What I put on my quick access tool bar in Word


The quick access toolbar is an extra toolbar in Office applications that you can customise to contain commands you use frequently. See here for details of how to add commands to the quick access toolbar.

Here are the commands I currently have in my quick access toolbar for Word, and why I have them there.

  • Save
  • Print Preview and Print
  • Undo
  • Redo

These are pretty standard everyday commands. The sort of things I do often and I guess most people do, so they don’t need much explanation.

  • Para Page Break Before: this one formats a paragraph so that it always starts at the beginning of a new page
  • Para Keep With Next: this one formats a paragraph so it always appears on the same page as the next paragraph

These two commands are much better to use than a manual page break as they give you much more flexible control. This blog post by Shauna Kelly gives a good explanation of how to use these commands.

  • Spacing Before
  • Spacing After

These two commands show the spacing before and after the current paragraph and are directly editable. I don’t need these much while editing my own documents, as I use templates to control paragraph spacing. However they are really really useful when editing other people’s documents, especially when these have been formed by cutting and pasting from several people’s work. This often results in a variety of paragraph formatting and having this visible makes it much quicker to sort out for consistency.

  • Show All

This command switches between seeing the formatting marks and hiding them. For general writing and reading its easiest to have this off, but I often need to jiggle it on to see spaces, tabs, paragraph marks etc when editing. Essential to put on when I am sorting out someone else’s formatting.

  • Insert Comment
  • Delete Comment

Since I am often working collaboratively on documents, commenting and removing comments is something I do a lot of and it is handy to have these available on the quick access toolbar. If you don’t know about comments have a look at this post here.

  • Update

This command updates all the fields in the selected section. If you select the whole document it will update the table of contents, cross-references and any other fields you have in the document. If your fields are in the header of footer you have to select those separately to update them. Since I use fields a lot this is a really helpful tool to have handy.

  • Document Location

Recently I talked about document addresses in this post and how I use them to keep track of where documents are. I use them so much that I have put the document location tool in my quick access toolbar so that I can quickly copy the full address of any document I have currently open.

  • Open the Navigation Pane

I use the navigation pane a lot for things like rearranging sections of work in Word, revising by chopping up, and finding where in the document my search terms occur. But sometimes it is in the way so I like to be able to switch it quickly on and off.

  • Quick links to Endnote commands

I use Endnote, which integrates with Word and inserts its own ribbon with special Endnote commands. These can also be added to the quick access toolbar. One that I use often is Edit & Manage Citation(s).

  • Quick links to my own macros

Lastly, I have a bunch of macros I use in Word. I tend to put a link in the quick access toolbar for macros I use in medium frequency. This contrasts with macros I use infrequently which I just put on the ribbon somewhere, or macros I use very frequently, for which I use a keyboard shortcut. I have one macro on the quick access toolbar which performs a set of steps in Endnote which convert a citation to a format for using in a sentence.

Saving your customisations

It’s a good idea to save your customisations so that you can import them again if you need to. Here is how.

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