Microsoft Office Toolbars

Apparently, there was another upgrade to Microsoft Office 365. And the toolbars changed. Well, I call them toolbars. MS Office calls them menu ribbons, except for the shortcut toolbar which they call the Quick Access Toolbar. The menu ribbon has various tools on it and changes as you select different menus. The Quick Access toolbar lets you place tools/functions that you need to use a lot in one common place that’s always visible – unless you hide the quick access toolbar.

Changes: The Quick Access Toolbar is now below the ribbon, rather than above. Visually, I guess that makes more sense. However, it’s still a change. Also, Undo and Redo were added to the main (Home) menu ribbon. They used to be on the quick access toolbar. Those are the main changes.

Also, turning on and off the ribbon has become more complicated. I often turn the ribbon off (hide the ribbon) so that I can see more on the screen. And I want a quick way to turn it on and off. To  turn the ribbon on, you can right-click on the Quick Access Toolbar and uncheck Collapse the Ribbon. To turn the ribbon off, click on click the down arrow to the right of the ribbon, then right-click in the list of choices, then check Collapse the Ribbon.

Luckily, Allen Wyatt reminded me that Ctrl+F1 toggles the ribbon on and off. Actually, I’m pretty certain that I never knew that. Ctrl+F1 is a lot easier to remember than the various steps that Office visually provides to turn it on and off. He also provides a macro, if you want to place a button on the quick access toolbar to do that.

Redo and Undo: I removed the Redo and Undo Commands from my Home menu. Redo is Ctrl+y, Undo is Ctrl+z. And I always use those keystrokes, rather than clicking the button.

Quick Access Toolbar: I decided to review what was on my quick access toolbars and see if I could use them to optimize the amount of the document or spreadsheet or other office app window. In other words, I wanted to keep the ribbon hidden as much of the time as possible, and just do functions that I do a lot, from the quick access toolbar, since that takes up less space.

If Outlook, I no longer use the ribbon. I’ve placed these commands on my quick access toolbar. To change, right-click and choose customize. Then change the first drop-down from Popular Commands to All Commands. Then Add the commands you want where you want. Use the up and down arrows on the right to order where these commands show up in the ribbon. The commands on my Outlook quick access bar are Reply, Reply All, Forward, Delete, Rules, Send Receive All Folders, Send All, and Print. If you have automatic send/receive set on, you won’t need to add those send commands. Print is Ctrl+p, so I wouldn’t need that one. But there’s plenty of room. I originally added New Email until I noticed that New Email/New Appointment is always present in the working window, depending on whether I’m on email or calendar.

In Word, you may want to hide your quick access toolbar and just toggle the ribbons on and off with Ctrl+F1. However, I need the commands Advanced Find and Find Next, so currently I’ve got them on the quick access toolbar. I think I’ll just modify the Home Ribbon and add them there. Advanced Find allows you to do nifty things like only find whole words. Ctrl+f used to get you there, but now it takes you to the simplified find (that change happened a long time ago). Advanced Find is already on the Home Menu ribbon. Click the down arrow on Find (all the way to the right). I’d like to click once, rather than twice to get there. Find Next is not on the Home Menu ribbon.

In addition to those commands, I currently have Format Painter, Replace, Show All, and Speak on my Quick Access Toolbar. I often need Format Painter, Show All, and Speak, no matter what menu ribbon is currently displayed. So, I may leave well enough alone.

In Excel, I didn’t have a need for the Quick Access Toolbar. If I did, I would add Sort and Filter. With the Formula Bar taking up extra room, I decided to not also have the Quick Access Toolbar taking room.

I don’t use PowerPoint enough to know if there’s a need for the Quick Access Toolbar. I did remove Redo and Undo from the Home Menu. I don’t use other Office Apps, other than Access (database) on rare occasions. Access is in the Professional version. I did use Teams for Work, but so far not on my Personal Computer. If you use OneDrive or OneNote, you may want to customize those apps.

Final Note: If you want the quick access bar back on the top, you can right-click on it and choose Show Quick Access Bar above the Ribbon. It will go back where it used to be and give you even more space in your app’s working window. When you do this, the command titles won’t be displayed, just the icons. But you can hover over them to see what they do, should you ever forget.

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