Locking the Position of Tools

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 23, 2016)

2

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:

  1. Right-click on one of the toolbars. You should see a Context menu.
  2. From the Context menu, choose Customize. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Options tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Options tab of the Customize dialog box.

  5. Click the Reset Menu and Toolbar Usage Data button.
  6. Select the Show Standard and Formatting Toolbars on Two Rows check box.
  7. Click OK.

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.

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

Keeping Table Rows Together

When you create a table that extends beyond a single page, you may want to make sure that the information in a table row ...

Discover More

Extracting Proper Words

If you've got a list of potential words, and you want to know which of those potential words are real, you'll appreciate the ...

Discover More

Understanding the Select Case Structure

One of the powerful programming structures available in VBA is the Select Case structure. This tip explains how you can put ...

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)

Embedding an Excel Worksheet

Word and Excel are both integral parts of Microsoft's Office suite of applications. As such, Word allows you to embed ...

Discover More

Converting a Text Box to a Frame

These days, most people using Word know what text boxes are but have no idea about frames. Yet, for some purposes, frames are ...

Discover More

Stopping Smart Tags from Being Saved

Don't want Smart Tag information saved with your document? It's easy to make sure that Word doesn't save it, as described in ...

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. 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 five less than 5?

2016-07-17 03:15:08

Max

This "feature" is akin to having your accelerator pedal falling off and ending up on the back seat every time you start the ignition. I'm so glad MS doesn't design cars. I think MS (if they read this) may finally understand why I use open office now.


2016-02-05 11:46:10

Ed Stephens

I believe the 'programmers' at Microsoft are gamers as they don't look at software like Word, Excel, etc. as 'tools' but a game; hence the rearranging of tools for the h_ll of it. Madness. As a user, you expect the tools to be in the same place so you can be efficient but when they're not there you waste tremendous time. These 'programmers' ought to try that in their home, say in the garage or kitchen, never to have the tools in the same place twice and see if they find their approach to programming to be a way to spread insanity.


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.