Hiding a Stubborn Toolbar

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 15, 2015)

When you install third-party add-ins for Word, they often add their own toolbars to the Word environment. One of the more common add-ins is Adobe Acrobat, which adds a toolbar that includes a couple of tools that are helpful in creating PDF files. You may want to hide the toolbars used by add-ins such as Acrobat, but in trying to do so you may find that hiding them is easier said than done.

Add-ins generally work by loading a Word template every time you start Word. This template often includes macros that are run automatically. It is these macros that add the appropriate toolbars and/or menu choices to the Word environment. If you hide the toolbars, then the next time Word starts, the add-in's template again runs a macro that displays the toolbar.

There are two ways to stop this behavior. The first is to locate the templates being automatically loaded, find the macros in those templates that are being automatically run, and make the changes in the macros. This is no small task, and if you make some mistakes it can cause more problems than it solves.

The other solution is to simply move the offending templates so they are not automatically started when you start Word. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the File Locations tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The File Locations tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make note of the Start folder specified in the list of locations. Write down the full folder path so you can refer to it later. (If it is easier for you, you can click on the Modify button and use the Look In drop-down list to figure out the full folder path. It can be quite lengthy.)
  5. Close the dialog box and shut down Word completely.
  6. In Windows, use My Computer or the Windows Explorer to display the contents of the folder you wrote down in step 3.
  7. Whatever is in this folder is automatically loaded when Word starts. If you don't want something to load, simply move it to another folder, or rename it so it doesn't have a DOC or DOT extension. For instance, in the case of Acrobat, you should see a file named PDFMaker.dot. If you move this file somewhere else, then it will not load when Word starts, and you won't see the Acrobat toolbar in Word.

    For those times when you do want to use the toolbar, you can choose to manually load PDFMaker.dot as a template. Just follow these steps:

  8. Choose Templates and Add-Ins from the Tools menu. Word displays the Templates and Add-ins dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  9. Figure 2. The Templates and Add-ins dialog box.

  10. Click on Add. Word displays the Add Template dialog box, which looks very similar to a standard Open dialog box.
  11. Using the controls in the dialog box, locate and select the file you relocated in the previous set of steps. (Remember: It will be in the folder where you moved it.)
  12. Click on OK. The file is now listed in the Templates and Add-ins dialog box.
  13. Make sure the check mark next to the file is selected.
  14. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (52) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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