Forcing Custom Toolbars to Stay in Position

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 12, 2014)

Corien has a problem with toolbars not staying where they should. Her company uses a template that has customized toolbars, placed in a specific order to speed word processing. The problem is that Word 2002 and Word 2003 don't "remember" the position of the toolbars, and puts two or more toolbars on each line. (She wants one toolbar per line.)

This problem is due to the way that Word 2002 and Word 2003 treat toolbars, which is much more dynamically than in earlier versions of the program. Toolbars can change length based on which tools Word feels are the most used. Those that are less-often used are moved off the toolbar, automatically, so that the toolbar can fit into whatever horizontal space is available on the screen. This is why, if you use Word on two different systems that have different screen resolutions, the toolbar contents can differ greatly for the exact same toolbar.

In general, this dynamic treatment of toolbars only happens with Word's built-in Standard and Formatting toolbars. Your custom toolbars should not be subject to this behavior, but the toolbars and their positioning can be affected as Word moves around the toolbars that it does modify dynamically. In order to make things a bit more stable, you should follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on one of your toolbars. You should see a Context menu.
  2. From the Context menu, choose Customize. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Options tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Options tab of the Customize dialog box.

  5. Click the Reset Menu and Toolbar Usage Data button. (This is the data that determines which tools are displayed on a toolbar.)
  6. Select the Show Standard and Formatting Toolbars on Two Rows check box.
  7. Click OK.

Now Word won't keep moving these two toolbars about and messing up the positioning of the other toolbars.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (353) applies to Microsoft Word 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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