As faithful readers of this blog, you no doubt know that not every program shipping with the Office 12 "wave" of products has the new user interface.

This means that, at least for the time being, menus and toolbars are still alive as a part of many important programs, such as Publisher, Project, Visio, and several others.

The good news for fans of usability worldwide is that an historical moment is upon us.  As of Tuesday, we have officially flipped the switch to turn off Personalized Menus by default for all apps in all future builds of Office 12.  (New UI programs based on the Ribbon, of course, were designed without Personalized Menus from the beginning.)

Don't know what Personalized Menus are?  You can read all about them in Part 3 of the "Why The UI?" series, including my take about why they weren't a good idea.

The option isn't going away, so if you do love this feature for some reason, you can still manually turn it on in Office 12.  But the default setting for "Always show full menus" will be set to on, reversing the default first introduced in Office 2000.

A small but significant victory for humankind.


Fare thee well, Personalized Menus, an experiment whose time has passed...

Didn't know you could turn off Personalized Menus in your version of Office?  Click Customize on the Tools menu, and check the box next to "Always show full menus."