Too-Big Toolbars

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 16, 2016)

1

If you are one of those people who happily customize Word to look and behave exactly as you want (not as the people in Redmond want), you may have noticed that you cannot create multi-row toolbars. While it appears you can create multiple rows in a toolbar when you have the Customize dialog box open, as soon as the dialog box goes away, your toolbar reverts to a single row.

The reason for this is quite simple--Word will not allow you to create multi-row toolbars, when the toolbar is docked (attached) to one of the sides of your program window. Instead, Word calculates how many toolbar buttons can be displayed in a single row of the toolbar, and then displays only that many. In Word 97, the setting of the Priority property for each button object determines which buttons are displayed. Those with the highest Priority property are given priority and are displayed first. The Priority property cannot be set using the Customize dialog box, however; it can only be set using VBA.

Word 2000, Word 2002, and Word 2003 handle toolbars a bit differently. If there are too many tools to fit on a given toolbar, it adds a small down-arrow at the end of the toolbar. Clicking on the down-arrow displays the tools that could not be displayed and allows you to pick one of them.

There are several ways around the limitations placed on toolbars by Word. One is rather obvious--make multiple toolbars instead of multiple rows. This allows you to dock the two (or more) toolbars right next to each other, effectively creating "multiple rows" of multiple toolbars.

The other option is to drag the toolbar from the side of program window so it is not docked. When the toolbar is free-floating, it can be configured to a rectangle that easily contains all of your desired tools. The drawback to this, of course, is that a floating toolbar can be distracting as you create your document.

If neither of these options is acceptable, you can always change your screen resolution to a higher setting. Changing screen resolution is done within Windows, of course, and depends on the capabilities of your video card and monitor. Changing to a higher resolution allows you to fit more information across the width of the screen, although the size of each screen element will appear smaller.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1299) 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

Setting Up Custom AutoFiltering

The filtering capabilities of Excel are very helpful when you are working with large sets of data. You can create a ...

Discover More

Using the IRR Function

When working with finances, you often need to know the rate of return on a given investment. The most common type of ...

Discover More

Changing What Follows a Footnote Number

Word makes it easy to insert footnotes in your document. It doesn't, however, make it easy to change the format in which ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Updating Automatic Links

Normally, Word updates links within your document when you first open the document. If you don't want Word to do this, ...

Discover More

Changing the Insertion Point Cursor

Want to change the characteristics of the insertion point used by Word? You may be out of luck, unless you make some ...

Discover More

The Case of the Disappearing Icons

Troubleshooting your custom icons on the Toolbar.

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}] 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 8 + 0?

2016-07-16 05:25:57

Steve Wells

I follow (in the extreme) the above recommendation to set a higher screen resolution. Users who might want to work at the highest readily available single-screen resolution, as I do, are welcome to (and should) ask for advice before going to the leading/bleeding edge of current technology.

I run a (pricy) Geforce GTX 980 video card via an HDMI 2 cable (also pricy) to a 48” UHD (4K) TV as a wall-mounted monitor just above my desk. This provides a resolution of 3840×2160. With Word maximized and two rows of toolbars below the menu, I keep available at all times 178 toolbar buttons including several long buttons for style, font name, and markup review. There is still plenty of unused space available for approximately 112 more buttons, so I’d max out my two rows at around 390 buttons—if I went nuts enough to try to fill them up. Just about any command, style, font, custom VBA function, &c. available with a single click.

Though my ultra-sized workspace is delightful, beware of subtle potential downsides/gotchas (besides cost) if you follow along to the edge.


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.

Newest Tips
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.