Customizing Excel menus and toolbars

Applies to
Microsoft Excel 2000

Do you wish the Microsoft Excel 2000 menus and toolbars were organized differently, to better suit the way you work? Excel makes it easy for you to personalize and customize the menus and toolbars to suit your individual way of working. This article provides an overview of the ways to arrange the menus and toolbars, including how to restore menus and toolbars to the defaults if you experiment and then change your mind. The article focuses on Excel, but many of these techniques work in other Microsoft Office 2000 programs too.

Personalized menus

The Excel short menus show the most popular commands. You can always get to the rest of the commands by clicking the chevron at the bottom of a menu to display the full menu. As you continue to use Excel, frequently used commands move to the short menus and unused commands move to the full menus.

If you prefer the contents of the menus to stay the same, you can turn personalized menus off: click Customize on the Tools menu, click the Options tab, and then clear the Menus show recently used commands first check box. You can then customize the menus to contain the commands you want, as explained later in this article.

Combined toolbars

Initially, the Standard and Formatting toolbars are positioned on the same row at the top of the Excel window. You can dock other toolbars on this row by selecting them from the Toolbars submenu (View menu, Toolbars command), and then dragging them to the same row if needed.

To access the buttons that aren't displayed, click the More Buttons button at the right end of each toolbar. Frequently used buttons move to the displayed area, and unused buttons move to the More Buttons menu.

If you want to see all of the toolbar buttons and keep the buttons in the same position, you can display the toolbars on separate rows. Click Customize on the Tools menu, click the Options tab, and then clear the Standard and Formatting toolbars share one row check box. You can then customize the toolbars to contain the buttons you want, as explained later in this article.

Customizing menus

You can reorganize the menus, add and remove commands, rename commands, and display commands with or without button images on the left. To customize your menus, click Customize on the Tools menu, and then click the Commands tab.

The Customize dialog box lets you modify menus and toolbars, and add special-purpose commands that don't appear by default, such as the command to increase the font size.

Customize dialog box

While the Customize dialog box is displayed, you can drag menus to different positions on the menu bar, and you can drag commands to different positions on the menus or to other menus. You can add commands by dragging them from the Commands list in the dialog box to the menu and position where you want them. You can delete a command by dragging it off the menu.

To customize individual commands, right-click a command on a menu. The shortcut menu that appears lets you rename the command by typing a new name in the Name box, preceding the shortcut key character you want to use with an ampersand (&). You can display both the command and its button image, if it has one, by clicking Image and Text, or omit the button image by clicking either of the Text Only choices. You can add dividing lines between commands by clicking Begin a Group, or delete these lines by dragging them off the menu.

 Note   If you change the shortcut key character for a command, make sure you select a character that's not already in use as a shortcut key for another command on that same menu.

With the Customize dialog box displayed, you can right-click a command such as Cells to rename it or change how it appears.

Shortcut menu for customizing a command

Customizing toolbars

With the Customize dialog box displayed, you can also reorganize toolbars. Use the Toolbars tab to display the toolbars you want to modify, and then use the Commands tab to add buttons. You can drag the buttons and dividers on a toolbar to rearrange them, and drag buttons off a toolbar to delete them.

If you find toolbar buttons difficult to read or use, you can display text instead of buttons, or you can enlarge the buttons. To display text instead of a button, right-click the button while the Customize dialog box is displayed, make any changes or abbreviations to the text in the Name box, and then click Text Only (Always). To display larger buttons, click the Options tab on the Customize dialog box, and then select the Large icons check box.