The Word Options Menu

The Word Options menu allows you to customize Word 2007 according to your preferences. This article explains the available customization options. 

In previous versions, this menu was located on the Tools menu (Tools > Preferences). In Word 2007, it is part of the Office menu.

To change user and software application preferences, follow these general steps:

  1. Click the Office Button (or File in Word 2010 or 2013).
  2. Click Word Options (or Options).
    The Options button
  3. Change settings as desired, then click OK.

The Options menu is quite extensive. It includes more than 100 modifiable options, not including submenus.

You can set preferences for AutoCorrect, printing, saving, custom dictionaries, color schemes, updating fields, and much more. In addition, this menu contains help options, such as repairing Microsoft Office, finding your product serial number, managing installed add-ins, and changing security settings.

If you hate the way Word 2007 does something, browse the Word Options menu to see if you can change it.

In this article, I discuss the tabs located in this menu, but I won’t be able to cover all of the available preferences you can set through this dialog. (If a topic is covered in more detail elsewhere on, I included a link.)

Exploring the tabs on the Word Options menu

Let’s briefly explore the nine tabs located on the Word 2007 options menu.

Options dialog box
The Options Dialog Box: This dialog allows you to set user preferences and to find helpful Microsoft Office resources.

Customizing Microsoft Office and Word 2007

The first five tabs contain commands for customizing Office and Word 2007:

  • Popular: this is where you find the most popular commands for customizing Word and the Office 2007 ribbon. It is covered in detail in the Customize the Office Ribbon tutorial.
  • Display: the display commands control how Word looks on-screen and when you print documents. For instance, if you create business forms in Word, you can select the option to update your form fields before printing. Other options include always showing certain formatting marks, or whether white space shows between pages on the screen.
  • Proofing: this menu allows you to set options for AutoCorrect, spelling check (in Microsoft Office and Word), grammar check, writing style settings, and adding and editing custom dictionaries.
  • Save: if you want to change the default file extension for saving Word documents, use this menu. You can also change how often your document is saved and the location for the AutoRecovery tool. Other preferences you can customize in this menu include file sharing options (for instance if you use SharePoint), and how Word handles embedding fonts in your saved files.
  • Advanced: this tab contains all other customization options. Each category contains many preference options…I recommend that you open this tab and look around so you can see the many ways you can customize Word 2007 to fit your work style. Available customization categories include the following:
    • Editing
    • Cut, Copy & Paste
    • Show Document Content
    • Display
    • Print
    • Save
    • Sharing
    • General
    • Compatibility
    • Layout

Add the Options Menu to the Quick Access Toolbar

If you use the Word Options menu on a regular basis, it saves time if you add it to the Quick Access toolbar.

It’s easy! Just follow these steps:

  1. Click the Office Button.
  2. Right-click the Word Options button.
  3. Select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

Now you don’t have to click the Office Button every time you want to change your preferences.

Finding additional help and resources

The last four tabs provide additional customization options, help, and resources for using Microsoft Office:

  • Customize: this tab contains the dialog for customizing the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Add-ins: if you have add-ins installed, manage them here. You can add or remove add-ins, or review and manage add-ins that caused Word to not function properly.
  • Trust Center: you can access the Windows Security Center through this tab, as well as set preferences for running macros, ActiveX Controls, Add-ins, trusted locations, and more. You can also follow links to the Microsoft Office, Word, and Customer Experience Improvement Program privacy statements.
  • Resources: get to know this tab! Here is where you access links for Word update, Help About Microsoft Word, Office Diagnostics, online support, and contact information for Microsoft Corporation. Most importantly, this tab contains the link for activating your software license.

With so many customization options available, open the menu and spend time exploring each tab so you can see where your favorite user options are located. Setting up application and user preferences beforehand saves you time and frustration while you are working.