To help users overcome their Office ribbon phobia (or perhaps "frustration" is a better word), Microsoft designed a game, Ribbon Hero 2, featuring the ol' Office character that annoyed many of us just as much as the ribbon: Clippy.
You're in shock, aren't you? I certainly was. To bring Clippy back to Office is almost as clueless as when "Scooby-Doo" producers decided to bring Scooby's annoying nephew Scrappy back to join the Mystery Inc. gang in a few made-for-TV movies in the 1980s.
But Microsoft plays on Clippy's lack of popularity by starting the game with a scene explaining why Microsoft fired Clippy and how "he" ended up living in his mother's basement, which then leads to the reason why Clippy now needs our help throughout the game.
After playing the Ribbon Hero 2 game just to see if it really did offer some good tips, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. Helping Clippy complete steps as he travels through such time periods as The Middle Ages, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Greece is a fun way to learn more about how the ribbon works in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. (And adding Hint buttons to the game is a nice touch.)
You can download and play Ribbon Hero 2 (at no charge, of course) for both Office 2007 and Office 2010. And for information about other ribbon-related resources and articles that teach you more tips and shortcuts, see "Customize the Microsoft Office Ribbon."
(Graphics courtesy of Microsoft Corp.)