Use this Hidden Gem to Work Faster in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel

Use this Hidden Gem to Work Faster in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel

We all have it, and yet most of us don’t use it. We don’t even see it. It is visible, but we focus on clicking the buttons we need and look right past this hidden gem. In my case, I continued to ignore it even after it was pointed out to me. A kind colleague showed me this time-saver, and I dismissed it because I didn’t have time. I tend to tell myself that no one but me understands how pressed I am for time and then I use that thought as my way of forgiving the offender for bothering me with a time saving tip. I mean, some people just don’t get it.

So now that I’ve wasted your time making you read 124 words let me get to the point.

It’s time to start saving time by using the Quick Access Toolbar that is available to you in the top left corner of your screen every time you open Word, PowerPoint or Excel.

It’s pre-populated with a few command buttons, like Save, Close, Undo and Redo. You probably use it to access the Undo button without ever thinking about why it’s there or what else you could do with it. Here’s what you need to know.


The Quick Access Toolbar is easy to use.

Because you use the buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar the same way as any other ribbon buttons, it’s a great place to park commands you need regularly; and it’s a brilliant spot for those buttons you always spend 3 or 4 minutes searching for because you only require them occasionally.


Adding buttons to your Quick Access Toolbar couldn’t be simpler.

Right-click ribbon button options

There are several ways to add buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar. The easiest one is to right-click on a button and select the option, “Add to Quick Access Toolbar.” Alternatively, right-click on any button and select the second option, “Customize Quick Access Toolbar.”

That will bring up the Word Options screen that allows you to add or remove commands, reorder them, and relocate where the toolbar sits. This method is especially helpful for deeply buried functions. Set the left column to show ALL, search down the alphanumeric list to find what you need, and click Add >> to add the command to your toolbar.

Word Options: Customize Quick Access Toolbar

You can place your Quick Access Toolbar where it’s most handy for you.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of adding buttons to your Quick Access Toolbar the last thing to know is how to locate it either above or below the main ribbon because the toolbar placement can impact the appearance of the buttons and thus, it’s ease of use. I like mine below the ribbon, so it’s that much faster to get at my frequently used buttons. You might prefer to keep them above the ribbon; either way is okay.


A Quick Access Toolbar Moment of Brilliance tip.

There’s one last tip I’ll share with you. Even after coming around to using, and truth be told, relying on my Quick Access Toolbar, I had never thought about adding buttons to it temporarily. Then I watched a LeaderGuide Pro™ user cleverly add some buttons from the LGPro ribbon to her Quick Access Toolbar. Because she doesn’t use LeaderGuide Pro all the time, she’s found that taking a few moments to add the needed LGPro buttons need to her Quick Access Toolbar saves her from having to search for those buttons as she’s using the tool. When she’s done using LeaderGuide Pro, she removes the buttons from her Quick Access Toolbar. Brilliant!

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