Floating Menus

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 13, 2019)

2

Word uses quite a few "secondary" menu levels. For instance, if you look at the main menus (File, Edit, View, etc.), you can see that some menu items have a small right-pointing triangle at their right edge. When you hover the mouse over these items, a secondary menu appears.

Word allows you to "tear off" some of these menus so that they float. You can also do this with some pull-down lists on the toolbars. You can tell when this is possible by the presence of a thick bar at the top of the secondary menu or at the top of the pull-down list. For instance, if you select AutoText from the Insert menu, you will see a secondary menu that has one of these thick bars. Likewise, if you click on the down-arrow next to the Font Color tool (on the Formatting toolbar), you will see a thick bar at the top of the resulting menu. Move the mouse over the bar, click and drag it away, and the menu becomes a toolbar.

Actually, this technique is simply a different way to display a toolbar. The menus and toolbars in Word are very closely related. For instance, when you follow the above process to "tear off" the AutoText secondary menu, you can then choose Toolbars from the View menu, and see that the AutoText toolbar is selected—this is the one you just displayed.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1211) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Printing a Bookmark List

Need to know what bookmarks are defined in a document? Here's a macro that creates a list of all your bookmarks so that ...

Discover More

Centering a Paragraph with the Keyboard

Need a quick shortcut that you can use to center your paragraph between the margins? The answer is here.

Discover More

Incrementing References by Multiples when Copying Formulas

You can easily set up a formula to perform some calculation on a range of cells. When you copy that formula, the copied ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Disappearing Macro Menus

Word is quite versatile in how you can customize it. You can add all sorts of macros to menus, but doing so may cause ...

Discover More

The Case of the Vanished Menu Bar

Can't find your menu bar any more? Here are some things you can try to get that important feature back on your screen ...

Discover More

Problem with Menus Crashing Word

What do you do if, one day, one of your Word menus suddenly stops working and actually crashes the program? Here's the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 5?

2022-03-05 15:29:44

Michael Bath

is this function still available in Office/Outlook 365?


2021-08-25 12:38:45

Marie Alm

Hello - I just tried your suggestion but the thick bar is not present on either the Auto Text or the Font Color. Is there a different way to get floating menus? In particular, I would like to have the Crop and the Size & Position items near where I'm working on the page (usually at the bottom) instead of up at the top. When I'm editing 400 items in a 120 page document, the extra hand and wrist motion is significant.
I use MS Office Professional Plus 2016.
Thanks.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.