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Ribbon Customisation - how do I change/remove the 'Tell me more' link to Word Help? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have added a custom tab, group, buttons etc onto my word ribbon using xml and linked them back to vba macros. All of that works.

    But when I move the cursor over any of my buttons, I can see:
    Screentip text that I entered in xml
    Name of the template where the xml/vba resides
    Tell me more - a clickable link that opens the main Word help file

    The main word help file isn't relevant to my custom button. So I'd like to either remove that link or change it so it opens my own .chm help file. Is there an attribute that I can add that does that?

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013 3:01 PM

Answers

  • Hi Paul

    No, there's absolutely nothing anyone can do about this - it's hard-coded into the Ribbon behavior. The original reasoning behind this, as explained by the Ribbon team during beta for Office 2007, is that there were way too many support calls about extended functionality in toolbars/menus provided by third-parties. But there was no way for the user to see that these entries were not native to the Office application. This is the answer: a way for the user to always be able to find out that the control in question is not native to Word and what should be done if he experiences problems with it.

    This aligns with the philosophy: the Office applications belong to the person who licensed them (the "user"), not to the developer who may wish to extend them. Thus, the user has priority, including being able to find out the cause of problems and how to get rid of them. Developers, who are considered to be "guests", will not be allowed to remove this "empowerment".


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Thursday, September 12, 2013 7:56 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Paul

    No, there's absolutely nothing anyone can do about this - it's hard-coded into the Ribbon behavior. The original reasoning behind this, as explained by the Ribbon team during beta for Office 2007, is that there were way too many support calls about extended functionality in toolbars/menus provided by third-parties. But there was no way for the user to see that these entries were not native to the Office application. This is the answer: a way for the user to always be able to find out that the control in question is not native to Word and what should be done if he experiences problems with it.

    This aligns with the philosophy: the Office applications belong to the person who licensed them (the "user"), not to the developer who may wish to extend them. Thus, the user has priority, including being able to find out the cause of problems and how to get rid of them. Developers, who are considered to be "guests", will not be allowed to remove this "empowerment".


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Thursday, September 12, 2013 7:56 AM
    Moderator
  • This makes sense with regard to one of the buttons, but not to both items. 

    Further explanation:

    When you hover over a button, the Tip and any long tip text displays near the top. Then just beneath that is the project name (which carries a link) and just beneath that comes the other link that says "Tell me more."

    When I click either of these lines, the link is to the Microsoft main help system.

    I can live with Microsoft/licensee 'owning' the 'Tell me more' link.  But why can't I use the 'project name' link to take the user to my website/help manual/FAQ? That seems fair. (Or maybe I can and just don't know the process.)

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014 7:58 PM
  • <<But why can't I use the 'project name' link to take the user to my website/help manual/FAQ? That seems fair. (Or maybe I can and just don't know the process.)>>

    No, you can't. Only Microsoft could tell you "why", and they don't/won't except that it's a design decision that was made, oh, probably about ten years ago, now.

    The background, coming from the CommandBars era, was deciding on how to deal with add-ins that essentially took over the application, interfering with other add-ins and, from Microsoft's POV, with the licensed Office product. Support areas were inundated with complaints, the origin of which weren't caused by the Microsoft software, but third-party products that appeared to be part of the Office application. That's also why any links refer the user to information that basically says this feature isn't part of the application and is provided by a third-party.

    Not allowing links to outside sources is also a security consideration. The standard reply to your wish for a link to a support site is to provide a separate button.


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Thursday, May 29, 2014 5:54 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks, Cindy.  But just in case someone from Microsoft is reading this, the link that is attached to the project name (the first link I described in my original comment) should just be removed.  Microsoft's directing the link associated with the project name (which is my product name) to Microsoft help really does make it seem that Microsoft has something to do with my product, and that defeats the logic which MS has related to you. Oh, well.
    Thursday, May 29, 2014 10:35 AM
  • Hi Cindy - as it looks like there is new interest in this question, I thought I'd add some new info. You were correct in that I couldn't remove the standard MS text. So I added a supertip to say, F1 will take you to standard help - not help about this button.

    But what is interesting is that I have also been customising backstage view. The backstage view buttons don't have any 'tell me more' text added. So if MS were trying to add security by adding this to ribbon customisation, then they should be doing the same for backstage view (not that I want them to!).

    Monday, June 2, 2014 11:35 AM
  • Hi Paul

    Mmm. Backstage view came along three years after the Ribbon - time enough to "hear" complaints and react to them in small ways. That could be a reason, but I've never heard it discussed (in contrast to the reason the Ribbon is the way it is).

    No idea why they wouldn't go back and change things in the Ribbon, also, but they didn't...


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Monday, June 2, 2014 2:18 PM
    Moderator