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Use Quick Access and Advanced Toolbars in Microsoft Office

written by: Meryl K Evans•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/31/2008

Microsoft can't create software that captures every single user's most common actions. However, you can customize the toolbar in Office products to cover the features you use most.

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    Quick Access Toolbar

    The Quick Access Toolbar is a Microsoft Office 2007 feature, not specific to Outlook. Other Office programs depend largely on the ribbon instead of toolbars with the exception of Quick Access Toolbar. The toolbar appears next to the Microsoft Office button in the upper-left corner.

    It also appears above or below the ribbon in other Microsoft Office programs. The Quick Access Toolbar in Microsoft Word appears above the ribbon.

    You can move the Quick Access Toolbar below the ribbon.

    Click the Customize Quick Access Toolbar button to view its menu. It provides a list of commonly used commands for quick access.

    Click "More Commands," if you wish to add or remove commands from the Quick Access Toolbar.

    To view other commands, click "Popular Commands" for a list.

    The options on the left from Popular to Advanced contain the default and current settings for Microsoft Office programs. Click Advanced for a list of Outlook options. Tweak them to your preferences.

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    Advanced Toolbar

    Outlook has three toolbars: Standard, Advanced and Web. Standard contains the basic email tools from New and Reply to Forward and Send/Receive. Outlook's Web toolbar also appears in Internet Explorer 6. The interface for Internet Explorer 7 rearranges the same buttons from the Web toolbar, but they appear on the browser's main menus.

    The Advanced Toolbar resembles the Web Toolbar, the Standard toolbar followed by the Advanced and Web toolbars. The Advanced toolbar changes slightly as you navigate through the different modules. The following buttons appear in the Advanced Toolbar for all modules:

    • Outlook Today: Opens Outlook Today with an overview of your day's Calendar, Tasks and Messages.
    • Back, Forward and Up One Level: Move around Outlook to the previous and next view page. Up One Level only works when you're not in a top level folder.
    • Reading Pane: Turn off the Reading Pane or view the bottom or right Reading Pane depending on which you used most recently.
    • Print Preview: Preview the currently viewing item for printing.
    • Undo: Reverse the last action taken. For example, Undo would bring back an accidentally marked as completed task.

    The buttons appearing after Undo differ based on the currently open module and its current views.

    The following buttons appear in one or more of the Advanced Toolbars:

    • Rules and Alerts: Opens the Rules and Alert window for automatically managing email messages.
    • Current View: Change the current view to another view.
    • Group By Box: Shows which field the messages are sorted by. Click the box to switch from ascending to descending and back, or drag the column header to the indicated space to group by the selected column. Drag another header to sort by that field second.
    • Field Chooser: Drag fields to the content pane to add fields, or drag fields from the content pane to the Field Chooser to remove fields. Remove the field by selecting the field and dragging it into the Field Chooser window.
    • AutoPreview: Switches between one line message text to three lines of message text. AutoPreview won't show more than one line in Contacts unless there are notes included in the Contact's profile.
    • Plan a Meeting: Opens the Plan a Meeting window to the Schedule for checking the potential attendees' schedules. As soon as you enter the information and click Make Meeting, Outlook opens a new Meeting e-mail message for addressing.
    • New Meeting Request to Contact: Opens a meeting request addressed to the selected contact.
    • New Task for Contact: Starts a new Task Request addressed to a selected Contact. Complete the request and send it.
    • Explore Web Page: Opens the Contact's Web site in the default Internet browser. If the contact doesn't have a Web site, then Outlook lets you know.