Tear It Off

Many of us know that with certain toolbar buttons in the MS Office Suite, we have the ability to “tear off” the choices to create a floating toolbar.

If you didn’t know about “tear offs,” you’re probably wondering which ones behave this way and how you can tell.

Well, let me show you!

Here’s what I get when I click the down arrow for my line spacing button in MS Word:

And here’s what I see when I click the down arrow for font color:

See the difference?

Yep, that’s right. The font colors are headed with a bar at the top containing three horizontal lines. See them?

This is the critical difference.

If you move your mouse pointer over the horizontal bars, just click-hold-and-drag into the program window and you will “tear off” the displayed choices and create a floating toolbar.

Once you’ve got the floating toolbar, some of them will allow you to use the title bar to drag and dock it somewhere in the program window, if you think you’ll want to keep the toolbar around for awhile. Otherwise, you can close it when you’re done and it’s like you never created it to begin with.

Now, let’s extend the “tear off” idea a little bit further.

If you take a moment to look through the submenus (such as the AutoText submenu in the Insert menu of Word), you may find a few with those same three horizontal bars at the top.

Once again, these three horizontal bars mean good things for the people who need direct and frequent access to the submenu.

Just like the toolbar buttons, if you see the three horizontal bars, you can click-hold-and-drag the submenu into the program window, thus creating a floating toolbar.

All you need to remember is three bars equals floating toolbars!

~ April