Using Menus and Toolbars

Using Menus and Toolbars

Word provides several ways to access the commands and features you use as you create your documents. You can access these commands by using the menus on the menu bar and the buttons on the various toolbars.

You can also access many Word commands using shortcut menus. Right-clicking a particular document element (a word or a paragraph, for example) opens these menus, which contain a list of commands related to the item on which you are currently working.

The Word Menu Bar

The Word menu bar gives you access to all the commands and features that Word provides. As in all Windows applications, Word's menus reside below the title bar and are activated by clicking a particular menu name . The menu then drops open , providing you with a set of command options.

Word (and the other Office applications) uses a menu system called personalized menus that enables you to quickly access the commands you use most often (while hiding those that you use less frequently). When you first choose a particular menu, you find only a short list of Word's most commonly used menu commands. When you've spent some time using Word, this list of commands will actually be the ones that you have used most recently on that particular menu.

If a menu has a small double arrow at the bottom of its command list, you can click that to gain access to other, less commonly needed, commands. As you use hidden commands, Word adds them to the normal menu list. This means that you are basically building the list of commands available on the menu as you use Word.

This personalized strategy is also employed by the toolbar system. As you use commands, they are added to the toolbar (this personalized toolbar feature is available only when you have the Standard toolbar and the Formatting toolbar on the same line in an application window). This provides you with customized menus and toolbars that are, in effect, personalized for you.

To access a particular menu, follow these steps:

  1. Select the menu by clicking its title (such as View ), as shown in Figure 1.3. The most recently used commands appear; wait just a moment for all the commands on a particular menu to appear (if the commands do not appear, click the down arrow at the bottom of the menu).

    Figure 1.3. Select a particular menu to view, and then point to a Word command.

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  2. Select the command on the menu that invokes a particular feature (such as Header and Footer ).

You will find that many of the commands found on Word's menus are followed by an ellipsis (). These commands, when selected, open a dialog box that requires you to provide Word with additional information before the particular feature or command can be used. More information about understanding dialog boxes is included later in this lesson.

Some of the menus also contain a submenu or cascading menu from which you make choices. The menu commands that produce a submenu are indicated by an arrow to the right of the menu choice. When a submenu is present, you point at the command ( marked with the arrow) on the main menu to open the submenu.

The menu system itself provides a logical grouping of the Word commands and features. For example, commands related to files, such as Open, Save, and Print, are all found on the File menu.

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Activating Menus with the Keyboard You can activate a particular menu by holding down the Alt key and then pressing the keyboard key that matches the underscored letter in the menu's name. This underscored letter is called the hotkey. For example, to activate the File menu in Word, press Alt+F .


If you find that you would rather have access to all the menu commands (rather than accessing only those you've used recently), you can turn off the personalized menu system. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Tools menu, and then click Customize .

  2. In the Customize dialog box, click the Options tab.

  3. To show all the commands on the menus, click the Always Show Full Menus check box.

  4. Click OK to close the dialog box.

Shortcut Menus

A fast way to access commands related to a particular document element is to select that document object and then right-click. This opens a shortcut menu that contains commands related to the particular object with which you are working.

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Object Any element found in a document, such as text, a graphic, a hyperlink, or other inserted item.


For example, if you select a line of text in a document, right-clicking the selected text (see Figure 1.4) opens a shortcut menu with commands such as Cut, Copy, and Paste, or it provides you with quick access to formatting commands, such as Font and Paragraph.

Figure 1.4. By right-clicking areas in Word, you can use shortcut menus to quickly access Word commands related to the item that was clicked.

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Word Toolbars

The Word toolbars provide a very quick and straightforward way to access often-used commands and features. When you first start Word, the Standard and Formatting toolbars reside as one continuous toolbar found directly below the menu bar (as shown in Figure 1.2). You can quickly place the Standard and Formatting toolbars in their own row by selecting the Toolbar Options button on either toolbar, and then selecting Show Buttons on Two Rows (as shown in Figure 1.3 and 1.4).

To access a particular command using a toolbar button, click the button. Depending on the command, you see either an immediate result in your document (such as the removal of selected text when you click the Cut button) or the appearance of a dialog box requesting additional information from you.

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Finding a Toolbar Button's Purpose You can place (hover but do not click) the mouse pointer on any toolbar button to view a description of that tool's function. If you also want to see the shortcut keys associated with a toolbar button, select Show Shortcut Keys in ScreenTips on the Options tab of the Customize dialog box.


Word offers several toolbars; many of them contain buttons for a specific group of tasks . For example, the Drawing toolbar provides buttons that give you access to tools that enable you to draw graphical elements in your documents (such as text boxes, lines, and rectangles).

To place additional toolbars in the Word window, right-click any toolbar currently shown and select from the list that appears. Specific toolbars exist for working with tables, pictures, other Word features, and the World Wide Web.

You can also easily add or remove buttons from any of the toolbars present in the Word window. Each toolbar is equipped with a Toolbar Options button that you can use to modify the buttons shown on that particular toolbar.

To add or remove buttons from a specific toolbar, follow these steps:

  1. graphics/toolbaroption.gif Click the Toolbar Options button on any toolbar; a drop-down area appears.

  2. Click Add or Remove Buttons and then select the name of the toolbar that appears on the pop-up menu. A list of all the buttons for the current toolbar appears, as shown in Figure 1.5.

    Figure 1.5. You can easily add or remove buttons from a toolbar using the button list.

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  3. For a button to appear on the toolbar, a check mark must appear to the left of the button in this list. For buttons without a check mark next to them, clicking this space puts the button on the toolbar. These buttons work as toggle switches; one click adds the check mark, another click removes it.

  4. When you have completed your changes to the current toolbar, click outside the button list to close it.

The Word toolbars provide fast access to the commands you need most often. Buttons exist for all the commands that are available on the Word menu system.

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Moving Toolbars in the Word Window You can rearrange toolbars in the Word window. Place the mouse on the dotted vertical handle on the left side of a toolbar and drag it to a new position. You can change the relative position of toolbars below the menu bar and you can also drag toolbars and nest them on the left side of the Word window. Toolbars dragged onto the document window will float and can be positioned as needed.




Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
ISBN: B005HKSHB2
EAN: N/A
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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