Microsoft has altered the new interface of Office 2007 after complaints from beta testers that the ribbon system takes up too much space on screen.
Office 2007 has ditched the traditional drop-down menu approach of most Windows applications in favour of the ribbon, which displays functions in new categories such as Home, Insert and Mailing in a strip across the top of the screen.
Microsoft says the new interface makes it easier for users to access the wide range of features in applications such as Word, Excel and Access.
However, in the next technical refresh of the Office 2007 beta, users can set the ribbon to automatically minimise whenever it is not being used, effectively making the ribbon headings look like traditional menus. (Windows has long offered a similar auto-hide option for the taskbar.)