My short cuts: adding shortcuts to the quick access toolbar

27 Jun

Do you use commands in Word that are usually buried inside a menu inside a menu inside a menu? I’m going to show you how to add these onto your Quick Access Toolbar, so you can get at them using a shortcut in just one click. And scroll to the bottom for a very quick way to do this …

The example I’m going to use is AutoCorrect Options. I have posted about how to find and work with AutoCorrect, but it is buried within some nested menus, which means you have to click and click and click whenever you want to add a new entry, wasting time to do something in order to save time. Now, I can access the menu I want with just one click!

So, first of all we need to go up to the Quick Access Toolbar, right at the top of your screen in Word 2007 and Word 2010 (in Word 2003, right click on the main toolbar and customise it). Note the down arrow to the right of your standard buttons, and click it:

You will notice an option to choose More Commands – this is how you add more buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar. Click on that, and you’ll get a screen which allows you to customize the Quick Access Toolbar:

Note at this point that you can access this menu via Word Options – Customize, too, if you want to.

We can now see a whole load of Popular Buttons you can add on to the Quick Access Toolbar – so you can pop them on there to get at them whenever you want to. These are a few buttons that appear at the top level when you click on any of the tabs on your main ribbon.

We’re going deeper, though, into buttons and commands which don’t appear on the top level of your tab menus. So click on the arrow next to Popular Commands and you’ll get a list of options:

You can choose All Commands, which will give you every command and button (with a hover-over tip to which menu they belong to so you can choose, for example, Spell Check from the Review tab rather than the Blog version, which won’t do much for you in a standard Word document. In this case, to add our deeply buried button, we want to choose Commands not on the Ribbon.

Now you have a list of every command and button that exists in Word. How handy that AutoCorrect begins with an A! Look for your button and highlight it, then click on Add >> to add it to the list on the right – which is the list of buttons that appear on your Quick Access Toolbar. At this point you can even choose when these buttons will appear, but I always leave it on All documents. When you’ve pressed Add, there it is, on the list:

Click on OK and it will magically appear on your Quick Access Toolbar:

Want to check it’s true? Click on the little icon, and there’s our familiar AutoCorrect menu.

What a time saver! I’ve added all my very commonly used buttons from different menus onto my Quick Access Toolbar, from Bold to Spellcheck and all sorts of other things in between …

Adding items quickly to the QAT

Edit to add: If you have the button you want to add to the QAT in front of you, simply right click on that button and you will get the option to add it to the quick access toolbar!

Magic! And it works however deeply buried the button is in your lists of commands – for example, you can choose something that appears in a menu within a menu:

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2003, Word 2007 and Word 2010, all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. Find all the short cuts here


Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Errors, New skills, Short cuts, Word


Tags: , , , , , ,

24 responses to “My short cuts: adding shortcuts to the quick access toolbar

  1. Amy

    June 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    One source of frustration with QAT: Many commands do not have icons associated with them. When you add one of those commands to your QAT, it is represented by a small gray or green circle. I don’t believe there is any way to customize these circles. So you have to either memorize which circle on your QAT represents which command or hover your cursor over each circle (to evoke the name of the command) until you find the one you want. Smaller complaint: Some of the pictorial QAT icons are not self-explanatory–they, too,require cursor hovering.


    • Liz at Libro

      June 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      It is also a bit random with the wording – I have “show revisions in balloons” on there for no real reason. But it’s still better than 1,000,000 menus (and now I’m going to find out if you can customise them, of course …)


  2. Dave DeBruine

    April 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    For some reason AuotCorrectOptions isn’t in my list of Commands Not in the Ribbon. Do I have to do something to get the same list you show above?


    • Liz at Libro

      April 7, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you for your question. 1. check it’s not there already (it looks like a little flash of lightning). 2. have you tried looking in All Commands, which you can also do (this will include every command there could be). Let me know if that doesn’t work, and what version of Word you are using.


      • Dave DeBruine

        April 7, 2014 at 8:11 pm

        Thanks for your prompt response. I should have mentioned that I already looked through the All Commands list and didn’t find it. I double checked and did a cursory review through the whole list and don’t see it. I’m using Microsoft Word 2013 (15.0.4551.1509) MSO (15.0.4551.1007) 32-bit as part of Microsoft Office Standard 2013.


        • Liz at Libro

          April 7, 2014 at 8:15 pm

          How strange – I’ve just gone and looked in my version of Word 2013 and there it is. Here’s one hint – I originally added mine in Word 2010 and when I installed 2013 it had put itself in the QAT all on its own. So if you have Word 2007 or 2010, see if you can add it in there and close / restart or even uninstall / install 2013 and see if that works, maybe?


          • Dave DeBruine

            April 7, 2014 at 8:40 pm

            Thanks for the suggestions., Unfortunately the PC I use from my client doesn’t have a previous version of Microsoft Office on it. Looks like I will have to just live without this. Thanks for trying to help.


            • Liz at Libro

              April 7, 2014 at 8:46 pm

              Ah – one last thought, I wonder if this is from a cut-down version of Word called Microsoft Word Starter Edition or Microsoft Office Starter Edition. Can you see and use Track Changes? I don’t know for a fact that it doesn’t include this shortcut, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I think you should be able to tell by going into File-Account or by checking in All Programs under your Start button. I’m intrigued now, so do let me know if that is the case!


              • Dave DeBruine

                April 7, 2014 at 8:49 pm

                I don’t believe it is either of these versions. On the Account page it says Microsoft Office Standard 2013. When I go to the About Word link, it gives the version I listed above and states it is part of Microsoft Office Standard 2013.


                • Liz at Libro

                  April 7, 2014 at 8:50 pm

                  Very odd. A cursory Google doesn’t turn up any options, but I’ll see if I can find anything out. If you find a reason / solution, do let me know!


            • Liz at Libro

              April 8, 2014 at 5:22 am

              A last couple of thoughts: 1. Have you tried clearing all customisation when you’re in the menu for selecting items onto the QAT (this is done at your own risk of course, in case you lose any other features you may have). 2. As it’s an organisation’s PC, maybe they have set up a level of protection on the PC that prevents this level of customisation – not on a standard document level but possibly using something like the Information Rights Management service (see my article which covers 2013 too). Apart from that, I’m at a loss now, I’m afraid.


              • Dave DeBruine

                April 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm

                Thanks for your continued help. The weird thing is I came in today and now the Autocorrect options are there. Had I not captured screen prints of it yesterday, I would have thought I’m going crazy. The good news is I now have the ability. Thanks for your assistance.


                • Liz at Libro

                  April 8, 2014 at 12:26 pm

                  Oh, wonderful news! We did think (Mr Libro and I were pondering over this yesterday) that you might have had a non-Word document open, like an html document open in Word, which might affect that functionality, though I haven’t tested it. Thanks for letting me know, anyway!



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