Make Office 2007 Look Like 2003

The guys over at LifeHacker wrote up an excellent article on how to revert back to the Office 2003 menu in Office 2007. For those of you who do not like the new Office 2007 ribbon interface, you can go back to the original classic menu using a free tool.

Earlier, I wrote about a Chinese add-in that makes Office 2007 look like Office 2003, but it costs $29! That’s great and all, but frankly, there is always a program out there that can do the same thing for free.

UBitMenu is a free tool that can emulate the Office 2003 interface in Office 2007 without any performance loss. It’s basically for anyone who can no longer find the same functions in Office 2007 that were easily findable in Office 2003.

What I like about this program is that it does not actually get rid of the ribbon interface, but instead just adds the classic menu as a new ribbon. So you can continuing using the ribbon interface, but when you want to find something quickly the old way, just go to the classic ribbon.

make office 2007 like 2003

Other features that make this add-in really useful:

  • No active code elements, so it won’t mess with your anti-virus program
  • No dependencies
  • Very small and has no impact on performance
  • No need for Administrator rights to install the add-in
  • All files are registered with Windows, so you can uninstall it via Add/Remove Programs

The program works with Excel, Word, and Powerpoint only. Also, not every last function of Office 2003 is not in the UBitMenu, but it is should be enough for most people.

Overall, it’s a cool program to use if you want the latest and greatest version of Office, but don’t like the interface yet that much. Once you are settled into using Office 2007, you can just uninstall the add-in. Could be useful for IT Administrators that have users who hate the new Office look! Enjoy! [via LifeHacker]

Comments [17]

  1. Really, like or dislike, you are not learning how to use 2007 when you 'revert' to the 2003 interface.

  2. The functionality that I'm looking for is keyboard access to the – menus.

    While the UBit application does in fact embody the Office 2003 menus, you have to activate the MENU button on the ribbon with a mouse click.

    Completely misses the point for me …

  3. @gbraden and anyone else that says reverting is somehow "bad": the point of any software is simply to get the job at hand done. If an individual can produce end results with OpenOffice better than Office 07, or likewise can produce end results better with Office 03 than 07, good for them. Don't you work in the real world, too?

  4. To gbraden:

    I dont like the 2007 interface. But it seems as you "believe" the goal is to learn 2007, and it is not.

  5. Look, it's fine for someone young and savvy to want to "keep up with the times." I personally think the new UI is an overengineered, resource-gobbling, net-dependent turd heap, but I AM somewhat young and savvy, and I'm capable of relearning, and I have done so.

    But, not everyone is young and savvy. I work with a group of retirees ranging in age from 60 to 85, and I've spent five years helping them learn to use computers, when some of them started off unable to use a mouse. Now, one of their go-to apps just changed…EVERYTHING…and they're suddenly back to asking me how to print again.

    Plus, they're getting discouraged as can be. They just want the damn thing to work, for better or for worse, and the new version, with its ribbons (and its lack of a menu bar, which is standard in EVERY APP EVER) and its massive 'net dependence (they use a shared connection and 3-5 year old computers down at the center, and things go rather slowly anyway).

    I know Microsoft wants to force everyone to use the new system, but it's outrageous that the program didn't ship with a "classic" menu setup option. Users aren't using Word because they want to "have the Word experience;" they're using it because they want to write letters, fill in forms, and make memos. Bleh.

  6. I have been forced to use Office 2007 for over a year at my work, and i can still get products out better and faster with the old 2003 interface. All my buttons are there exactly where i need them without having to go hunting for them in the ribbon let alone that ribbon takes more space on the top of my screen than does my previous version of office that i still use at home….it plain sux…

  7. @gbraden
    In your viewpoint we should welcome and re-learning an already working system (elegant looking 2003 Office) which has been crippled and redesigned (Office 07) just for the sake of redesign.

    The new layout is quite frankly a joke not productivity oriented. If finding a print or print preview button now takes 2 minutes, it's a clear sign something's wrong.

  8. Free add-in for Word 2007 to show Office 2003 style menus and toolbars on the Office 2007 ribbon:

    office.grifir.com

    Supports all languages that Office can handle.

  9. Our office has moved over to 2010 but I am still regularly doing training on 2007. In fact most of the voluntary sector still use 2003. How can I get my 2010 interface to revert to the 2007 interface?

  10. I am so happy. This was the answer I was looking for from the beginning! This is a product I am in love with! Thank you so much for this. To think it was free!!!

    I have not been using my office program after getting my new computer with Windows 7. I purchased the new Office 2007. That ribbon did not work for my use/needs/brain? 2003 was the best. After a year of frustration, I can now use my Office program. Thank you so much!!!

  11. I hate Office 2007 and see no reason to move to an incomplete UI (note that Outlook and Publisher receive no changes to the UI whatsoever).

    I'm not exactly that old; in fact, I'm a college student. I managed to learn the "new and pointless" UI in an evening for the purpose of training staff at a building firm next week on how to use this lousy program MS has released.

    Office 2003 was by far the easiest and most logical Office by far so why would they go and change it completely?

    I'm a part-time PA and I mainly write letters which requires me to adjust the page margins. How is hiding the margin ruler "intuitive"? Then, the button to view it is so obscure it might as well not be there.

  12. Yes, i choose the Chinese add-ins Classic Menu for Office 2007. It's easy to use, it can be configured in a manager to enable or disable the add-ins.

    In short, I love it. Disadvantage is you need to pay for it. But what can you say for such a good software, it only asks for 29?

  13. The concept of addind a menu tab containing office 2003 classic menus and toolbar to Office 2007 sounds great. A pity that this program cannot work in Outlook and Access. I search the google, and find Classic Menu for Office 2007 from Addintools. It is a suite to meet my needs.

  14. Office 2007 title menu bars/navigation is yet another example of "Don't they have enough to do in Redmond?" Office 97 Excel was even faster. I don't need the pull-down to the pull-down menus. The idea is to get there as quick as you can, and I don't need to spend a whole day figuring out personalized shortcut keys to redo bad programming. Most of use the same functions over and over with a pretty stable set of formats. The new version of Office 2007 is not an improvement, it is visual nonsense that means nothing if you are past kindergarten.

    I applaud whoever had the brains to offer a program that will allow me to revert to the "not broken" previous menu bar, and will download it. Thank you!

  15. If Microsoft wants to lose customers and convert them to OpenOffice by Oracle, that's fine by me. I can live without having Outlook. To me, it's just ridiculous the amount of money that Microsoft programmers are paid, to come up with the most useless interface design ever, and call that a new product. Bravo Microsoft…

  16. What I find annoying is the obscuring or loss of accelerator key function and the drop down Menus – I.e press Alt+F for File, Alt+E for edit etc.

    If you didn’t know a shortcut key for something – like CTRL+S for save – you could just press ALt+F,S. No need to pick up the mouse and interrupt your flow of typing, or comfy wrist position on the wrist rest.

    Even In windows XP, you had to fight to get the Underlining back by default, and it’s sad, because accelrator keys are one of the most amazing efficiency improvers around and take next to no training. I wish more people used them, but more importantly I wish Microsoft would stop thinking graphical menus are a replacement for them- they’re not, just a useful alternative when you happen to be doing mouse intensive tasks.

  17. I still think Microsoft Office 95 was adequate for my needs! Problem is Microsoft is run by capitalists and they hire Indians to develop the software, “yes” people. Micorosft wants to make money and they are not really focussed on improving your productivity. I use OpenOffice or LibreOffice wherever possible.

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