Lin Jie is from Addintools, a line of add-ins for Microsoft Office applications created by Detong Technology Ltd. from China. Lin began to program since 1991, and was first introduced to Microsoft Office in 1994. He started programming Microsoft Office by creating add-ins since 2001. In 2003, he released his first Office Add-in: Addintools Create. When Microsoft Office 2007 was released with the Ribbon, Lin was the first to get back the old menus via the Classic Menu for Office 2007 in February 2007. In this conversation, Lin talks more about his products for Microsoft Office.
Geetesh: Tell us more about your company and products.
Lin: Our company, Detong Technology Ltd. Hainan, was registered in China in 2008. We comprise 5 program engineers who are dedicated in developing software, especially Microsoft Office add-ins. In addition, we have 4 ingenious employees for marketing and after-sale service. We attach our importance on our Classic Menu for Microsoft Office product. And we are going to release more add-ins for Microsoft programs in the future.
Our products include:
- Classic Menu for Office 2007 that contains 5 components for Office 2007 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook. Users can also download and install each component individually for corresponding Microsoft Office 2007 programs.
- Classic Menu for Office 2010 that contains 9 components for Office 2010 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, InfoPath, Publisher, Visio and Project. To be in conformity with Microsoft’s Office 2010 bundles, we offer Classic Menu for Office 2010 in 6 variations, which suit different Office users:
Classic Menu for Office Enterprise 2010
Classic Menu for Office Professional Plus 2010
Classic Menu for Office Professional 2010
Classic Menu for Office Standard 2010
Classic Menu for Office Home and Business 2010
Classic Menu for Office 2010 Starter (original Classic Menu for Office Home and Student 2010)
- Ribbon Customizer for Office 2007 is designed for advanced users to customize the Ribbon in Microsoft Office 2007. With this add-in, users can remove or add tabs, menus, buttons, and create their own buttons and menus.
- Excel Addins: We also create two more add-ins for Microsoft Excel: Addintools Assist for Excel and Addintools Creator for Excel.
- OfficeTab: Our new product OfficeTabs is designed to open multiple Word documents, Excel workbooks, and PowerPoint presentations within a single window. It contains three components: Document Tabs for Word, Workbook Tabs for Excel, and Presentation Tabs for PowerPoint.
Geetesh: Why do you think some people don’t like the Ribbon and tabs in Office 2007 and 2010 too much, and crave to get the menus back? And how does your product help?
Lin: The Ribbon is a great interface revolution. Yet, many users are not able to follow their time tested usage pattern any longer. What’s worse, there are fewer words, and more buttons and icons in the Ribbon, making it difficult for users to adapt quickly. Many experienced users may be reluctant to give up quite on the familiar classic style menus and toolbars, and learn new options in the Ribbon step by step. In addition, it may take a big money and a long time to train employees in enterprises. Classic Menu will help employees learn Ribbon by themselves at their own pace. No training or tutors are needed any more, and employees can go to work immediately.
Classic Menu inserts a “Menus” tab at the beginning of Ribbon that brings back the familiar classic style menus, toolbars, and buttons. Moreover, this Classic Menu not only contains all old menu items of Microsoft Office 2003, but also brings in new features of Office 2007/2010. Users can switch between two interfaces at ease: Classic Menu and Ribbon.