The new Microsoft Office Fluent UI replaces the previous system of layered menus, toolbars, and task panes with a simpler system optimized for efficiency and discoverability. The new UI, including the Office Fluent Ribbon, provides improved context menus, enhanced screen tips, a Mini toolbar, and keyboard shortcuts that help to improve user efficiency and productivity. The new Office Fluent UI is implemented in several applications in the 2007 Microsoft Office suite, including Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word.
You can extend the Ribbon using XML and one of several conventional programming languages to manipulate the components that make up the Ribbon UI. To extend the Ribbon you use different callback signatures depending on the control types. We have seen a lot of questions related to this subject. For instance, onAction for a gallery may be different from onAction for a button.
We wanted to provide a complete set of Ribbon XML snippets for every control/callback combination, and the corresponding function definitions, so Frank Rice built over 100 snippets divided between C# and VB .NET for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. You can combine the snippets with your VSTO project if you want to and you can find the snippets here:
Frank is currently working on a new set of Office Visual How-tos where he shows how to customize the 2007 Office Fluent User interface programmatically. You can find the first Visual How-To of the series here:
I will update this blog entry to list more as we publish them.
Frank has done a fantastic job teaching all of us how to customize the 2007 Office Fluent User interface. Make sure you visit his blog and the Office Fluent Ribbon Developer Portal.
Lucky me! I had the great opportunity to meet several of the Open XML developers at the Open XML workshop in Redmond last week.
The workshop was quite interesting in terms of content and delivery. Tons of advanced samples related with WordProcessingML, SpreadsheetML, PresentationML, and more. The code for the labs was awesome and of course the best part was having to opportunity to watch Doug + Wouter, Brian, Tristan, and Sanjay showing lots of practical demos. After the workshop, Doug recorded some Channel 9 interviews with some of them. You will be able to watch a Linux/Java interoperability with Open XML (Sonata Software) demo, an Open-source Open XML API for Java (Julien Chable) demo, and the Package Explorer for Open XML (Wouter Van Vugt) demo. Pretty neat stuff you can do with the Office Open XML Formats.
While all this happened, I had my own Office Open XML Formats + MSDN stuff going on.
Last week we published the first two PowerPoint 2007 + Office Open XML Formats code samples + articles + videos on MSDN. Yes! We have two more Office Visual How-tos by Mr. Ken Getz:
I think it's great that we finally have two samples available. Curious minds want to learn how to manipulate PPT slide decks using the System.IO.Packaging library, XML, and the PowerPoint Open XML Format. These samples come quite handy when you are considering server-side PPT manipulation.
You probably read the MSDN Magazine article: Setting Word Document Properties the Office 2007 Way by Ken Getz. This was one of the first articles related to the Office Open XML Formats published by MSDN and it really helped me understand the Word document manipulation possibilites offered by the Office Open XML Formats.
Today we published a new Office Visual How-to by Ken Getz: Office Open XML Formats: Setting Custom Word 2007 Document Properties.
This article provides code in VB.NET and C# and a cool video that will help you understand how to set and retrieve custom document properties using the System.IO.Packaging library, XML, and the Word Open XML Format.
We have some documentation on Word and the Office Open XML Formats, but few documentation about Excel and PPT + the Office Open XML Formats. I am working with Joanna Bichsel and Mr. Ken Getz to get you all more samples that show you how to work with the System.IO.Packaging API to manipulate Excel workbooks and PPT slide decks. These samples have code in C# and VB.NET and they include a cool video that walks you through the process.
Ken repurposed 5/40 of the Office 2007 Open XML File Format code snippets and wrote great walkthroughs and videos that show you how it all works together. Today we published two of them:
We have three more coming soon:
We have more Office Visual How-Tos about Excel, Access, Excel Services, the BDC, PPT, the Fluent Ribbon extensibility, and Item-Level Auditing that will be available soon. We will start updating the MSDN Office Developer How To Center as soon as we publish them.