Excel and the Economics of Usability

Your default Microsoft Office toolbar has the “print” and “print preview” buttons located right next to each other. Why d’you suppose this is? I “customize” my toolbar experience by removing the print button, but this is periodically rejiggered to the default configuration by a computer migration or inexplicable Windows event. Whereupon I immediately start printing at least five spurious copies of everything, every time I need to preview the formatting.

Is Microsoft in cahoots with printer-toner manufacturers?


  1. Bill Gates wrote:

    Try using Ctrl – F2 for Print Preview

  2. yami wrote:

    Oh sure, but if I start using keyboard shortcuts for everything, then I’d be able to dispense with toolbars entirely. And then where would we be? Icon designers out of a job, that’s where!

  3. Jaap wrote:

    Having the print button actually print the document rather than pull up the print dialog is stupid, and only MS does it. It annoys me to no end, because I rarely use MS software, and when I do (on someone else’s machine) I hit that effin print button and then things start rolling out of some random printer at the other side of the building.
    In fact, there is one other program that is configured similarly badly by default, which is dvips, a unix program that assumes that if you don’t give it an output file, it should talk to the standard printer instead of the standard output terminal.
    Whine whine whine crunchy whine.

  4. Jensen wrote:

    Although most programs can be configured, just don’t do it. It costs you a big effort to re-configure after a new installation of the OS, a new upgrade, a sudden reset of the settings.

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