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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Using the Quick Access Toolbar

A problem with the ribbon is that only one-seventh of the commands are visible at any given time. You will find yourself moving from one tab to another. The alternative is to use the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) to store your favorite commands.

The QAT starts out as a tiny toolbar with Save, Undo, and Redo. It is initially located above the File tab in the ribbon.

If you start using the QAT frequently, you can right-click the toolbar and choose Show Quick Access Toolbar Below the Ribbon.

Adding Icons to the QAT

The drop-down at the right side of the QAT, shown on the right side in Figure 3.22, offers 12 popular commands you might choose to add to the Quick Access Toolbar. Choose a command from this list to add it to the QAT.

Figure 3.22

Figure 3.22. Use the drop-down at the right side of the QAT to add 12 popular commands.

Note that changes to the QAT made in Excel 2010 also appear in Excel 2013, and vice versa. The Open Recent File icon is no longer available in Excel 2013, but if you add it to the QAT in Excel 2010, it appears in Excel 2013. Unfortunately, the icon simply goes to the File, Open pane.

When you find a command in the ribbon you are likely to use often, you can easily add the command to the QAT. To do so, right-click any command in the ribbon and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar. Items added to the Quick Access Toolbar using the right-click method are added to the right side of the QAT.

The right-click method works for many commands, but not with individual items within commands. For example, you can put the Font Size drop-down on the QAT, but you cannot specifically put size 16 font in the QAT.

Removing Commands from the QAT

You can remove an icon from the QAT by right-clicking the icon and selecting Remove from Quick Access Toolbar.

Customizing the QAT

You can make minor changes to the QAT by using the context menus, but you can have far more control over the QAT if you use the Customize command. Right-click the QAT and select Customize Quick Access Toolbar to display the Quick Access Toolbar section of the Excel Options dialog, as shown in Figure 3.23.

Figure 3.23

Figure 3.23. You can customize the QAT using the Excel Options dialog.

The Excel Options dialog offers many features for customizing the Quick Access Toolbar:

  • You can choose to customize the QAT for all documents on your computer or just for the current workbook by using the top-right drop-down menu.
  • You can add separators between icons to group the icons logically. A separator icon is available at the top of the left menu. Click the separator icon in the left list box and then click the Add>> icon in the center of the screen.
  • You can resequence the order of the icons on the toolbar. Select an icon in the right list box and then click the up/down arrow icons on the right side of the dialog.
  • You can access 2,000+ commands, including the commands from every tab and commands that are not available in the ribbon. Although the dialog starts with just 53 popular commands in the left list box, use the left drop-down to choose All Command or Commands Not in the Ribbon. When you find a command in the left list box, select the command and then click Add>> in the center of the dialog to add that command to the QAT.
  • You can reset the QAT to its original default state using the Reset button in the lower right.
  • You can export your custom QAT icons from your computer and import on another computer.
  • You can move the QAT to appear above or below the ribbon using the check box in the lower right.

Assigning VBA Macros to Quick Access Toolbar Buttons

Typically, a VBA macro is assigned to a shortcut key. In legacy versions of Excel, it was easy to customize the menu system to add commands to invoke macros. Excel 2013 offers a weak interface for adding custom macros to the QAT. In the Excel Options dialog is a drop-down called Macros. If you select this group, you see all public macros in all open workbooks. You can select a macro and click Add to add that macro to the QAT.

Initially, every macro added to the Quick Access Toolbar gets an identical flowchart icon. However, you can select an icon in the Customize Quick Access Toolbar list box and click the Modify button. The Modify Button dialog that appears enables you to choose from 55 available icons for a macro as shown in Figure 3.24. Most of these buttons are similar to icons that are already popular. For example, the Print icon is fairly well known and has a meaning. In addition to choosing from the 55 icons, you can type any text for a display name. The display name does not appear next to the button. However, if you hover your mouse over the icon on the QAT, you can see the display name in a tooltip.

Figure 3.24

Figure 3.24. For macros, you can customize the button image and add a display name on the QAT.

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