Vertical Ribbon in Office 2007 or Office 2010

Can you have a vertical ribbon in Microsoft Office?

Is it possible to make the ribbon go vertically down the side of a document instead of horizontally?

Back in Office 2003, it was possible to move the toolbar from the top row to any side of the Office window – at the bottom or even vertically at the side. Here’s an extreme example of what was possible merely by dragging toolbars around using the ‘dotted’ handles on the left/top of each toolbar:

Word 2003 with toolbars all over the place.jpg image from Vertical Ribbon in Office 2007 or Office 2010 at Office-Watch.com

Alas, there’s no such flexibility in Office 2007 or Office 2010. The ribbon was designed to take advantage of the wider ‘letterbox’ shaped screens. As you make your Office window wider, more of the ribbon features appear in more detail.

It would take a major re-coding effort to make all the fly out menus, galleries etc work from a vertical ribbon. We can’t see Microsoft spending development money on that.

A related question about adding more toolbars to Office 2007 / Office 2010. There is only one Quick Access Toolbar and there’s no simple way to add more toolbars. It is possible for developers to make add-ins that create more toolbars.

While it isn’t customizable, you might want to consider one of the ‘classic menu‘ add-ons for Office 2007/2010 – this would give you a second set of menus etc to combine with a customized Quick Access Toolbar.