Using the Menu System

The menu bar that you find in the Office applications gives you access to all the commands and features a particular application provides. These specific menu systems are found below the title bar and are activated by selecting a particular menu choice. The menu then opens, providing you with a set of command choices.

The Office 2003 applications use a personalized menu system that was first introduced in Microsoft Office 2000. It enables you to quickly access the commands you use most often. When you first choose a particular menu, you find a short list of menu commands. As you use commands, the Office application adds them to the menu list.

To access a particular menu, follow these steps:

  1. Select the menu by clicking its title. The most recently used commands appear; hover the mouse pointer for just a moment and all the commands on a particular menu appear; if you don't like to hover, click the Expand icon (the double down-pointing arrow on the bottom of the menu) to view all the menu choices.

  2. Select the command on the menu that invokes a particular feature.

You will find that several of the commands found on the menu are followed by an ellipsis (). These commands, when selected, open a dialog box or a task pane. Dialog boxes require you to provide the application with additional information before the particular feature or command can be used (more information on working with dialog boxes appears later in this lesson).

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


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

If you would rather have access to all the menu commands (rather than just those you've used recently), you can turn off the personalized menu system. To do this, follow these steps in any Office application:

  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 (without delay), click the Always Show Full Menus check box.

  4. Click OK to close the dialog box.

Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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