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> Tools For Creating Custom Ribbons?, Any Version    
post Sep 12 2019, 09:46 AM

Posts: 13
Joined: 26-April 15

Besides IDBE Ribbon Creator and Visual Studio, are there any other "major" tools out there for creating and maintaining custom ribbons for Access? I prefer tools like these that allow for going back and forth between prototyping the layout visually and working in xml only when really needed. IDBE works fine, I've been using it for many years, but I'm always open to new tools. As far as I know at this point there were other ribbon creation tool projects started around about Access 2007 that were kind of half baked and then abandoned. What have I overlooked if anything? Thanks
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post Sep 12 2019, 09:50 AM

UtterAccess Administrator
Posts: 10,586
Joined: 7-December 09
From: St. Augustine, FL


I'm pretty sure that Gunter Avenius (sp?) has the best tool available for this, which is up to date for all versions of Office:



Jack D. Leach
Founder & CEO
Dymeng Services Inc.
Business Software Solutions
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post Sep 12 2019, 10:22 AM

Posts: 13
Joined: 26-April 15

Thanks but let me clarify my question.. I think by now everyone working with custom ribbons knows IDBE is the front-runner in this category. I often purchase several software tools in a particular category because each has unique features that are worthwhile and lets face it, Access tools are for the most part dirt cheap. Back when Access 2007 was released I remember seeing at least several interesting ribbon creator tool projects. I can't recall most of the names now, MontaRibbon is the only other ribbon creation tool I remember. So in this post I'm wondering if anybody has been laboring in obscurity (lol) on an interesting ribbon creation tool that I might add to my toolkit along with IDBE and Visual Studio?

A perfect example of this development strategy is my recommendation to buy Code VBA, MZ-Tools, and Total Visual Code Tools. All three are wonderful products, I can't imagine not having all three. Which is the "best" tool? I'd be hard pressed to pick just one. They have many overlapping features but that is irrelevant compared to the many unique and useful features in each product.
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post Sep 12 2019, 04:28 PM

UtterAccess Editor
Posts: 10,668
Joined: 8-November 07
From: South coast, England

Just to be perverse, I don't use a ribbon creator, just a template like structure which I can copy and repeat for each command type.

e.g. All my button commands calling a function have the following structure and use the same Callbacks:
  <button id="fFunctionName"
               onAction="RbnAct" />

the RbnAct callback then routes the code to the function defined by the ID of the button command.:
Sub rbnAct(ctrl As IRibbonControl)
On Error GoTo err_Proc

    Dim stAr() As String
    Dim strFunc As String
    Dim i As Byte
    Debug.Print ctrl.ID
    stAr = Split(ctrl.ID, "_")
    strFunc = stAr(0) & "("
    If UBound(stAr) > 0 Then
        For i = 1 To UBound(stAr)
            strFunc = strFunc & stAr(i) & ", "
        Next i
        strFunc = Left(strFunc, Len(strFunc) - 2)
    End If
    Debug.Print strFunc & ")"
    Eval strFunc & ")"

        Exit Sub

    MsgBox Err.Description
    Debug.Print "Error:  Eval " & strFunc & ")"
    Resume exit_Proc

End Sub

This allows arguments to be passed from the Ribbon to the function as in: fFunctionName_Arg1_Arg2 as the ribbon XML control ID

GetVisible, getEnabled etc callbacks use a Select Case Statement:
Sub RbnGetVis(ctrl As IRibbonControl, ByRef Visible)
On Error GoTo err_Proc
    'This sets the visibility for ribbon controls
    Select Case ctrl.ID
    Case "RptStdTestEquipt_0", "RptStdTestEquipt_1"
        Visible = Screen.ActiveForm.Name = "frmCalibEquipt"                                            
    Case "fFindInstFile"
        Visible = Forms!frmEquipt!SelSubFrm = 0
    End Select

The only part of the ribbon XML that needs to be changed for each new command is each control ID.
Where different ribbon XML command types pass different arguments then different callbacks are needed, (e.g. command Buttons, toggleButtons, Comboboxes etc) but these are really quite small in number and effectively the 'heavy lifting' is transferred to VBA leaving the Ribbon XML easy to write!
This post has been edited by pere_de_chipstick: Sep 12 2019, 05:14 PM

Warm regards
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post Sep 13 2019, 04:48 PM

Posts: 13
Joined: 26-April 15

Thanks for the response, alternative approaches are always interesting. Myself I currently spend quite a lot of time in IDBE Ribbon Creator doing visual prototyping before I even think about generating the final ribbon for actual use. I spend a fair amount of time noodling what tabs I need, how to group functions, the structure of submenus, etc., and I often need to preview custom icons to see how they look together with the built-in Office icons. Using the IDBE software you always know exactly how the ribbon will look at runtime (except for built-in control groups like copy/paste, format, etc. which are shown as "place holders" in the ribbon design environment) and it makes it extremely easy to move controls around, modify menus and submenus, etc., until everything looks right. One of the interesting features of IDBE is that you can create your own templates for customized callbacks and of course your own VBA code to execute features so you aren't stuck with someone else's idea of what all that should look like.
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post May 8 2020, 06:50 PM

Posts: 107
Joined: 12-October 04
From: Dallas area

You might consider this one: https://accessui.com/Products/RibbonTreeBuilder
Limited free version and fairly expensive licensed version

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