will ribbon come to libreoffice ever?

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 ?

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++).

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@Lupp: see also tdf 91874

I agree…

The problem is when trying to introduce LibreOffice to corporations…

When Microsoft Office 2007 released the Ribbon interface most users complained and didn´t like it… Now users want the ribbon interface and don´t want to go back to the old interface.

If the Document Foundation want to REALLY get to corporations the REALLY need to make it more MSOffice alike so users will accept it…

I work on a company where I tried LibreOffice and ended up installing FreeOffice and paid for the paid version at a cheap price.

The problem is the workflow in both suites. Efficient usage in Writer (the application I know best but the argumentation would be the same for the other applications) calls for styling. With an adequate style set (called a graphic charter in companies), you only need two menus to format your document (one for paragraphs, one for characters). When you come to “unusual” tasks like inserting images, you can spend some more time going through other menus or style categories. This is much faster than ribbon UI because you can assign keyboard shortcuts to the most frequently used styles, thus no need to move your hand(s) to grab the mouse.

In contrast, M$ Office did not push the notion of styles beyond paragraphs and forces users to manually add single-location decorations, frequently switching keyboard for mouse.

These are different approaches. The fact that people request ribbon UI is only a sign they are afraid of learning a new workflow. Also M$ propaganda (based on FUD rhetorics) has spawned the idea that M$ owned the Truth in office tools. So it is primarily a matter of staff training.
You may object that this has a cost and ribbon UI apparently could minimise the cost. But this isn’t true. Creating documents is only the visible part of the iceberg. If you don’t switch to native workflow and formats, you’ll bump into huge compatibility issues because LO is not a drop-in replacement for M$O but an alternate solution.

In my professional life, I always saw failures when tools were replaced without questioning the existing work routine. Any tool, however inconspicuous, has an impact on workflow. If you neglect this factor, things may quickly go awry.

A serach tool of the requested kind was implemented and is available in V 7.2.0 or higher.
It is activated via >Help>Search Commands or with a shortcut, by default Shift+Esc.
The windowlet is neither resizable nor movable, and I don’t know a way to make it sticky or to relocate it to the sidebar.

The cost of surrendering to MS concerning the usage of “office-software” on a different (higher) level was the need to adapt the ways training and teaching had to go. .The appropriate didactic doctrine I would word “Dont teach thinking, teach clicking!”
Even when my city still ran the “LIMUX” project, they equipped vocational schools with MS Office because (so the claim) “The Employers” expected so. This way to argue may be the death sentence concerning better open solutions. Is it actually impossible to get employers to adapt the attitude to demand staff trained in thinking , and only clicking in the few well considered situations? I feel sure this would be the more productive, efficient, and also human way.


I agree with you.

I´ve seen it at work.

People was angry when we moved from Lotus ccMail to Outlook, they didn´t want it.
Then, they got andry when we moved from Outlook to Lotus Notes.

They where later angry of going back to Outlook.

Microsoft later changed licensing and some users could only use Outlook on web but no the client and had on 50gb of email space so we used Thunderbird for those users to be able to move email to local.

Later Microsoft blocked all mapi connections for those F1 Licenses that where able to use Mozilla and forced the company to buy licenses with unlimited email space and Office 365 E3 Licenses.

What I am talking about is normal userbase acceptance.

I am migrating a lot of users to linux, they first struggle a little bit, then they love it.

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 The Document Foundation announces the MUFFIN, a new tasty user interface concept for LibreOffice - The Document Foundation Blog.

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

MUFFIN requires 5.3 or higher.

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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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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!!

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.

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.

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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.

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