The importance of sending feedback to Microsoft

By Jim Gordon, co-author of
Office 2011 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies

Did you ever wonder how Microsoft came up with the seemingly mindless arrangement of buttons and tabs on the Ribbon in Microsoft Office? A major factor in deciding the order of command buttons on the Ribbon is the automatic feedback provided by users who participate in the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program (MCEIP). The most frequently used commands are found on the Home tab of the Ribbon. As you go to the right in the Ribbon, you will find features that are used less frequently. The least used Office commands are turned off by default in the Ribbon or aren't even exposed on the Ribbon at all, which unfortunately almost ensures they will remain less frequently used. Commands that are rarely used face the ax, which could be bad for you or your organization if you rely on one of the lesser used features in Office.

If you use commands other than those found on the Home tab, you should participate in MCEIP. It is especially important that you and every installation of Microsoft Office in your organization participate if you use custom menus, toolbars, macros, add-ins, the developer tab of the Ribbon, or any feature at all that shows you use more than just the most used commands on the Home tab of the Ribbon. If you don't let Microsoft know you use them, these lesser-used commands could be removed from future versions of Microsoft Office.

Participation in MCEIP is free and voluntary. To participate, go to the preferences in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook and choose the Feedback preferences.


In the Feedback preferences, click the radio button for "Yes, I am willing to participate anonymously in the Customer Experience Improvement Program" (Recommended) and then click the OK button.


Although some of the above books focus on Word 2010, they are also apropos for Word 2011.

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