Customizing the Menu Bar in Office 2003

By Wallace Wang

Because Office 2003 contains so many different commands, each menu title can display commands in one of three ways:

  • Display every possible command at all times. This lets you see all the possible commands you can choose but can also overwhelm you with too many choices.
  • Hide the commands you rarely use. If you want to see all the commands stored under a particular menu title, you have to click the Expand button at the bottom of the menu title.
  • Hide the commands you rarely use but display them automatically after a few seconds.

To change the way menus work, follow these steps for each Office 2003 program:

1. Choose one of the following:

• Click Tools –> Customize.

• Click View –> Toolbars –> Customize.

A Customize dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 1.

The Customize dialog box in Word 2003.
Figure 1: The Customize dialog box lets you modify the way menus work.

2. Click the Options tab.

3. Click or clear one of the following check boxes:

Always Show Full Menus: If checked, this option makes the drop-down menus display every possible command as shown in Figure 2.

Show Full Menus After A Short Delay: If checked, this option waits a few seconds before showing the less frequently used commands on a menu.

4. Click Close.

Multiple expanded menus on Word 2003.
Figure 2: Menus can display all commands at all times.