Clicking on and scrolling through menus to hunt down desired Microsoft Word functions has led many a user to fantasize about tossing the computer out the window. Donít get mad, get customized!
You can add frequently used features to toolbars and menus so that the desired feature is just a click away. Ah, if only you could do that in real life: ďClick, thereís the remote.Ē
Add Items to Toolbars
Instead of opening menus to locate desired options, you can place them on toolbars for easy access. For instance, if you do a lot of printing, you can add the Print option to the Formatting toolbar. Itís easy to do. You simply click and drag the print icon from within a dialog box and place it on the toolbar.
Letís go through the process step by step.
First, choose the toolbar that you want to custom-tailor in the View menu under Toolbars. In this case, the Formatting toolbar. Then, choose Customize in the Tools menu. The Customize dialog box, as shown in Figure 1, appears. Click the Toolbars tab if it isnít already showing. The toolbar you opened, in this case Formatting, should be selected.
Figure 1: The Customize dialog box
Click the Commands tab in the Customize dialog box. On the left-hand side in the Categories box are all of your Word menus and some additional categories. On the right-hand side in the Commands box are the features available in each menu. Click on one category at a time. Youíll see the items in the Commands column change reflecting whatís available in the chosen menu. In other words, if you click File under categories, as shown in Figure 2, the choices New, Open, Close, etc. correspond to the choices available in the File menu.
Figure 2: The Commands tab
If you don't see the command you want under a particular category, youíll find it under All Commands, located by scrolling down in the Categories box.
Print on Demand
Next youíre going to choose the Print command and drag it to the desired position on the toolbar. The Print command is in the File menu, so choose File in the Categories box and then scroll down in the Commands box until you see Print. Click and hold on the little printer icon and drag it onto the Formatting toolbar. Wherever you place it is where it will stay. Release the mouse. A little printer now appears on the Formatting toolbar, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: The Formatting toolbar with the added Print command
Now when you want to print a document, instead of going into the File menu to access the Print option, you can click the printer icon on the Formatting toolbar.
Oops! You made a mistake! You donít want the Print command on the Formatting toolbar. What now? No problem, all you do is go back into the Customize dialog box in the Tools menu. Click on the printer icon in the Formatting toolbar and drag it anywhere in the Customize dialog box, then let go of the mouse. The printer icon no longer appears on the Formatting toolbar.
The menu items you see are only a few of the possibilities Word offers ó you can customize menus with additional menu choices. For instance, you can add an option to the Table menu that lets you insert rows in a table.
Your Order, Please?
To add a new option to a menu, you need to first tell Word you want to customize a menu. Choose Customize in the Tools menu. Then, click the Toolbars tab and select the Menu Bar check box (itís near the bottom of the list). An editable version of the menu bar appears along the top of your image, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: The editable version of the menu bar
Next, youíll add Insert Rows to the Table menu so that when you work with tables, you can add a row using the Table menu. Click the Commands tab in the Customize dialog box. In the Categories box, click Table. In the Commands box, scroll down until you see Rows with the little insert icon next to it. This is the Insert Rows option. Click on the icon and drag it over the editable menu bar and onto the word Table. The Table menu drops down. Point to where you want to place the command on the menu and let go. The Insert Rows command is now part of the menu as shown in Figure 5. Click Close.
Figure 5: Insert Rows added to the editable menu bar
Deleting Menu Items
You can change your mind and delete an item youíve added to a menu, or you can remove any options you donít use. Letís remove the Insert Rows option you just added. Choose Customize in the Tools menu. Then click the Toolbars tab and select the Menu Bar check box. In the editable version of the menu bar that appears, click Table to reveal the menu. Click on the Insert Rows icon, drag it down anywhere in the Customize dialog box, and then let go. The Insert Rows option is now deleted from the Table menu.
Your Own Personal Menu
If you donít want to have to remember which menus contain the options you use most frequently, then donít! Instead, set up your very own custom menu where you will find your favorite Word menu options. First, choose Customize in the Tools menu. Click the Toolbars tab. Select Menu Bar. Click Commands. In the Categories box, scroll to the bottom of the list and click New Menu. In the Commands box, click on New Menu, drag it to the editable menu bar, place the new menu in the desired location, and then let go.
You now have a new menu, as shown in Figure 6. You can fill it with commands from any of the menus the way you added Insert Rows to the Table menu. To give the new menu a name, choose Customize in the Tools menu. Click the Toolbars tab. Select Menu Bar. Right-click on New Menu in the editable menu bar. Left-click on Name: and type in a new menu name. Change your mind and want to delete the custom menu? Choose Customize in the Tools menu. Click the Toolbars tab. Select Menu Bar. Click on the new menu name in the editable menu, drag it down anywhere in the Customize dialog box, and then let go. The new menu is now deleted.
Figure 6: New Menu added to the editable menu bar
When it comes to toolbars and menus, Word is the Burger King of software programs: It lets you have it your way!