Quick Access Toolbar Tutorial

You have probably seen the Quick Access toolbar near the Microsoft Office Button, but you may not realize it is quite a handy tool.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to customize the QA toolbar so your favorite document formatting options are always in view.

Go retro with the QA toolbar!

If you upgraded to Word 2007 from an earlier version, you may miss the information that was always visible on the formatting toolbar.

Microsoft Word 2003 formatting toolbar

In this tutorial, we create a copy of that feature from yesteryear so you can access font and style information no matter what tab is open on the ribbon.

Customizing the toolbar

The QA Toolbar is located above the ribbon, to the right of the Office button.

To allow easier access, follow these steps to move the toolbar below the ribbon:

  1. On the toolbar, click the Customize button.
    Customize option button location
  2. Select Show Below the Ribbon.

Adding toolbar icons

It’s quick and easy to add toolbar icons that are visible in the ribbon to the Quick Access Toolbar.

To add icons to the toolbar, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Home tab.
  2. Right mouse-click Change Styles (located in the Styles group).
  3. Select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
  4. Repeat with the following items in this order: Font, Font Size, Bold, Italic, and Underline.

Your toolbar should now look like the following screenshot:

customized version

You probably notice that the style information is missing, so let’s add that now.

The Style item is not available in the ribbon, so we have to add it using the Word Options window. It is accessible directly from the Quick Access Toolbar by following these steps:

  1. On the toolbar, click the Customize button.
  2. Select More Commands.
  3. Scroll down the left-hand list, select Style, then click Add.

To complete the tutorial, keep the Word Options window open.

Tip: To remove an item you don’t want, right-click the icon on the toolbar, then select Remove.

Reordering items on the toolbar

Now that the Style item has been added, we need to move it so it appears before the Font item on our toolbar:

  1. In the Word Options window, select Style in the right-hand list.
  2. Click the Up arrow until Style is located above Font.
    Reordering items on the toolbar
  3. Optional: add Separators (from the left-hand list) and reorder or remove Save, Undo, and Redo.
  4. Click OK.

You now have a reasonable copy of the Word 2003 formatting toolbar that is always in view, no matter what tab is open, even if the ribbon is minimized!

Customized toolbar with separators and reordered items

I used a small version of the original toolbar for this tutorial. If you want to include all of the items from the Word 2003 formatting toolbar, add these additional items from the Home tab in this order: Align Text Left, Center, Align Text Right, Justify, Line Spacing, Numbering, Bullets, Decrease Indent, Increase Indent, Borders, Text Highlight Color, and Font Color.

Time Saver Tip: Using this method, add buttons to the toolbar for commands that were available in Word 2003 menus, such as AutoSummarize or AutoText, that are not available on the ribbon.