5 Things YDKYDK About Microsoft Word: #1 – Quick Access Toolbar

This is the first of five blogs about Things You Don’t Know You Don’t Know About Microsoft Word.

Blog #1: you can customise that bar at the top of your screen so it has all the links to the things you do most often on it.

How much time do you waste each day hunting for commands on the ribbons?

Note: ‘ribbons’ = the panels at the top of the screen with all the buttons (commands) on.

Perhaps there’s a command you use all the time but can never remember where to find it. Is it in Layout? Review? Insert? Aargh!

I am on a mission to save you all time, which is why I regularly post keyboard shortcuts. Tools that let you do things in one click save you time.

This is why the first of my blogs is to tell you about the #QuickAccessToolbar. It’s available in all of the #MicrosoftOffice packages. You just haven’t spotted it yet. Or, you’re using the buttons on it but don’t realise that you can add more.

This is the Quick Access Toolbar. It’s in the top left-hand corner of your screen when in Word and initially looks like this:

However, you can add buttons to it for the things in Word you do most regularly. There are three ways to do this:

  1. You can right click over any command on any ribbon and you will be offered the option to Add to Quick Access Toolbar. Just left click to select.
  2. Click on the down arrow at the end of your Quick Access Toolbar. You’re presented with a list of the most popular commands which you can add to your QAT by left clicking on each (annoyingly you have to keep clicking on the arrow and selecting them one by one – hoping that Microsoft change this in future versions!)
  3. At the bottom of the list from the down arrow, you have a More Commands option. In this area you can click a command on the left and Add to your QAT on the right. Change from Popular Commands to any of the other options listed on the dropdown menu. For instance, File Tab is very useful because File doesn’t have a ribbon which means you can only add File commands (like Save As) to your Quick Access Toolbar in this way. You can also use this More Commands area to move your QAT buttons up/down so they are in your preferred order. Just don’t forget to click the OK button once you’ve finished.

The great news is that once you have customised your QAT, it will be there permanently. You will only have to add extra commands as and when you need to. This is what mine usually looks like:

If you prefer, you can also right click over your QAT and tell it to Show Quick Access Toolbar Below The Ribbon. Personally, I find it more accessible there and I’m more likely to remember to use it!

If you’d like to watch a video showing you how to do this please click here.

For anyone in an IT technical role for a business, you may want to consider customising the Quick Access Toolbar for all of your users centrally. This would then give everyone the most useful buttons, but still allows them to add their own. One of my clients, for example, have customised it in Microsoft Word and Outlook for all staff. In Outlook they have added a button of their own (a macro) so that people can print the first page of an email. Another button takes people into Print Options to specify a page range. An environmentally friendly idea too!

I hope you’ve found this useful. I’d love to hear your comments and feedback. Happy to answer questions too.

In the second blog of this series, I will tell you about a few other useful, discreet, facilities in Microsoft Word and how to find them!

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