Floating Menus

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 25, 2012)

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. ...

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