MS Word Toolbar Tips

Sometimes they just disappear.  Sometimes there are too many of them.  They're called tool bars and they're full of all the little icons that make it easier to use programs like Word.  But how to you make them appear and disappear?  Today's technology tip will help you with that problem and also show you how to find all the tool bars you could ever want. Please note that this tip is specific to the older version (pre-2007) of Microsoft Word. However, it is still important to be familiar with these older toolbar layouts also as they continue to be used in other word processing software.

Go to "View" on the menu bar and select "Toolbars" then select the toolbars you want. 
Toolbars in Word
So what are all of these toolbars for?  Well, here's a quick overview of each one in Microsoft Word:

Standard & Formatting - If you could only have two toolbars these would be the two you'd want.  They have all the most used functions on them, like font style and size, the "File" and "Edit" menus, and lots of other commonly used tool bar buttons.

AutoText - This menu gives you drop down lists that are full of commonly used phrases.  If you're really good at it using a menu like this could be faster than typing everything by hand.

Control Toolbox, Forms & Database 
- These toolbars are full of icons that you would use to make online forms, data entry forms and web pages using Word.  If your working on a project that requires these toolbars you're probably an advanced user.

Drawing, Picture, Tables and Borders & Word Art - These toolbars are useful when you're adding graphics, lines, borders fancy text or pictures to your Word document.  Try using them to spruce up your next project!

Mail Merge - This is the toolbar that we used in Technology Tip Number 27 to make a mail merged document.

Reviewing - This toolbar is handy when you're going to be sharing a document with a group of people via email and you'd like them to review it and make changes to it.  You can use the this toolbar to help you keep track of the changes for example.

Task Pane - This toolbar button actually opens up the task pane which is a section on the right hand side of the screen that reveals lots of other options.

Web & Web Tools - These toolbars give you options for making web pages in Word.

Visual Basic - This toolbar refers to a programming language that could greatly expand what you can do in Word, but only if you know what you're doing.  You might want to save this toolbar for advanced users.

Below are the two toolbars that you are most likely to use and some more specifics about the buttons you are most likely to be using.
Standard and Format toolbar in Word
Click on the picture above to enlarge it
As you can see there are quite a few icons to get familiar with.  Also, depending on which version of Microsoft Word you have the icons might look a little different but they generally don't change much.  You could print out the picture above and try to memorize all the icons.  Or you could just try thinking about what you're currently doing in Word and what you'd like to be doing in Word and check for some toolbar buttons that could help you get there.  Either way, we'd suggest that if nothing else, get familiar with these two toolbars as they'll be the ones you'll use the most.

Another benefit to getting familiar with these two tool bars is that these buttons are the ones most likely to appear in other Microsoft programs.  You'll find that there is a very similar Standard and Format toolbar in the pre-2007 versions of PowerPoint, Excel, FrontPage, Publisher, Outlook and even in Access. 

PRACTICE ACTIVITY:  Open up a Word document and then try opening up every single toolbar that's available, just to see what they all look like.

TO KEEP ON LEARNING:  To find out more about the toolbars that are available in Microsoft programs try searching the internet for:

Word toolbars
Microsoft toolbar icons
Toolbar tricks