Navigating Menus in Office 2011 for Mac - dummies

Navigating Menus in Office 2011 for Mac

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

In every Office for Mac application, you can see the menu bar at the top of your screen. The menu bar continues to the right edge of the screen, but everything to the right of the Help menu belongs to Mac OS X or other open applications. Of course, you can activate individual menus by clicking corresponding menu items to expose their contents and submenus.


Another way to navigate menus is by using arrow keys to navigate and then pressing Return to activate your menu choice. To get to the menu bar using the keyboard, press Fn-Control-F2 (or Control-F2 on keyboards without the Fn key).

The menu bar has certain default characteristics regardless of which Office application you’re using. Starting from the upper-left corner of your entire screen you can find:

  • Apple menu: Mac OS X, rather than the current application, supplies this menu.

  • Application menu: Located immediately to the right of the Apple menu, this menu offers access to these important options.

    Here’s what you’ll find:

    • About [Application Name]: Displays a message box that describes the current version of the open application and its installed updates.

    • Online Registration: Enter a product key that you’ve purchased to sign up for newsletters from Microsoft.

    • Preferences (Command-comma): Displays the preferences for the current application. Notice the keyboard shortcut for this is displayed to the right of the command.

    • Services: All sorts of additional features from Mac OS X and other applications can be found here. The right-pointing arrow indicates there’s a submenu. It’s worth exploring the Services Preferences option, which opens Mac OS X Services preference panel, where you can turn services on and off.

    • Hide [Application NameCommand-H: This hides the application from view. Use Command-Tab or click the application’s Dock icon to return to (unhide) the application.

    • Hide Others Option-Command-H: The Hide Others command hides all other open applications except the one you’re working on within your Mac OS X desktop. Use Command-Tab or click another application’s Dock icon to switch to a different application.

    • Show All: This becomes available when you hide one or more applications. Choose Show All to make all hidden applications visible.

    • Quit [Application Name] Command-Q: Closes all open windows of the active application and then completely quits the application itself.

  • File and other menus: These menus offer the array of commands that are associated with your Office application.

  • Application Script menu: This menu has a small symbol icon rather than a menu name. You will find Sample Automator workflows on this menu. Further to the right, you find an identical Script Menu icon that contains AppleScripts and Automator actions, including Automator actions that you create yourself.

  • Help Menu: Compared with the previous versions, the Help system in Office 2011 is revamped and interactive. Display the Help menu by clicking Help on the menu bar.


    Here’s what you’ll find:

    • Search: Within the Help menu, the Search box locates commands that match your search criteria.

    • [Application Name] Help: This is where you can find help for whatever application you are using.

    • Check for Updates: Launches Microsoft AutoUpdate.

    • Visit the Product Web Site: Opens the Microsoft web site for the program in your default web browser.

    • Send Feedback about [Application Name]: Your Web browser takes you to an online suggestion box where you can send comments and make suggestions to Microsoft. You won’t receive a reply to these messages, but do know that folks at Microsoft read each one.