|This article is relevant if you capture screenshots of Office ribbon for content creation.
Estimated reading time 3 min
|I am amazed to see how many people don’t know this.Do you wish Insert menu had Insert Comment option?
Don’t wish. Do it.
Powerful, useful and delightful!
Estimated reading time 5 min
Office allows you to create your own set of menus. But this is rarely used. Ideally each one of us should create a menu for ourselves – because everyone’s way of working different.
However, I want to try a new approach. I have created a custom toolbar and a menu for PowerPoint. Download, try it out and let me know your feedback.
This book explains how the Ribbon is an empowerment rather than a disappointment. Office Ribbon was introduced around for 7 years. Still most of us are still not comfortable with it. Some of us hate it actively, most of us just settle for a compromise.
View details on Amazon Kindle bookstore. Only available on Kindle platform.
USD 5 (INR 307).
If you don’t have a Kindle device you can still read it by downloading free Kindle Reader Apps for Windows PC/ Mac, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, iPhone or iPad devices.
- Ribbon is good for you.
- Read each tooltip in each tab to learn more about great features which you may be ignoring
- Add commonly used buttons which don’t have keyboard shortcuts to Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
- Add buttons which you need but are not available in the Ribbon to the QAT
- First 9 buttons get automatic shortcuts Alt 1 to Alt 9
- Therefore, arrange the most useful 9 buttons in QAT at first 9 positions
- Create Custom Ribbon and Custom QAT as per your needs
- Commonly used buttons go into QAT. Activity related buttons go into custom Ribbon tabs
- The File menu now occupies the full screen for a purpose. Explore all options there and you will be surprised how much you were missing out on.
- Quick Print button can be activated by using the dropdown next to the QAT
- You must share your customization with your colleagues using Export / Import feature
- IT can deploy pre-customized ribbon automatically using a login script and group policy
- Sometimes, you need to create a custom ribbon for a specific document.
- Such documents, if commonly reused, should be stored as templates.
- Templates can be shared using email (not recommended), SharePoint + Group Policy or SharePoint Content Types
- Download interactive command guides. These help you find old commands in the new UI.
Features NOT mentioned in the book
Specially for followers of this blog
Double click works with some buttons
Try using it on Format Painter and Highlighter. Double clicking allows you to use the button repeatedly – it remains in the same ‘Mode’.
For example, if you want to copy formatting from one shape and apply it to multiple shapes (even across slides) – this is how you do it.
- Select the original shape from where you want to copy the formatting.
- Double click on Format Painter.
- Now the mouse cursor changes.
- Now click on one or more shapes.
- You can change to another slide, still it is in Format Painter mode.
- When you finish, press Escape.
Double click DOES NOT work with shapes
This is unfortunate because we do need to draw multiple shapes of the same type quite often. But don’t worry. Right click on the shape and choose Lock Drawing Mode.
Now you can draw multiple shapes of the same type without clicking on the shape icon repeatedly.
I will cover what I learnt while creating and publishing the Kindle Book.
In the last post we saw how to customize the Quick Access Toolbar. I am sure you will add useful buttons there. Notice that the toolbar buttons and the file name share the same title bar.
Here is a quick dose of some terminology you need to know.
Problem: Too many buttons – file name is cut off
When you add more and more buttons, the file name gets pushed to the right. At some point, long file names will not be seen fully.
Solution is simple. Right click on the QAT and choose Show the Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon
Now the toolbar moves below the ribbon and the filename is not disturbed.
For the curious reader… The question is, why did Microsoft not place the QAT below the ribbon by default? That is because, most people don’t understand what QAT is and never customize it. In that case, the extra space which the QAT would occupy below the ribbon would be a waste of precious screen space.
In the previous article we saw the need for having keyboard shortcuts for commonly used buttons which do not have a built-in keyboard shortcut. Add those buttons to QAT and then customize QAT to rearrange them so that the most commonly used buttons are in the first nine positions. Remove the three default buttons (Save, Undo and Redo) because they already have keyboard shortcuts.
Now press and release the ALT key and see what happens…
All QAT items get a keyboard shortcut key. Press 5 in this case to enable (or disable) Guides. This is how we get a keyboard shortcut for keys which do not have a keyboard shortcut – without programming.
Sharing custom toolbars with your team
Now that your custom toolbar is helping you, others in your team or department may also benefit from it. So how do you make them efficient?
One method is to ask them to read these articles and customize their own toolbars. But on second thoughts, why not give them your custom toolbar save them some trouble?
This is how you share your customized toolbar with others.
Right click on the toolbar – Customize Quick Access Toolbar – Export – Save a file.
Send the file to your team. Ask them to import it. That’s it.
For IT professionals
In case you are wondering, you can use a combination of Group Policy and a login script to deploy custom toolbars automatically for users. Refer to this MSDN article for details.