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Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar Tutorial

Free Online Microsoft Excel Tutorials
Excel Training 2010 - Getting Started

* What is the Quick Access Toolbar?
* Move the Quick Access Toolbar
* Customize the Quick Access Toolbar
* Organize buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar


The Quick Access Toolbar can be customized with your most frequently used buttons. Learn how to add, delete and change the position of the buttons you use the most.

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Excel Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar Test




* What is the Quick Access Toolbar?

The Quick Access Toolbar, or QAT for short, is the powerful smaller brother of the Ribbon that is often overlooked.  The purpose of the QAT is to give you quick access to functions you use frequently, saving you from having to navigate through the Ribbon or Backstage View to access these options.  A further bonus is you can modify the QAT to contain a button for just about any function that is available in Excel and even add customized buttons to it for functions you create.

The QAT is located at the top left-hand corner of the Excel screen. 

Study the screenshot below.  The QAT has been circled in red.  How many of the buttons on the QAT do you recognize?


What is the Quick Access Toolbar? Excel Tutorial


If you said: Save, Undo, Redo, New, Open and Spellcheck, you would be spot on!



* Move the Quick Access Toolbar

If you are prone to forgetting about the QAT and would like to have its options in a slightly more accessible location, you can move it below the Ribbon.

In the screenshot below, the QAT has been repositioned (see circled in red).  This is ideal if your QAT contains multiple functions as there is more space below than above the Ribbon to display it.


Move the Quick Access Toolbar - Excel Tutorial

To display the QAT below the Ribbon:

1.  Right-click anywhere on the Ribbon or QAT.

2.  Select Show Quick Access Toolbar Below the Ribbon from the list.

This will display the QAT below the Ribbon as visualized in the screenshot above. 

To restore the QAT to its default position above the Ribbon:

1.  Right-click anywhere on the Ribbon or QAT.

2.  Select Show Quick Access Toolbar Above the Ribbon from the list.

The QAT will return to its position in the top left-hand corner of the Excel screen.





* Customize the Quick Access Toolbar

You can customize and organize the QAT by adding all the functions you use frequently or have difficulty locating on the Ribbon or Backstage view.

The first method of adding function buttons to the QAT is:

1.  Click on the drop down arrow to the right of the last function on the QAT (circled in red in the screenshot below point 2).

2.  Click on any of the functions in the list.  Those with a yellow highlighted tick next to them are already activated on the QAT:


Customize the Quick Access Toolbar - image 1 - Excel Tutorial


Another quick method for adding functions to the QAT is to add them directly from the Ribbon:

1.  Right-click on any function on the Ribbon you wish to add to the QAT.  If the function is located on a drop down list, click the dropdown arrow on the function button and right-click the item in the list you wish to add to the QAT. 

2.  Select Add to Quick Access Toolbar from the list:

Customize the Quick Access Toolbar - Image 2 - Excel Tutorial

The selected button will immediately appear on the QAT.

You can also add an entire group from the Ribbon onto the QAT.  Right click at the top of a group on the Ribbon and select Add Group to Quick Access Toolbar from the list.

The third method for adding function buttons to the QAT is to use the More Commands option:

1.  Click on the dropdown arrow to the right of the last function on the QAT.

2.  Select More Commands (circled in red in the screenshot below) from the list:


Customize the Quick Access Toolbar - Image 3 - Excel Tutorial


3.  This will launch the Customize Quick Access Tollbar area
of the Excel Options dialog box.  In this box, find the option in the left-hand window (circled in red in the screenshot below) that you wish to add to the QAT:

Customize the Quick Access Toolbar - Image 4 - Excel Tutorial

4.  Click to select the function or option you wish to add to the QAT and then click the Add button located in the middle of the two windows.  This will add the selected item to the right-hand window list.

5.  Keep adding as many options as you need by repeating the process detailed above.  If the option(s) you are looking for is not in the left-hand list, use the Choose Commands From dropdown list above the right-hand window (circled in red in the screenshot below) to access more options:


Customize the Quick Access Toolbar - Image 5 - Excel Tutorial


6.  Remember to press OK to accept any changes
you make to the QAT in the Excel Options dialog box.

 

To remove items from the QAT:

1.  In the main Excel window, right-click any button or separator line on the QAT you wish to remove.

2.  Select Remove From Quick Access Toolbar from the list:


Customize the Quick Access Toolbar - Image 6 - Excel Tutorial


There is no prompt to ask you if you are sure about removing the button,
so always double-check that you do in fact want to remove a button!



* Organize buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar

Adding a multitude of buttons to the QAT and having quick and easy access to functions you use frequently is definitely a great productivity booster.  However, if the buttons are in no discernible order, it may take you just as long to find the function on the QAT than it would finding it in its traditional location.

To organize buttons on the QAT:

1.  Study the buttons on your QAT and decide what groups you would like.  This is an individual preference and what you feel is great organization, someone else may feel makes no sense.

2.  Right-click anywhere on the Ribbon or QAT area.

3.  Select Customize Quick Access Toolbar This will launch the Quick Access Toolbar area of the Excel Options dialog box.

4.   In the right-hand window, click on a function you wish to move up or down to create groups.

5.  Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons (circled in red in the screenshot below) to relocate the functions to the desired position in the list:

Organize buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar - Image 1 - Excel Tutorial


6.  Press OK to accept the changes you make.


To better delineate between groups on the QAT, you can insert separators between related or even individual functions:

1.  Right-click anywhere on the Ribbon or QAT area.

2.  Select Customize Quick Access Toolbar from the list.  This will launch the Quick Access Toolbar area of the Excel Options dialog box.

3.  In the right-hand panel, select the function below which you wish to insert a separator.

4.  At the top of the left-hand panel, select the Separator option (circled in red in the screenshot below):


Organize buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar - Image 2 - Excel Tutorial


5.  Click on the Add button in the middle of the two windows
(circled in red in the screenshot below) to insert the separator:

Organize buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar - Image 3 - Excel Tutorial

In the screenshot above, multiple separators have been inserted.

6.  Use the Remove button or the Move Up and Move Down buttons to tweak separator positions if necessary.

7.  Press OK to accept the changes you made.

Back in the Excel main window, you will note your QAT has been reorganized to reflect the changes you made.



Now you have done the tutorial:

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Excel Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar Test