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will ribbon come to libreoffice ever?

asked 2017-09-26 05:33:37 +0200

office lover gravatar image

I love that libreoffice is open source and that it's available on Linux but the fact that it has very ugly old ui make me do all my office work on wps office so will ribbon ever come back to libreoffice ?

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The "ugly old" UI provides much better ways. The commands a user has to give can be seen in a natural way structured as a tree (probably wih a few links/redundancies implemented as fake nodes hinting the default way). Try once to omit next to all of the icons from the toolbars, and you have a wonderful UI, lean and not encouraging bad practice.
I personally would like a (searchable) complete menu tree viewable in a window (probably transparent like the dialog windows in Notepad++).

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2017-09-26 12:42:54 +0200 )edit

@Lupp: see also tdf 91874

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2017-09-26 15:24:53 +0200 )edit

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answered 2017-09-26 05:56:10 +0200

Jim K gravatar image

updated 2017-09-26 05:59:59 +0200

It's called MUFFIN. Enable experimental features under Tools -> Options -> Advanced, then go to View -> Toolbar Layout -> Notebookbar.

MUFFIN in Writer

The announcement is at

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as version you can not do this any more i tried it before i write the post

office lover gravatar imageoffice lover ( 2017-09-27 15:39:18 +0200 )edit

MUFFIN requires 5.3 or higher.

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2017-12-04 18:36:44 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-12-30 20:36:43 +0200

ZekeMX gravatar image

Being an IT guy on a company (Like many of you probably are) we had people complaining when we migrated from MSOffice 2003 to MSOffice 2010. People didn't like the ribbon interface, they actually wanted the normal menu style 2003 interface. They got mad because of the change, they said they spent hours making a document and tying to find which icon did what. After some months they felt at home and they loved it.

Some years later IT management decided to try OpenOffice and install it on 1000 computers where MSoffice was used like once or twice a week for normal documents, and guess what?. People complained about the old 2003 menu style, they wanted the ribbon style... HA HA

In my personal opinion is just adjusting to the new menu styles, it will be difficult at first but later you will be at home.

The only reason I think it would be great to have a Ribbon UI as close as msoffice ribbon menus is so that people in a company would adapt faster but, there is another situation here, msoffice document compatibility.

The company that I used to work had the intention to migrate all of it's users to OpenOffice to save millions on MSOffice licenses and Donate at least 500k US or more to the openoffice team, but the biggest issue at that time was again, MSOffice document compatibility.

Right now that company has migrated many users to WPS Office and it's saving a lot of money. I understad Openoffice uses standards and microsoft does not, probably WPS uses some kind of wrapper that imports the document the way it is without converting it to their standards.

So Lupp, if you want a program on linux that is closer in UI and compatibility, stick with WPS. I use it for MSoffice documents mostly .PPTX but for my daily use I use Libreoffice. One thing I think libreoffice is still missing is more transition effects (but this is for another thread)

And for the libreoffice programmers, I think that having a Ribbon UI closer to MSOffice and something to make it more compatible to msoffice 2013-2016 documents would bring more huge companies to migrate to libreoffice and donate big to make libreoffice better with more full time programmers. But you guy decide!!

Keep up the good work!!

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answered 2017-09-26 06:02:32 +0200

ROSt52 gravatar image

Will there be still the possibiltiy to use the sidebar?

Ribbons simply reduce space in the vertical direction of a narrow screen. Sidebar is where there is space on the screen.

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The important thing when using a document processor is the document. Maximum screen estate must be dedicated to it. With portrait format, space is obviously available on the sides.

Second, ribbon UI is an encouragement for manual formatting instead of using styles. When correctly prepared, all you need is the style pane which also meets the first argument.

Third, ribbon UI tends to be large with many big controls bringing user confusion. IMO that would be (ergonomic at least) regression.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2017-09-26 08:04:20 +0200 )edit


I completely agree with your statement about an ergonomic regression.

However, do you mean really "portrait" format or "landscape" format?

I had a quick look on an announcement about Muffin. It seems that the sidebar will still remain selectable. As long as I can use the sidebar and I am not forced to use ribbons, I am happy.

ROSt52 gravatar imageROSt52 ( 2017-09-26 08:20:43 +0200 )edit

Yes, portrait: document is taller than wide and common screens are wider than tall (landscape orientation) which leaves space on left and right of document.

I also read MUFFIN announcement. AS long as it is optional, it's OK for me, hoping it will not become the standard. That the widest used doc processor uses a badly designed UI should not be an excuse to impose it everywhere.

@Lupp's idea should be explored.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2017-09-26 13:47:09 +0200 )edit

Now I hope that we have the sidebar until something new - Lupp's idea? - comes up. Improvements are a never ending story. But ribbons are terrible in respect to space and thus to ergonomics.

In the years when had enough time to work as a supporter in this forum, I often to always saw very emotional requests for ribbons - like this "ugly old UI" - and wondered always why people don't have real arguments concerning the ergonomics of an application like LibO.

ROSt52 gravatar imageROSt52 ( 2017-09-27 07:39:40 +0200 )edit

answered 2020-08-02 17:23:16 +0200

dibakash gravatar image

working in libre is slower than word because of the lack of ability to use hotkey navigations like word. like Alt > H> AM etc. In MS word entire options can be navigated with keyboard which reduces work time. In libre, we have to work with the mouse to click on needed options.

Request you to add features so that the entire menu and sub-menu and ribbon options can be navigated by Alt> etc >etc and then selected using enter. presently alt key can only navigate the top menu and not the ribbon.

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This is not a solution/answer to the initial question. It is an opinion. As such it should be expressed in a comment not as an answer.

If you want hotkey shortcuts (yes, only shortcuts, not navigation), you can Tools>Customize and add zillions of personal shortcuts to commands (this is even better and more direct than navigating to UI elements). This way, the shortcuts fit even more your personal workflow because YOU define them for YOUR purpose(s), hopefully in a very personal mnemotechnic way.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-08-02 18:13:30 +0200 )edit

PS: formatting a document with shortcut is called direct formatting and is the surest path to formatting hell. In modern and advanced document processor like LO Writer, the highly recommended workflow goes through styles. Styles can also be shortcut'ed and they really improve consistent work automation.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-08-02 18:16:06 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2017-09-26 05:33:37 +0200

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Last updated: Aug 02