Microsoft Office 2010 Tips, Customizing and Tools

Microsoft Office 2010 made easier and more productive
By Jay Jankelewicz

When working with the Microsoft Office 2010 products, such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, instead of constantly having to search through the Ribbon to find the commands you frequently use for documents, presentations, or spreadsheets, there is a great time-saving tool that will make working with these programs more efficient as it will make those frequently used commands easily accessible. This wonderful tool is called the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT for short).
The Ribbon is the horizontal toolbar situated directly beneath the title bar of the program window. The Ribbon serves as the central location where all commands and features of the program are located. It is divided into task-specific tabs and each tab is divided into feature-specific groups.
The QAT appears above the Ribbon and to the immediate right of the program icon situated at the left end of the title bar. By default, it already contains the Save, Undo, and Redo buttons. The QAT as the name suggests makes commands easily accessible and with just one click the user can apply that command. Many people may not realize that the QAT is easily customizable as users can add the commands they use frequently to it in order to increase their productivity and suit their working needs. Let’s find out how to accomplish this.
After you have opened one of the Microsoft Office 2010 products, click on the Customize button, which is the rightmost button on the QAT that is represented as a downward pointing arrow. This will display the Customize Quick Access Toolbar menu. From this menu, you can add commands to the QAT. Basically, any command that can be found in the program can be added to the QAT. On this menu, select the More Commands option to open the Word Options window with the QAT page displayed. The QAT page allows you to browse through the numerous commands found in the program and select those that you wish to add to the QAT. The Popular Commands are displayed by default as these are the commands most commonly used by Office users. If you scroll through the left-hand list of Popular Commands and do not find your command listed there, then click on the drop down arrow for the Choose commands from menu to display a menu containing a list of other areas in the program which contain commands such as the Insert and References tabs.
Once you have selected a command from the left-hand list to add to the QAT, it becomes highlighted. Click on the Add button to move the command to the right-hand list (this list appears under the Customize Quick Access Toolbar drop-down menu) which means that this command will now be added to your QAT. To finish the process, click the Ok button to confirm your customization and to close the Word Options window. You have successfully added the given command to the QAT as its icon will now always appear on the QAT no matter what document is active. Thus, with one click and not having to waste time searching around the Ribbon for the given command, you can easily and quickly apply the command to the document at hand.
Another way to add commands to the QAT is to first locate the button on the Ribbon that you frequently use and that you wish to add to the QAT. Right click on the given button to display a context menu and from that menu select Add to Quick Access Toolbar. You will see that the button has immediately been added to the QAT.
For example, let’s say you want to add the command for the Spell & Grammar Checker to the QAT as you don’t want to have to continually search through the Ribbon to locate and run the Spell Checker. Click on the Review tab and within the Proofing group you will find the Spelling & Grammar button (as a side note, the keyboard shortcut to run the Spell Checker is F7). Right-click this button and in the context menu that appears choose Add to Quick Access Toolbar. Congrats! You have successfully added the Spell Checker button to your QAT. From now on, anytime you need to run the Spell Checker, simply click on its button located in the QAT – you will no longer have to remember where you originally found the Spell Checker button.
Should you mistakenly add a command to the QAT, there is a simple way to undo this. Right-click on the button you added to the QAT and from the context menu that appears, select Remove from Quick Access Toolbar.
Well, there you have it. Customizing the QAT is one of the many ways of tailoring the workspace of the Office 2010 programs to meet your working needs!

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