In this article we’re going to learn how to (temporarily) hide the toolbars, taskbars, rulers and whatnot in Word. Note that these processes will also work for other Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
Why would I want to hide the taskbars in Word?
There are various reasons why you might want to have just a blank white screen in front of you when using Word. If you’re trying to write, write, write, you might want to remove all distractions. If you’re displaying Word on a large screen using a projector, there are many reasons why a plain screen with no additional information might be useful.
In fact, the second reason, wishing to display just some text and images via an overhead projector, is why I was asked to write this article in the first place.
How to hide taskbars and toolbars in Word
This works for Word 2007, 2010 and 2013: I’ve used Word 2010 in the example because it’s what I use most of the time, but the principles remain the same.
How to minimise the ribbon in Word
You might just want to minimise the ribbon. If this is the case, first right-click anywhere on the actual ribbon, then select Minimize the Ribbon from the menu that displays:
How do I reverse minimize ribbon?
To reverse the minimize ribbon action, you can either …
1. Right-click anywhere on the small ribbon headings that will appear and click again on Minimize the Ribbon: the tick will disappear and the ribbon will reappear:
How do I remove wording and symbols from the lower task bar
If you’re fed up of seeing your word count or document language in the lower task bar, you can right-click on the taskbar, at which point a list of all items you can display pops up, and you can untick the ones you don’t want:
You will see the displayed items at the bottom start to disappear until you’re left with just one:
How do I reverse clearing the lower task bar?
To add items back on to the task bar, right-click on the taskbar and click on the features you want to see – the tick will reappear next to the items you select, and the information will display in the lower task bar.
How do I hide the rulers?
For instructions on hiding the rulers in Word, please see this article.
How do I hide all of the toolbars in Word and other Office applications?
If you want to go further and just have a blank screen, you can use the shortcut Alt+V, U
Note that you must follow this process to do this:
- Press down the Alt key and keep it pressed down
- Press the V key and release it (keeping Alt pressed down)
- Press the U key and release it (you can then release the Alt key)
Pressing both letters together does not have the same effect. Once you’ve pressed this key combination, you will have just the document, no toolbars, taskbars, menus, etc. However, you are still likely to have the Windows taskbar showing.
So you’re not quite there, but first …
How do I reverse Alt+VU?
The first time I did this, I got a bit panicky because I assumed that you needed to press AltVU again to get back to the menus, but that’s not what you do.
To reverse Alt+VU and get back to seeing your taskbars, hit the Escape key on your keyboard. Phew!
How do I hide the Windows taskbar?
You’ve got your lovely clean document showing but you want to get rid of that Windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Here’s what you do:
First, unlock the taskbar (if it is locked) by right-clicking on the lower task bar and seeing if Lock the taskbar is ticked. If it is, click on it to untick it.
This dialogue box will disappear, so right-click on the taskbar again and this time choose Properties:
This will give you a new dialogue box:
Making sure that you’re in the Taskbar tab, click on the tickbox to Auto-hide thie taskbar.
The taskbar will now disappear, leaving you with a lovely clear screen containing only your document.
How do I reverse hiding the Windows taskbar?
To show the Windows taskbar, move the mouse to the bottom of the screen (assuming your Windows task bar is usually there), at which point it should appear. Then right-click at the bottom of the screen and select Properties, then untick Auto-hide the taskbar.
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. If you’ve enjoyed the post or found it useful, please use the sharing buttons below to share it via your social media networks – thank you!
Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013 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!
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