Not sure on what tab a Microsoft Office 2007 command resides? The Search Commands add-in will find it for you.

There's a lot to like about Microsoft Office 2007's ribbon-based interface, but it can get confusing. With all of the features inside Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, it's easy to get lost inside those ribbons, trying to remember which one has the feature you need right now.

That's where Search Commands, an Office add-in from Microsoft Office Labs, comes in. True, this add-in puts yet another ribbon in the overcrowded interface - but this is the ribbon you can go to for anything you can't find in the others. Simply type a keyword into the field on the ribbon's left edge, and up come some likely commands.

Search Commands doesn't always deliver perfect results. When I searched in Word for autocorrect, the first icon to appear had the promising caption "Set AutoCorrect Options." But all it did was bring me to the Word Options dialog box. The third icon, called "AutoCorrect Options," took me where I needed to go. That's still a lot easier than bringing up Help.

It's more difficult if you don't remember the feature's name, but with a little guessing, Search Commands can still help in these situations.

This download is supported only on systems running Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Vista, but I ran it on Microsoft Windows 7 without any problems. The program doesn't work in Microsoft Office 2010 (it won't install if it can't find Office 2007), and no similar program has been announced. This is, after all, not a commercial program but the result of a lab experiment.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Search Commands: Specs

  • 32 bit Windows XP or Windows Vista. Office 2007
  • English only. Works with Word, Excel and PowerPoint only
  • 32 bit Windows XP or Windows Vista. Office 2007
  • English only. Works with Word, Excel and PowerPoint only

OUR VERDICT

A useful add-in for users who find the leap to Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 a tough learning curve.

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