Unchanging Toolbars

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 25, 2013)

If you use Word in a training environment, or on a group of computers used by many different people, you may need a way to make sure that the toolbars always return to their default condition. For instance, if one user rearranges the toolbars, you might want them returned to their default condition before the next user starts the program.

There are a couple of ways to handle this situation. Perhaps the easiest approach is to simply make the Normal.dot template file read-only. Since toolbar settings are stored in the template, this will help for many of the toolbars. However, if you use a different template, it is possible that the toolbars will be changed when using those templates. Also, this won't work if you want to allow other changes to the template.

Another solution is to create a macro that will reset your toolbars to their default state. This is a fairly simple macro to create. (If you are training people on how to program in Word, you may even want to make the macro the subject of a class assignment.) The following macro can be stored in your template, and since it is run every time a document is opened, it will reset your toolbars to their default condition:

Sub AutoOpen
For Each cb In CommandBars
End Sub

If you need greater control over the toolbars, including resetting where they are placed, you can use a macro something like this:

Private Sub Document_New()
    CommandBars("Formatting").Protection = msoBarNoCustomize + \
       msoBarNoChangeVisible + msoBarNoMove
End Sub

This macro should be placed in the ThisDocument module of Normal.dot. This particular example only protects the Formatting toolbar, but you could quickly adapt it to the other toolbars you want protected.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1335) 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. ...


Aligning Plus/Minus Symbols

Scientific writing often involves the use of special symbols, such as the plus/minus symbol. If you want to align these ...

Discover More

Applying Formatting to Words

You don't have to select whole words before applying direct character formatting. With the proper Word options set, ...

Discover More

Simultaneous Scrolling

If you have two worksheets displayed at the same time, you might want those worksheets to remain visually "in sync" with ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Changing Built-in Word Commands

Want to replace Word's internal commands with your own macros? It's easy to do if you know the key discussed in this tip.

Discover More

Turning Off ScreenTips

All those little ScreenTips bug you when moving through Word's toolbars? You can turn them off by following the steps in ...

Discover More

Understanding View Options

Understanding the options available on the View tab of the Options dialog box based on the view you are using.

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 four less than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

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

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.