Are you tired of having to click several times to use a feature in MS Word? Or perhaps you can’t find things when you need them. The key to speeding up your editing is to customise the quick access toolbar (QAT).

Few people know about this useful feature, but I find it a real time-saver when I'm editing a document.

What is the quick access toolbar?

The quick access toolbar in Word brings your favourite tasks to the top. With a toolbar right in front of your eyes, it’s hard to miss those features you want to access quickly. As shown in this brief video, the toolbar is in the top left-hand corner of your Word document, and is automatically loaded with three things:

  • save
  • undo
  • redo.

By customising the toolbar you can make it much more useful. I’m sure you can think of more things you do all the time that deserve their spot at the top of the window.

Creating a shortcut (a keystroke) for a particular action is another way to find things quickly. However, if you create too many shortcuts, they can be difficult to remember. The beauty of the toolbar is that you can customise it to suit your needs, and can easily adapt it as your needs change.

How do you customise the quick access toolbar?

From word count, to track changes, to insert breaks, pretty much anything can be pinned to the quick access toolbar for easy access. Just right-click on a particular feature to add it to the bar.

I recommend keeping to a small number of well-used features. The toolbar becomes less useful if it’s getting too crowded.

Is there a quick access toolbar for Mac users?

The most recent versions of MS Word for Macs include a quick access toolbar that you can customise, as explained in this article from Microsoft.

How do I use Word's quick access toolbar?

How you customise the toolbar is up to you. As I explain in this 5-minute video, I find the toolbar most useful for features that:

  • are not where I expect them to be
  • take multiple clicks to get to
  • are helpful for me to see while I’m working.

What favourite feature will you add to your quick access toolbar?