The ribbon

The introduction of the ribbon in Studio 2014 has caused me so many difficulties that I now generally work in Studio 2011.

Quite aside from the usual familiarization problems associated with the move from menus to ribbons,  ribbons can Become massive hurdles for visually impaired users.

I use a system with two monitors, one of which has a screen magnifier permanently open. In addition, I use the Windows 7 function to magnify both screens by 125%.

This has the following unfortunate effect: The items on the ribbon are truncated, because the ribbon no longer fits across a 1280X1024 screen.

I have no idea what the items circled in red are, although I do know that they have access keys. They also have a tooltip (circled in blue), but this tooltip opens below the ribbon, which is outside the range of my magnifier  and, of course, if I try to move down to read it, it disappears. (Just to give you an idea, my magnifier occupies approximately 2/3 of the height of one of my screens, and shows either the top half or the bottom half of the ribbon and just a couple of buttons in width. This is the sort of total magnification I need to be able to read text visually.)

Because I cannot see (or hear) buttons and functions which are not displayed on the toolbar (most screen readers cannot see them either), I am simply unaware of their presence.  I may be able to get at the functions using access keys, but I first have to know that they are there and what they are there for.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, the access keys for the top level of the ribbon appear to override  any access keys defined in a dialog box. This affects the access keys H, F, R, A, V, D, E.

Furthermore, the assignment of the access keys  differs, depending on the current context. Thus, for instance, in the editor view, pressing Alt + A opens the Advanced ribbon, whereas in the Projects view, it opens the Ad-Ins ribbon. (In the editor, you need Alt + D to open the Ad-Ins ribbon.) Top level access keys must remain constant, i.e. if I press Alt + A anywhere in the program (except when a dialog box is open), it should always open the same ribbon.

The ribbon cannot be navigated correctly using the arrow keys or tab key. It is possible to navigate through the top level items and to move into a ribbon with the arrow keys, but it is not possible  to move between individual items within a specific ribbon (which should enable a screen reader  to read the items, provided that the programmer has assigned  accessible text for items which only appear as icons in the ribbon).

As I have said, the introduction of the ribbon  implemented in this way has prevented me from migrating to Studio 2014 for my productive work.