by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 27, 2020)
As part of Microsoft's quest to make Word read your mind, the program keeps tabs on which toolbar tools you use most often. These tools are the ones that Word displays on the Formatting and Standard toolbars, and the lesser-used tools are relegated to a "second string" status, and therefore not visible on the screen.
If you want to use one of the second-string tools, click the down arrow at the right side of the toolbar and select the tool you want to use. The tool's command is executed, and the tool itself takes a proud position on the toolbar. A different tool—previously visible on the toolbar—is shuffled off to second-string status to make room for the newly promoted tool.
All this shuffling of tools can be bothersome, not to mention the frustration when Word doesn't correctly read your mind. If you are tired of your tools jumping around, you can instruct Word to display them all, in the following manner:
Figure 1. The Options tab of the Customize dialog box.
You should notice a change at the top of your Word window. The toolbars that used to take a single row now appear across two rows. All your toolbar buttons should now be visible. The only time they won't be is if the toolbar simply cannot fit entirely across the screen. This may occur if you are running Windows at a low resolution (like 640 x 480) or if you aren't using Word in a maximized window. Since there is no way to show all the toolbar buttons in these situations, you can only increase your resolution or maximize your Word window to solve it.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7787) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
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