Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 10, 2015)


Word allows you, within limits, to customize the tools that are available in the user interface. Word 2007 does not allow you to easily modify the tools that appear on the ribbon tabs, but Word 2010 "opened up" Word a bit so you could modify those tools and Word 2013 continued the trend.. The customization area that is common to both versions of Word, however, is what is called the Quick Access Toolbar.

The Quick Access Toolbar is the area just above the ribbon, at the top-left portion of the screen. The Quick Access Toolbar includes, by default, three tools that allow you to save your document, undo an action, and redo an action. You can, however, change the tools that appear on the Quick Access Toolbar. To customize this toolbar, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box, click Customize (Word 2007) or Quick Access Toolbar (Word 2010 and Word 2013). (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Quick Access Toolbar area of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Using the Choose Commands From drop-down list, specify what group of commands you want listed in the dialog box.
  5. In the list of commands at the left side of the dialog box, select the one you want to appear on the Quick Access Toolbar.
  6. Click the Add button. The selected command is copied to the list at the right side of the dialog box.
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for any other commands you want on the toolbar.
  8. If you want to remove any commands from the Quick Access Toolbar, select the command at the right side of the dialog box and click Remove.
  9. When you are satisfied with the list of commands, click OK.

Your newly customized Quick Access Toolbar should be visible and usable at the top-left of your screen.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5987) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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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What is three less than 9?

2019-10-15 14:18:50


Been looking for this for a long time... On Office 365:
File >> Options >> Advanced >> Quick Access Toolbar

Then need to switch "Popular Commands" to "All Commands." Then there are 3 choices for "Hidden" or "Hide" -- choose appropriate for you.


2018-01-22 09:57:54


I used to be able to add Hidden text as an option to the Quick Access Toolbar but in the latest version of Word that doesn't seem possible. Am I missing something?

2017-04-07 13:51:23

Finley Eversole

Since Gmail began blocking Word docs being attached to emails about 4 years ago, as a write I've had no way to transmit files. I've gone thru the quick access setup to send files directly from Word 2010, but I still CANNOT FIND where that added link is on the toolbar. I need to make this a permanetnly accessible link on all Word files. Can u help?

2016-09-19 13:51:49


I want to add a close icon in the Word quick access toolbar so that I don't always need multiple steps to do that. I had one in Windows 7 and used it a lot.

2016-04-01 05:50:48


Hi Paul,

So this function is not available for Office 2016 MAC version right..?

Thanks for advice


2016-01-07 15:22:46


OK, figgered it out myself. You have to export the change in the QAT and then the user you're sending it to has to import it. As if the people I'm working with are going to figger out how to import anything into their document.

I'm just going to put the button in the body of the Word file. The heck with it.

2016-01-07 15:07:55


If I send this to another computer (by email, say), the Quick Access Toolbar, the button on the QAT disappears. It seems that it is a property of the computer itself.

2015-10-17 12:06:22

Fred Dreger

Paul...I'm so sorry you spent so much time trying to figure this out for me. Yes, I am using the Mac version. So that's the answer! It baffles me that Microsoft would include this feature in the PC version but not the Mac. Thank's much for the help.

2015-10-14 09:55:16

Paul Franklin Stregevsky

Here's a screenshot of Word 2016's interface. In the upper-left is the default Quick Access Toolbar; you can see the dropdown arrow directly above the "I" in Insert.

2015-10-14 05:13:42


As Paul says, I can also change the ribbon and Quick Access toolbar n Word 2016.
Maybe it depends on working with the desktopversion of 365version? I have the desktopversion.
Maybe you take a loo at File > Options. Are there Customize Quick Acces Toolbar and Customize Ribbon available?

2015-10-13 11:06:34

Paul Franklin Stregevsky

I've just spent two hours Googling your problem and reading reviews of Office 2016 for Windows and Office 2016 for Mac. Are you by chance using the Mac version? On Word 2016 for Mac, the toolbar can't be customized. But I've read no such lament about the standalone version of Word 2016 for Windows. True, you can no longer right-click on a grey expanse to invoke Customize Quick Access Toolbar. But you should still be able to invoke it by clicking the tiny dropdown arrow at the right edge of the short default toolbar.

2015-10-12 12:59:53

Fred Dreger

Paul.......Thank you for your suggestion regarding customizing the quick access toolbar. But I must be missing something. When I left or right click in the ribbon or bar I get nothing. I am using the stand alone version of 2016. I suspect that what you suggest only works in the 365 version. I spent over an hour on support and was finally told that the ribbon/toolbar is no longer customizable.

2015-10-12 02:44:08


You can even make the change of the Quick Access Toolbar linked tot using a template or document.
Above the list on the right with the current commands, you can choose when this Quick Access Toolbar should be visible!
It Works in 2007,2010, 2013 and 2016.

What I am looking for is something like this for the ribbon. I can only change that as a default, not document of template depending.

2015-10-11 07:56:23

Paul Franklin Stregevsky

In Word 2016, you can still customize the quick access toolbar and the ribbon. In 2007 to 2013, you right-clicked in a blank area of the toolbar. In Word 2016, you left-click the dropdown arrow at the right end of the toolbar.

As you could before, you may right-click on a ribbon command or ribbon pane to add it to the toolbar immediately.

2015-10-11 01:13:09

Fred Dreger

I have been modifying the ribbon and tool bar's in Word for years as it greatly increases my productivity. Unfortunately, Word 2016 no longer allows users to customize these settings. I don't know what the hell Microsoft is thinking.

2015-10-10 07:17:34


Thank you for all your tips. I work for a few companies and am a consultant. I enjoy your tips as a way to remind me of the basics if I haven't taught the subject in a while.

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