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Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar Tutorial

Free Online Microsoft Word Tutorials
MS Word 2010 - Getting Started

* Add and Remove Buttons from the Quick Access Toolbar
* Advanced customization for the Quick Access Toolbar
* Repositioning the Quick Access Toolbar
* Resetting 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 MS Word skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar Test





The Quick Access Toolbar or QAT for short is the powerful miniature version of the Ribbon
that often gets ignored. 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. A further bonus is you can modify the QAT to contain a button for just about any function that is available in Word.

The QAT is located in the top left-hand corner of the Word screen.

Study the screen shot with the QAT circled in yellow and see how many of the buttons you recognize:

The Quick Access Toolbar - Microsoft Word Tutorial



* Add and Remove Buttons from the Quick Access Toolbar

The best way to get the most out of your QAT is to customize it to contain all the functions that you use frequently and to remove ones that are just taking up real estate on your toolbar.

1. There are a number of buttons that are suggested as common options of functions that Word users may want to add to the QAT. To access these options, click on the down-pointing arrow located to the right of the last button on the QAT:

Add and Remove Buttons from the Quick Access Toolbar  - Microsoft Word Tutorial

2. The items with a tick mark next to them in the list in the screenshot above, are buttons that are already on the QAT. The un-ticked options represent buttons that can still be added.

3. To add a button, simply click the item in the list you wish to appear as a button on your QAT.

4. You can also add buttons directly from the Ribbon by finding the function you wish to add on the Ribbon and right-clicking it. In the example below, we have right-clicked on the Track Changes button to add this to the QAT:

Add to Quick Access Toolbar - Microsoft Word Tutorial


5. Select 'Add to Quick Access Toolbar'
(highlighted in the screenshot above) to add this button to the QAT.

6. The QAT will immediately be modified to include the selected button:

The QAT - Microsoft Word Tutorial

7. The easiest method to remove an unused button from the QAT is to right-click the button in the QAT and select 'Remove from Quick Access Toolbar' (highlighted in the image below):

Remove from Quick Access Toolbar - Microsoft Word Tutorial




* Advanced Customization for the Quick Access Toolbar

To fully utilize the power of the QAT you may want to further customize the toolbar to add functions that are not available on the Ribbon. You can also specify the order in which buttons appear on the QAT and separate buttons into easy to identify groups using separators.

1. To access a complete list of available functions to add to the QAT, click on the dropdown arrow located next to the last button on the right-hand side of the toolbar and select 'More Commands' from the list:

Advanced Customization for the Quick Access Toolbar  - Microsoft Word Tutorial


2. This will take you directly to the Backstage View, Word Options dialogue box
and offer an extensive list of available buttons to add to the QAT. The buttons on the left-hand side panel represent available functions to add to the QAT, which is represented by the panel on the right-hand side:

The Backstage View, Word Options dialogue box - Microsoft Word Tutorial


3. To add a function to the QAT, select the function from the left-hand panel by clicking on it once
and then clicking the 'Add' button located in the center of the two panels (circled in yellow in the screenshot above). The selected item will now appear in the right-hand panel (and therefore on the QAT once you have pressed OK).

4. If you add an item in error, simply select the item in the right-hand panel and click the 'Remove' button located below the 'Add' button in the center of the two panels.

5. To access a more extensive list of functions, click on the drop-down arrow located under the 'Choose Command' heading above the left-hand panel. This will give you options such as 'Commands not on the Ribbon' and 'All Commands'.

6. The order in which items appear in the right-hand list reflects the order they will appear on your QAT. It is possible to reorganize the order of items, for example you may want to place all buttons relating to the same type of function next to each other.

7. To re-order the list, select an item in the list and then use the 'Move Up' and 'Move Down' arrows located to the right-hand side of the QAT panel to move the item upwards or downwards:

The QAT panel to move the item upwards or downwards - Microsoft Word Tutorial


8. You can add a separator
to add a visible barrier between buttons or groups of buttons on the QAT.

9. Position your cursor on the last item in the list of buttons that you wish to be separated and select 'Separator' from the top of the commands list in the left-hand panel. Click the 'Add' button to insert it into the QAT list. You can use the Move Up and Move Down arrows to reposition the separator(s):

Separator - Microsoft Word Tutorial


10. You are also able to specify whether you wish the customizations you make to the QAT
in the right-hand panel should be applied to the current document only or to all documents. You may have a document that you use as a template for which you require specific functions on the QAT that you do not use in any other program. It could be prudent to modify the QAT for such a document by selecting the document from the list located under the 'Customize Quick Access Toolbar' heading above the right-hand panel.

11. Remember to click OK in the Word Options dialogue box to accept the changes you made to the QAT.


* Repositioning the Quick Access Toolbar

After spending hours carefully rethinking and brainstorming which buttons to add to your QAT, then grouping all of these into logical sections using separators, you find your QAT takes up so much space that it is partly obscured at the top of the Word screen completely hiding your document name:

Repositioning the Quick Access Toolbar - Microsoft Word Tutorial


1. Word gives you the option to display the QAT below the Ribbon instead of above.
Many Word users find that buttons are more visible and easier to discern when displayed below the Ribbon, but judge for yourself by comparing the screenshot above to the one below:

Display the QAT below the Ribbon instead of above - Microsoft Word Tutorial


2. To display the QAT below the Ribbon, right-click
anywhere on the QAT or Ribbon and select 'Show Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon'.

3. To move the QAT back to above the Ribbon, right-click anywhere on the QAT or Ribbon and select 'Show Quick Access Toolbar above the Ribbon'.


* Resetting the Quick Access Toolbar

If you have been experimenting with the options for modifying the toolbar set-out in this tutorial and now find yourself with a crazy looking Quick Access Toolbar and not enough energy to remove buttons one-by-one, there is a quick way to restore it to its former unimposing self!

1. Right click anywhere on the QAT and select 'Customize Quick Access Toolbar'. This will take you back to the Word Options dialogue box.

2. Below the right-hand panel that represents the buttons on the QAT you will note a 'Reset' button. Click this and then select 'Reset only Quick Access Toolbar" to reset the QAT to its former glory.

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