, 10:15:02 AM3/8/08
to
Hi Aliquis:

I'm going to miss this thread :-)

If you get bored with helping other users, you will have to find another
topic to be inflammatory about :-)

But right now, we could use your help in assisting others. There's going to
be another wave right after the Service Pack rolls out on March 11 of "I
applied the Service Pack and my problem hasn't gone away!!"

If you could stay around and help out, that would be deeply appreciated :-)

Cheers


On 8/3/08 11:00 PM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"
<ali...@macmail.com> wrote:

--

Clive Huggan

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Mar 8, 2008, 4:39:01 PM3/8/08
to
On 8/3/08 11:00 PM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"
<ali...@macmail.com> wrote:

> Hi John,
>
> Well it seems to me that our positions are beginning to converge. What you
> seem to be suggesting now is: MS knows already that the Work Menu is deficient
> but fixing it is not high priority; that the concept of the Work Menu is
> rather archaic anyway;

<snip>

I've been following this thread in relation to the removal of items from the
Work menu and other menus, and have found that interesting.

However, I am one of many professional users of Word on the Mac who strongly
disagree with you that the Work menu is an anachronism. The Dock is not a
good solution to holding *instantly identifiable* documents that I need to
refer to in the long term, because it is icon-based. I don't want to have to
mouse over small icons to see what's there. "Recent documents" only covers
the 9 most recent; I refer to more than a dozen documents every hour or so
and it's only useful, therefore, to go back to very recent documents.

To us, the Work menu is very useful indeed. My only complaint is that it
only holds nine items.

I'm getting my colleagues to send feedback accordingly (again).

Personally, having added "Remove item from Work menu" command at the top of
the menu, I don't have a problem there either -- but I acknowledge that you
feel strongly about that, and respect your view.

Clive Huggan
============


John McGhie

unread,
Mar 8, 2008, 6:12:49 PM3/8/08
to
Hi Clive:

I *know* you're only posting to keep Aliquis entertained :-)

However, you left one out... Project Gallery. No, I don't use it either,
but this is the kind of thing it is designed to do. To replace the Work
Menu, it does need a quick belt over the head with a clue-stick, but this
requirement is exactly what it was designed for.

And if you DO create a project named "Admin", it will appear on the Toolbox
if you have "Projects" enabled as one of its 'lucky-dip' options.

The other possibility is Toolbars. You can put as many documents as you
like on a Toolbar :-)

Now, Aliquis is a gentleman and a scholar, so I remain keenly aware of the
need to discourse with him using tact and good manners.

You, on the other hand, I know to be an Old Curmudgeon. Also a South
Australian {Shudder!} and worse: ex-Air Force!! Beyond the pale, entirely!!
:-)

Cheers

On 9/3/08 8:39 AM, in article
C3F952A5.3573A%REMOVETH...@ANDTHISstrategists.com.au, "Clive Huggan"
<REMOVETH...@ANDTHISstrategists.com.au> wrote:

--

aliquis

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Mar 8, 2008, 6:58:36 PM3/8/08
to
> However, I am one of many professional users of Word on the Mac who strongly
> disagree with you that the Work menu is an anachronism.

Hi Clive,

Not sure whether you're addressing John or me, since I was paraphrasing John when I wrote what you quoted from my post.

At a practical level the Recent items feature can display up to 99 recent documents (you can alter the number in the general preferences), not just 9. You can also use the Customise Toolbars and Menus command to make it a drop down Menu on the Menu bar in place of or next to the Work Menu, instead of having it tucked away on the File Menu. And you can even add the Remove Menu Item to remove recent items (remember it's not a 'Remove Item from Work Menu' command – it will remove anything from any menu: that was my original complaint.)

The Work Menu itself can hold more than 9 items too. Not sure what the limit is or if there is one. I understand why you might not want to use the Dock, but then there is always the Sidebar on the Finder window too where you can lodge documents whose titles you can read, rather than just see their icons.

John can speak for himself of course, but I understand his point about archaism to be not about the Work Menu as such, and hence not about having access to favourites, but about Menu driven software in general.

John McGhie

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Mar 9, 2008, 1:22:53 AM3/9/08
to
Hi Aliquis:

Oh, he was having a go at me. It gives him a purpose in life :-)

Clive is ordinarily a perfect gentleman. I am the only one he would ever
contradict :-)

I suspect that one of the reasons they want to get rid of the Work menu is
that it can contain "only" Word Documents. The other mechanisms can contain
"anything".

Microsoft Office has come full circle in XML. In the beginning, one
application created a file that could either be printed as a document or
displayed as a presentation, and might contain numbers than add up.

Then the software industry split them into four different applications so
they could make it look like there was more in the box when you bought the
software. And so they could outrageously inflate their margin if you
decided to buy only "some" of the applications.

But increasingly, behind the scenes, it's all one engine. All one user
interface. With a .plist to tell it how to display itself. And now the
file format is also the same, with a cascading style sheet to tell the
application how to display the content.

So why not begin the process of rolling the applications all back together
again :-) Of course, Marketing will insist on pretending there is a
"difference" for some time to come. But increasingly the "Developers" and
"Designers" are working on "Features" that will appear in several places :-)

Cheers


On 9/3/08 10:58 AM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"
<ali...@macmail.com> wrote:

--

Clive Huggan

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Mar 9, 2008, 10:37:52 PM3/9/08
to
On 9/3/08 10:58 AM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"
<ali...@macmail.com> wrote:

>> However, I am one of many professional users of Word on the Mac who strongly
>> disagree with you that the Work menu is an anachronism.
>
> Hi Clive,
>
> Not sure whether you're addressing John or me, since I was paraphrasing John
> when I wrote what you quoted from my post.

Whoever will listen, really. And John has taken the bait already ... ;-)


>
> At a practical level the Recent items feature can display up to 99 recent
> documents (you can alter the number in the general preferences), not just 9.

Not in Word 2004 and before (I don't yet use 2008) -- it won't accept a
number above 9.

> You can also use the Customise Toolbars and Menus command to make it a drop
> down Menu on the Menu bar in place of or next to the Work Menu, instead of
> having it tucked away on the File Menu. And you can even add the Remove Menu
> Item to remove recent items (remember it's not a 'Remove Item from Work Menu'
> command – it will remove anything from any menu: that was my original
> complaint.)

Sure, but see above...


>
> The Work Menu itself can hold more than 9 items too.

Not in Word 2004.

> Not sure what the limit
> is or if there is one. I understand why you might not want to use the Dock,
> but then there is always the Sidebar on the Finder window too where you can
> lodge documents whose titles you can read, rather than just see their icons.

I keep many things there already, so there is no space without scrolling.
And I don't really want to have to go to the Finder to grab a
frequently-referred-to document.


>
> John can speak for himself of course, but I understand his point about
> archaism to be not about the Work Menu as such, and hence not about having
> access to favourites, but about Menu driven software in general.

Although I take your point about the clumsiness of the "Remove item"
facility that was your original point so long ago (I think), the point for
me is that Word's infuriations are well balanced, for the professional
document developer at least, by having alternatives for most things. Having
the Work menu is, for me, a highly valuable feature that did nobody any
harm.

Clive Huggan
============


aliquis

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Mar 10, 2008, 4:25:52 AM3/10/08
to
> Although I take your point about the clumsiness of the "Remove item"
> facility that was your original point so long ago (I think), the point for
> me is that Word's infuriations are well balanced, for the professional
> document developer at least, by having alternatives for most things. Having
> the Work menu is, for me, a highly valuable feature that did nobody any
> harm.

In that case it looks like the 'enhanced' features of the 2008 Work Menu were almost designed with you in mind. Did you send lots of feedback after Word 2004? :wink:

John McGhie

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Mar 10, 2008, 6:58:04 AM3/10/08
to
Hi Aliquis:

See? I told you he was having a go at me...

Word 2004 seems to have a "partial" problem with the Work Menu. I can get
more than 9 documents to register, but only the first nine are numbered.
After that, it seems to add the latest one as number 1 and shuffle the list
down.

Probably a bug they haven't fixed in the past ten years. It has been about
that long since I last used the work menu... :-)

Cheers


On 10/3/08 12:07 PM, in article
C3FAEA30.357B5%REMOVETH...@ANDTHISstrategists.com.au, "Clive Huggan"
<REMOVETH...@ANDTHISstrategists.com.au> wrote:

>> Not sure whether you're addressing John or me, since I was paraphrasing John
>> when I wrote what you quoted from my post.
>
> Whoever will listen, really. And John has taken the bait already ... ;-)

Cheers

aliquis

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Mar 10, 2008, 7:47:19 PM3/10/08
to
Hi John,

Well that's pretty much what happens on Word 2008 as far as I can see. Maybe there's a problem with double digits (!) Though the digits don't seem to do anything anyway. But is it a bug? The line between bugs and poor design is often a thin one, I think.

John McGhie

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Mar 12, 2008, 9:14:22 AM3/12/08
to
Hi Aliquis:

It's the Huggan Horribilis...

They made it like that to give Huggan something to complain about...

I have no idea whether it's a bug or not. Chances are, the code we are
talking about is older than the developer now maintaining it, and even
Microsoft has forgotten how it is supposed to work :-)

Way back then, software development was not as professional as it is now,
and in some of these very old applications, some of the design intentions
and reasons why have been lost in the mists of time...

Cheers


On 11/3/08 9:17 AM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "aliquis"
<ali...@macmail.com> wrote:

--

Tanner

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Mar 22, 2008, 12:03:15 AM3/22/08
to
Here's my question-- is there any way to re-arrange items in the work menu? I'm saving separate chapters of a book- each labeled "chap 1", "chap 2", etc. But since I added chap 1 after chap 2 , they're out of order and it is confusing to look at.

I can delete them and re-open, but is that the only way? Shoot. This work menu has such potential to be a good thing.

CyberTaz

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Mar 22, 2008, 2:00:47 AM3/22/08
to
The only way I know of is to edit the .plist file which can be risky and
definitely far more trouble. You can sort in the Project Gallery's Recent
list or in the Open dialog as well as other possibilities, but for a
long-range project this may work better - create your own "Work" menu:

1- Open the documents you want to have in your Work Menu
2- In Tools> Customize Toolbars & Menus on the Commands page, choose All
Commands from the Categories list.
3- Select the FileOpenFile: command from the Commands list, then pick the
file you want to add to your menu from the dropdown list adjacent to it.
4- Drag the command to the Work menu on the Menu Toolbar then
Control/Right-Click the command in that menu & change the name through its
Properties.

Alternatively you may prefer to create a separate Menu item or toolbar & add
the files to that rather than directly customizing the Work menu. That would
give you something you can toss (or turn on/off as needed if a toolbar) when
the project is completed & you can still use the actual Work menu for other
stuff without cluttering it up.

5. Repeat for each file you want to add to the menu & just edit the menu in
this same way when you have a new chapter to add.

HTH |:>)
Bob Jones
[MVP] Office:Mac

On 3/22/08 12:03 AM, in article ee894...@webcrossing.caR9absDaxw, "Tanner"

Paul N. Edwards

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Apr 23, 2008, 8:54:47 AM4/23/08
to
This is an amazing thread, colossal number of words expended on a small (though important) topic. Fun to read.

If there is any way to move the Applescript fix to the top of the forum somehow, that would save less obsessive readers from missing the solution in the sea of (justified) flames.

- A frequent Work Menu user :cool: