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A Double-Clicking Office 2007 Ribbon Bug

outlook-2007-ribbon-bug.gifKam VedBrat has found a genuine bug in the Office 2007 user interface, though he doesn’t seem to mind it all that much. The bug occurs because the developers left objects you could double-click in the Ribbon, but didn’t train the Ribbon to be properly aware of double-clicking.

If you collapse the Ribbon (ironically enough, by double-clicking it) in order to save space, then it will expand on a click to be usable and shrink back when you click any button in the Ribbon, keeping it small when you don’t use it. If you double-click the Ribbon, the first click will shrink it, causing the second click to occur on whatever is beneath the Ribbon, which can be a major problem.

This really gets bad in Outlook 2007 when you are writing an email message. Outlook puts interface elements below the Ribbon (both for good and bad purposes), and the element that needs to be double-clicked, the format painter, is right on top of the Send button! You double-click Format Painter because your email message needs heavy editing, and you wind up sending your message. Whoops.

Good thing I memorized the shortcut key for disabling wifi. You don’t know how many times that got me out of an email jam.

This problem could also be faced by less experienced users, who sometimes double-click on everything (my mother double-click URLs). The user interface designers need to enable the minimized Ribbon to understand and detect double-clicks and cancel out the second click, in the name of preventing unintended clicking. It’s a small bug, but it could become a problem for many.

July 18th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Outlook, Office, Applications, General | no comments

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