When Microsoft upgraded from a menu interface to the ribbon interface now used, many companies provided little training to equip their workforce with the new tools available to them.  Without these, employees are not always using their time as productively as they could.  Often features are found by following several steps before arriving at the desired icon.  Want a quicker way?

Across the Microsoft suite there is now a quick access toolbar available at the top left of the window.  This can be customised with all the options for things you do regularly to speed up your work.  Initially, in most packages, this shows only save, undo and redo.  But what if there are other features you need to use regularly too?  The drop down at the end of the toolbar enables a few extra icons to be added such as save, open, print and spell check.  But there may be other features you want to add too.  Also, from the drop down, you get the option of more commands.  This shows popular commands on the left.  By clicking on the one you want and pressing add it pops over to the right.  Selecting OK now allows it to show on the quick access toolbar (QAT).  If these are still not the options required then returning to more commands, then clicking where it says more commands from, enables extra options to be chosen.  This even includes some options thatare not on the ribbon because they are tucked away inside other dialog boxes and adding buttons for macros that have been created to make automation of processes even slicker.

If the toolbar is changed and needs to be changed back this dialog box also has the option of reset, then the QAT can be reset without affecting any changes made to any other options on the ribbon or by resetting the ribbon too.  There is also the choice of importing and exporting the QAT.  Say someone in a team had found a combination of icons they find particularly useful and already set them up and think this would be helpful for others.  Then they can export it.  This saves itas a file.  If this is then stored somewhere that others in the team can also access it then they can choose to import and the toolbar will be replicated on their machine.

So how do I use it?  Well, I find it most useful in packages where there is a lot of information to show on the screen such as Excel and Project.  I customise the QAT with the icons I require, leaving out any I already know the keyboard shortcuts for as this is even quicker!  I then hide the ribbon.  This can be done by double clicking on one of the tabs on the ribbon.  (Double clicking again brings it back if you have accidently done this and wondered where it has gone!)  Particularly on small laptop screens this now gives you significantly more usable space for the file to be viewed.


A new option that can also help access icons quickly if you can’t find them is the “Tell me what you want to do” option at the end of the tabs on the ribbon.  It replaces the oldFind option but is only available in Office 2016.  It not only does the classic help but also shows icons for the search topic that you can now use to jump straight to the option needed.

Want to know how training could help you then contact me at Lara@LaraMellorTraining.co.uk