Customizing Menu Commands in Office 2003

Office 2003 provides two techniques for customizing menus and menu commands. You can start from the Rearrange Commands dialog box or use the drag-and-drop method. Keep reading.

Handling menu commands in the Rearrange Commands dialog box

The Toolbar Options button technique of handling toolbar buttons is fine and dandy, but what if you want to place a toolbar button on a toolbar and the button isn't on the drop-down list? To do a more thorough job of customizing toolbars, follow these steps:

1. Choose Tools --> Customize or right-click a toolbar and choose Customize.

You see the Customize dialog box.

2. Select the Commands tab.

3. Click the Rearrange Commands button.

You see the Rearrange Commands dialog box.

4. Make sure that the Menu Bar option button is selected and, from the Menu Bar drop-down list, choose the name of the menu or submenu you want to customize.

The names of commands on the menu appear in the dialog box.

5. Customize the menu to the extent that you prefer.

You will find commands in the Rearrange Commands dialog box for doing these tasks:

Adding a new command: Click the Add button and find and select a command in the Add Command dialog box.

Removing a menu command: Select the command and click Delete.

Rearranging commands: Select commands and click the Move Up or Move Down button to change the order in which they appear on the menu.

You can always click the Reset button in the Rearrange Commands dialog box if all goes awry and you need to start over.

Handling menu commands by dragging and dropping

The Customize dialog box is like a backstage pass to Office programs. As long as this dialog box is open, you can drag and drop menu commands and toolbar buttons at will. Follow these steps to remove commands from or add commands to menus by dragging and dropping:

1. Choose Tools --> Customize to open the Customize dialog box.

2. Select the Commands tab.

What you do next depends on whether you want to remove a command from a menu, add a command to a menu, or change its position on a menu. Changing menu commands requires moving the pointer out of the Customize dialog box and clicking menus on the menu bar.

  • Removing menu items: To remove a menu command, move the pointer over the menu that holds the command you want to remove and click. That's right — click the menu name as if you were pulling it down to choose one of its commands. When the menu appears, select the menu command you want to remove and drag it off the menu. You see a gray rectangle above the pointer and an X below it. Release the mouse button after you have dragged the menu command away from the menu.
  • Adding menu items: To add a menu command to a menu, find the command in the Commands list on the Commands tab of the Customize dialog box and drag it from the Commands list the menu itself. As you do this, you see a gray rectangle above the pointer and a plus sign below it. Move the pointer over the menu to which you want to add the command. The menu appears. Gently drag the pointer down the menu to the spot where you want the command to be listed. A black line appears on the menu to show where your command will go. When the command is in the right spot, release the mouse button.
  • Changing the position of menu items: To change the position of a command on a menu, move the pointer out of the Customize dialog box and gently click on the menu whose command you want to move. Then drag the pointer up or down the list of commands. A black line shows where the command will move when you release the mouse button. When the black line is in the right spot, let up on the mouse button.

Resetting the menus

If you wish that you hadn't messed with the menus and you want to repent, choose Tools --> Customize, select the Commands tab, move the pointer out of the dialog box, right-click the name of the menu whose commands you fooled with, and choose Reset on the shortcut menu.

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