Make Life EasierCustomize your Microsoft Office Workspace

Did you know that you can customize your toolbar in your Microsoft Office Applications such as Word and Excel? Let me show you the simple steps I’ve done to redesign my ribbon toolbar tabs to a custom Administrative Professional setting. It may feel awkward at first, but you can increase your productivity by placing all the commands that you use most in an easy-access location.

Customize the Quick Access Toolbar

The first step to customization is to utilize what Microsoft calls the Quick Access Toolbar. The Quick Access Tool bar is located at the very top left hand corner of your window. The default commands located in the Quick Access Toolbar are usually: Save, Undo, Redo and Quick Print.   To add more commands to this toolbar, click the Customize Quick Access Toolbar down arrow image on the right. In the dropdown list that appears, you can choose from the popular commands or you can click on More Commands to choose from all the commands that Office offers.

Add the following tools to the Quick Access Toolbar:

Open a Recent File, Save, Undo, Redo, Spelling and Grammar, Quick Print, Email

Customize Your Ribbon Tab:

When you first open Microsoft Office, you can immediately see the default Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review, and View tabs. If you are like me, you use certain functions on each of these tabs on a daily basis. To increase productivity, you can rename and change the order of the default tabs and groups—as well as create your own new tabs.

Go to File and Click on Options to open the Options Dialogue Box. Click on the left hand navigation bar on “Customize Ribbon.”  On the Customize Ribbon window, the left hand column contains ALL of the command options you could have. For example, some popular commands are: Cut, Paste, Save and Find. On the right hand column are all of the ribbon tabs that are currently on your ribbon.  If you click on the + sign next to the Home tab, you will see all of the commands that are currently on your Home Tab.

From this right hand column you can delete commands from tabs or add commands to current tabs. Choose commands from the list on the left, choose a location from the column on the left and click the “Add” button in the center of the window. To add a brand new tab, you can click the “Add Tab” button located at the bottom of the right hand column.

The Home Tab:

For the Home Tab, I deleted the Styles gallery and added a new group called “Document View” that contains: Preview and Print, Print and Preview Edit Mode, Publish as PDF and Email. I also added Proofing and Quick Parts to the Home Tab. This tab should now have the following:

Clipboard, Font, Paragraph, Editing, Proofing, Document View, Preview and Print, Print Preview Edit Mode, Publish as PDF, Email, Quick Parts

Create-A-New Design Tab:

When it comes to making a document beautiful, I go all out. So, I added a whole new tab entirely devoted to how the document looks. I call this tab the design tab. On this tab will be the Styles Gallery, Themes and Page Background tools. This tab should now have the following:

Styles, Themes, Page Background

Insert Tab:

For the Insert tab, I deleted the Links and Header & Footer buttons and added them to the Page Layout Tab instead. This tab should now have the following:

Pages, Tables, Illustrations, Text, Symbols, Flash

Page Layout Tab:

With the new design tab taking care of how the document looks, the Page Layout tab is free to take care of how the content is laid out. For the Page Layout Tab, I deleted the Themes and page Background, and added the Header & Footer. This tab should now have the following:

Page Setup, Paragraph, Arrange, Header & Footer

References Tab:

For the references tab, I added the links that was deleted from the insert tab. This tab should now have the following:

Tables of Contents, Footnotes, Citations & Bibliography, Endnote, Captions, Index, Table of Authorities, Links

Mailings Tab:

I changed nothing on this tab. This tab should now have the following:

Create, Start Mail Merge, Write & Insert Fields, Preview Results, Finish, Acrobat

Review Tab:

On the review tab, I deleted the proofing and added Macros. This tab should now have the following:

Language, Comments, Tracking, Changes, Compare, Protect, Macros

Views Tab:

On the Views tab, I deleted the Macros. This tab should now have the following:

Document Views, Show, Zoom, Window