The Ribbon is a strip of screen real estate that made its appearance with the release of Microsoft Office 2007 for Windows. This interface element replaced the menus and toolbars that were available in previous versions of Office for Windows. The figure below shows the Ribbon as it looks in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows.
However, the subsequent version of Microsoft Office for Mac (2008) did not include the Ribbon. The Ribbon finally made its appearance on the Mac version of Office with Office 2011 for Mac — even then, Office 2011 still included menus, as shown in the figure below, which shows PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
Of course, the Ribbon has since been an integral interface element in future versions of Office for Windows, such as Office 2010.
Many seasoned users, when confronted by the Ribbon for the first time typically have a difficult time for a few weeks. Once they are used to the Ribbon, they do prefer it to the menus and toolbars.
Explore these links to learn more about the Ribbon:
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