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Chapter 2. Customizing the Office Interf... > Controlling Automatic Interface Chan...

Controlling Automatic Interface Changes

Each Office application includes hundreds of customization options. Because Office uses shared program code to display toolbars and menus, the techniques for customizing these elements are absolutely consistent from one application to another.

By far the most controversial customization option in Office 2000 happens automatically. In previous versions of Office—and, in fact, in virtually all Windows programs—pull-down menus are fixed. In all Office 2000 applications except Publisher, however, the contents of pull-down menus and toolbars change on-the-fly. Unless you specifically disable this feature, each Office program monitors your usage patterns and "personalizes" menus and toolbars. The idea is to reduce clutter in each menu by showing you only the choices you use regularly, rather than potentially confusing you with a long menu that contains many choices. In practice, however, personalized menus can add confusion by causing menu choices to disappear and reappear, seemingly at random, especially for expert users who know an application's menus inside and out.


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