Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Changing Built-in Word Commands.

Changing Built-in Word Commands

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 22, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Word allows you to easily customize different aspects of the program. One thing that you may not know you can customize is the commands used by Word internally. To change commands, all you need to do is name your macro with the same name as one of Word's built-in commands. For instance, if you want to replace the File command from the Insert menu with a command of your own making, all you need to do is name the new command InsertFile. (This is the special name by which Word knows that command.)

At some point you may want to retrieve the original command and not have your new command used any longer by Word. In this case, all you need to do is either delete the command or rename it to a different name. For instance, in the case of InsertFile, you could simply delete your macro of that name or rename it to some other name. Word then utilizes the internal command for InsertFile, without any more regard to the macro you once had with the same name.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8556) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing Built-in Word Commands.

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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