My short cuts: full dialogue boxes for fonts, paragraphs etc.

05 Sep

This post was inspired by my partner, Matthew, suddenly asking me about this. Once again, I realised it was something that I and other people who work with Word know about as second nature, and assumed everyone else did, too. Apparently not!

Ever wondered what the little arrow in the bottom right corner of your Word 2007 and 2010 ribbon areas was? Wonder no more – today you will find out what they do, and how to access the font, paragraph, headings (etc!) dialogue boxes with the click of a mouse button.

Expansion arrows in the Word Ribbon

In the Home, Page Layout and References tabs on the standard Word 2007 and Word 2010 ribbons, you may notice little arrows in the bottom right-hand corner of some of the sections, for example, Home – Paragraph, Page Layout – Page Setup or References – Footnotes. Some of them are indicated by the red arrows in the image above. What do they do? Click and find out!

Basically, there is not enough room on that pesky ribbon for all of the functionality and options that Word 2003 used to show you in nice, sensible menus (one of these days I’ll share with you how to get the classic menu view in Word 2007 and 2010).

So, if you see a little arrow in the corner, try clicking it and see what different options you have. The one you’ve always wanted to be able to do might be languishing there, waiting for your click!

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 September 5, 2012 in New skills, Short cuts, Word


Tags: , , , ,

3 responses to “My short cuts: full dialogue boxes for fonts, paragraphs etc.

  1. Caitlin

    October 22, 2013 at 2:53 am

    I somehow have lost these arrows in my version of Word. I’m not sure whether I turned the expansion option off but even when my ribbon is displayed there are no arrows next to the words Font, or Paragraph & Spacing, etc. Please Help! I loved those arrows! And you’re the only one online who seems to mention or acknowledge them.


    • Liz at Libro

      October 22, 2013 at 6:17 am

      Hello Caitlin and thank you for your comment. I am flummoxed at the moment, to be honest. Can you let me know some more detail, please, then I’ll see if I can help.
      1. Which version of Word are you using, and for PC or Mac?
      2. What did you do to hide your ribbon in the first place and bring it back?



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