What I Want, Where I Want It – In MS Word

Last Friday we discussed adding toolbar button commands to MS Word’s menus. Not a bad idea for people who like an “uncluttered” window to work in. (The clutter being all the extra toolbars and buttons many of us have constantly displayed).

But, I can already hear the clamoring of Word users everywhere who want to add items to the menu that aren’t currently displayed in a toolbar.

I’m sure some people already thought about using Customize to create a button for a command, then using that new button to add the command to a menu.

Not a bad idea. After all, I guarantee that not everyone would have come up with that little gem.

However, it does seem a bit complicated. There’s got to be an easier way.

The big question is, can it be done efficiently?

Well, I am pleased to say that yes, there is an easier way. Actually, it’s as easy as creating a new button (and many of you have been doing that for quite some time).

So, if you’re ready, let’s get to the business of true customized menus.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to open the Customize window. (Tools menu, Customize choice or Alt, T then C or right click on any toolbar and choose Customize from the bottom of the list).

Now you need the Commands tab.

From this tab, you need to find a command you wish to add to a menu.

Once you’ve found the command you wish to add, use your mouse pointer to click and hold (hold down the left mouse button) the item.

Now drag it to the menu where you want to place the command.

You’ll notice that the menus will open as you move the mouse pointer over each menu name.

In order to put the command in the menu, you need to then slide the pointer down the menu.

A dark horizontal line will appear showing you where the command will go.

When you’ve found the location that pleases you, simply release the mouse button to drop the command.

If that’s all you want to do, then you’re done. Simply click the Close button in the Customize window and you’re back to work.

But, there’s so much more to do here.

What about moving things that you’ve misplaced? What about moving things that were already in the menus? What about deleting items in the menu?

In the interest of a complete discussion today, let’s address these last few concerns.

While the Customize window is still open, you can move any menu item you wish.

Simply grab-drag-and-drop the item to be moved. If you click and hold, you’ll find you can place the item anywhere in the current menu, as well as, move it to a completely different menu.

What does this mean to you?

One of the best things I can think of is that you can place things that you use frequently near the top.

I know newer versions of the MS Office Suite will use shortened menus, only displaying recently used items. But I’ve also noticed that many people I’ve worked with dislike this and turn the feature off. Therefore, the rearranging option may be a good way to organize the items for efficient use.

Now we need to move on to the deleting of menu items.

Last Friday I went over the Alt + Ctrl + – (minus sign) way to remove menu items, but this won’t work while you’re still using the Customize window.

The question then becomes, how do I remove items while the Customize window is still open? (I mean, let’s face it, it’s easier to do all your work without closing the Customize window every time you want to delete an item).

You’ve got a couple of choices available to you for removing commands.

The first is to right click on the menu item to be removed.

Then from the pop-up menu, select Delete.

Poof! Item gone.

The second method is to simply click-hold-and-drag the item into the document. When you release the mouse button, you’ll find that the menu item is gone.

Well, there you have it. An infinite (well, it sure feels likes it’s infinite) supply of ways to customize the menus to your own particular needs.

This is what I call really making yourself at home in Word.

~ April