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Customise Office 2007

Updated on May 3, 2010

Microsoft Office 2007 saw a large change in the interface of its applications. It brought the birth of the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar and the Office Button and saw the end of the Menu Bar and Toolbars from previous versions.

Initially this can be overwhelming and the first few weeks of using Office 2007 is usually a case of finding your feet. Trying to find the features you used regularly in previous versions amongst the mass of Ribbon tools can be a frequent headache. This hub will look at how you can customise Office 2007 to suit your needs.

Using the Ribbon

The Ribbon provides fast access to the applications tools and features. Tabs run along the top of the Ribbon, each providing its own array of buttons.

The buttons on the Ribbon are broken down into groups. Some groups have an arrow in the bottom right hand corner. Clicking this arrow launches the groups dialogue box. For example, clicking the Page Setup arrow launches the classic Page Setup dialogue box.

The Ribbon can be minimised to reduce the space taken up on screen. To minimise the Ribbon, double mouse click on one of the Ribbons tabs. The Ribbon is then only shown when a tab has been clicked, similar to the way the Menu Bar in previous versions operated. Double mouse click a tab again to restore the Ribbon so its permanently visible.

The Excel Ribbon
The Excel Ribbon

Customise the Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar remains visible as you navigate through the different tabs of the Ribbon. It should be customised to suit your needs by adding the buttons for all the features you use regularly. There is no limit to how many, or what buttons you want to add to the Toolbar.

It starts with the Save, Undo and Redo buttons. Lets add the Centre align button to the Excel Quick Access Toolbar.

  1. Click the Customise Quick Access Toolbar arrow on the end of the toolbar.
  2. A list of recommended additions appears. Centre Align is not in the list, so let's click More Commands and find it.
  3. The Customise area of the Excel Options dialogue box appears. It currently shows popular commands that we may wish to add, however once again the Centre Align button is not in the list. Click on Popular Commands and then the Home tab, as we know that the Centre Align button is on the Home tab of the ribbon.
  4. Scroll down the list until you see Centre. Select Centre and click Add to add it to the bottom of the list on the right. If you wish to change the order of the Quick Access Toolbar buttons, you can do so with the two arrows to the right of the list.
  5. Click Ok and you should see our new button on the Quick Access Toolbar. That will save us time when centre aligning text in future.

Buttons can also be added from the Ribbon by right mouse clicking the required button and clicking Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

The Toolbar is displayed above the Ribbon by default. It can be moved to below the Ribbon by clicking the Customise Quick Access Toolbar button and clicking Show Below the Ribbon.

Customise the Quick Access Toolbar
Customise the Quick Access Toolbar

Customise the Status Bar

The Status Bar at the bottom of the screen can be customised. Its role is to provide you with the status of your application. For example, within Microsoft Word it displays the page number, number of word written, if Track Changes is turned on and much more. It can also be used as a shortcut to switching on Tack Changes and Record a Macro.

In Office 2007 you can customise on features are displayed on the Status Bar and which are not.

  1. Right mouse click the Status Bar
  2. Select the features you want displayed in the shortcut menu
  3. Click outside the menu and it will disappear

Customise the Status Bar options in Excel
Customise the Status Bar options in Excel

The Mini Toolbar and Live Preview

Two new features to Office 2007 are the Mini Toolbar and Live Preview.

The Mini Toolbar appears automatically when content is selected, or when you right mouse click in an application. It provides quick access to commonly used tools.

Live Preview displays a preview of how something will look before applying it. For example, if you select a piece of text and then click the Font drop list arrow, as you scroll through the list of fonts, the selected text previews how the change would look.

These features can be switched off if needed.

  1. Click the Office Button and then click the applications Option button in the bottom right hand corner
  2. In the Popular area of the options dialogue box, the first two options are Show Mini Toolbar on Selection and Enable Live Preview

Popular area of Excel Options
Popular area of Excel Options

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