Make Your Own Custom Commands


Key to Instructions

To help readers follow the instructions in this article, we use two different typefaces.

Boldface type is used to identify the names of icons, agendas and URLs.

Sans serif type indicates commands and instructions that users should type into the computer and the names of files.

Q. I frequently use a handful of commands in Word and Excel. Some are in the File menu, others in Edit and still others in View, Tools and Format. Each time I want to click on one of the commands I have to pause just for a moment to remember its menu location. Is there a way to make the selection process easier?

A. I understand your problem. While each pause is brief, it surely breaks your concentration. I would suggest creating frequently used commands for your own personal toolbars—one for Word and another for Excel. I’ll demonstrate how to do it in Word; the method is exactly the same in Excel, except, of course, the menu selections will be different.

Start by clicking on Tools and Customize . On the Customize screen, click on the Toolbars tab and on New, which brings up the New Toolbar screen. In the blank space under Toolbar name type your name or however you want to identify the toolbar.

That will generate a tiny toolbar on the screen; it will contain the first few letters of the toolbar name.

Using your mouse, drag the tiny toolbar to a convenient place, such as just above the regular toolbar on the top of the screen.

To load it with custom commands, again click on Tools and Customize ; only this time click on the Commands tab. Click-and-drag (holding down the mouse button) each of the command icons up to the new toolbar one at a time. Release the mouse button when each icon is in place.

If you don’t want to display the custom toolbar on your screen, you can hide it. To do that, go to View and click on Toolbars ; that will evoke a menu of available toolbars. Toggling on any adjacent toolbar box will either evoke a toolbar or hide it.

SPONSORED REPORT

Keeping client information safe in an age of scams and security threats

A look at the Dirty Dozen tax scams and ways to protect taxpayer information.

TAX PRACTICE CORNER

More R&D tax help

"Can I use the R&D credit?" PATH Act enhancements make the credit more attractive to a wider range of taxpayers.

QUIZ

Learn to choose between ‘who’ and ‘whom’

Writers can stumble over who and whom (or whoever and whomever). If you write for business, this quiz can help make your copy above reproach.