Customizing the Ribbon

The first time you open Access 2007, you'll notice that things are different. The familiar menu bar and toolbars have been replaced with the Ribbon. The new interface may appear a bit daunting, but it's only a matter of time until you've learned where commands are located and are more comfortable with it.

This chapter provides a brief look at the Ribbon in Access 2007 and discusses some of the design goals of the Ribbon that you can apply to your applications. Then comes the fun stuff: customization. You start by examining the types of objects you can create in a custom ribbon, and then use what you learn to create two sample applications with different design goals: a Ribbon that integrates with the Access Ribbon, and another to replace the Access Ribbon. As you'll soon see, the Ribbon is highly customizable, which can help you create new and exciting interfaces for your own applications.

Ribbon customizations are written in XML. Even if you've never written XML or are just getting started with XML, don't worry — it's straightforward and easy to understand. This chapter affords you the information and tools you need to customize the Ribbon (and learn a little about XML at the same time).

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