Repeat Key

Styles in Word 97 and 2000

Button Tricks


Alt and drag in Word

Beyond basic AutoFill

  Button Tricks

Word has over 1500 commands that you can assign to a toolbar button, but only 24 show by default. (33 show at higher resolutions.) By the way the button tips in this article also work in PowerPoint (which has over 400 commands) and Excel (which has almost 600). Someone told me, I don't have time for counting!

I'm going to show you how to remove the buttons you don't use and add buttons for the commands you do use (or plan to use). BTW, they don't actually delete. You can always reset your toolbars in the Customise dialogue box.

Copying and pasting buttons

It's so easy to copy and paste toolbar buttons that you'll want an excuse to do it.

Alt + drag a button to move it.

Ctrl + Alt + drag a button to copy it

Use Alt + drag to reorder the buttons to your liking; use Ctrl + Alt + drag to copy buttons from toolbar to toolbar. If you Ctrl + Alt drag too many, you can easily remove some.

Removing buttons

They always make it easy to remove stuff, don't they?

Getting something back is usually the problem. Same holds true for toolbar buttons. The fastest way to remove a button is to Alt + drag it off the toolbar. Yep. That's it. And, if you don't like using Alt (or if the Alt key fell off your keyboard), right-click any toolbar, select Customize, then just drag the buttons off.

Since there is no undo, no matter which method you choose, you might want to copy some existing buttons (Ctrl + Alt + drag) then practice deleting.

Adding buttons

Remember those 1,500+ Word commands I told you about earlier? You can add each and every one of them (if you have a 53" screen) to either an existing toolbar or one you create from scratch. Here's how you create a new toolbar:

1. Right-click any toolbar, then select Customize.

2. Click the Toolbars tab.

3. Click the New button, type a Toolbar name, then click OK. (I'm assuming you want your toolbars available in all Word documents.)

And, here's how you add buttons to your new toolbar:

1. If you haven't already done so, right-click any toolbar, then select Customise.

2. Click the Commands tab.

3. Select a Category from the left side. (Not sure which category to choose? They broadly correspond with menus. Alternately, scroll down the list, then select All Commands. Unfortunately, you'll have to scroll through all 1500 commands to find the one you are looking for.)

4. Click and drag a command from the Commands list on the right onto your new toolbar.

Making your buttons pretty

Changing the look of a button is easy, but not very intuitive. Word has 42 very random button images (a piggy bank, a heart and a fish, for example). To use one, do this:

1. Right-click any toolbar, then select Customise.

2. Back on the toolbar, right-click the button, then select Change Button Image.

3. Click an image, then close the Customise dialogue box.

If Word's 42 marvellous images aren't enough, just about any image you can copy (Ctrl + C), you can use. After you copy, right-click a toolbar, then select Customise. Right-click the button you want to change, then select Paste Button Image. Word will shrink the image to 16 x 16 pixels, distorting the image if necessary. As you can see, creating buttons for task you perform frequently can save you an unbelievable amount of time; creating and applying button images can eat up most of the time you save!

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