When you first install Word 2010, you will see a mini toolbar at the very top left of your screen, just next to the Word icon; showing icons for Save, Undo and Redo. This is the default setting of the customizable quick access toolbar (QAT). Word has changed it considerably from prior versions and has made it much more powerful and useful.
To make any changes to the QAT, click the small symbol on the right side of the toolbar that looks like a short line with a down arrow underneath; it’s just to the right of the Redo icon. You’ll get a drop down menu showing you some quick icons you can add to your QAT, by simply clicking on the name of the option, such as New or Open. Doing so will cause a little icon to appear on the QAT. That’s just the beginning.
Try clicking on the option to “Show Below the Ribbon.” The QAT moves down below the ribbon where it’s much more useful when you’re working on a document, though it does mean you get one less line of your document on your screen, but it’s a worthy trade-off.
Next, if you click on “More Commands,” you’ll get an entire menu of options, all of which are for customizing your QAT so that it will best suit your particular needs.
On the left side of the menu screen is a list of popular commands. On the right side are those options that are already on the QAT. To add an option, either double-click on it, or highlight it and then click the Add button between the two columns. The command will be added when you close the menu bar and look at your QAT.
Next, click on the “More Commands” option again, but this time look up near the top of the left side column where the words “Choose Commands From,” are located in a drop down menu. Clicking on it gives you the choice of sticking with the most popular commands, listing all of the commands available, commands not currently shown on your ribbon, or adding macros.
That last one is very convenient. Say you write an article for a British company and want your documents to always represent the differences in spelling correctly, e.g. tyre, instead of tire. A smart thing to do would be to record a macro that searches for the most common of these and then changes them to their British spelling automatically. If you happen to write for this British company a lot, you could put this macro on your QAT and run it every time you have something you need to turn in to them.
Next, if you look at the column on the right, you’ll no doubt notice the heading “Customize Quick Access Toolbar” underneath which is a drop down menu choice for allowing you to make the changes you are making to your QAT for just the current document or forever until you change it back.
Also, at the bottom of the right-hand column there are buttons to let you Reset your QAT back to the way it was originally, and to Import or Export your QAT to another computer running Word 2010, so you won’t have to customize the whole thing again.
All in all Microsoft has done a very good job with this little toolbar and it can be a very powerful tool for helping people get their work done faster if customized in ways that help them reduce steps when creating and editing documents.