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Customize the Microsoft Office 2007 Interface

written by: J. Peter•edited by: John Garger•updated: 1/5/2011

Unless you are a programmer, you can't easily change your Microsoft Office Ribbon interface. However, you can make some changes to a little part of the interface known as the Quick Access Toolbar.

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    Starting with version 2007, the Microsoft Office drop down menus and toolbars have been completely replaced with the new Office Ribbon. Unlike the old navigation system, the Ribbon is largely uncustomizeable. This has the effect of making everyone's interface look the same from computer to computer but denies users the ability to make Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint look the way they want. Some people find the Ribbon useful while others complain that it is too restricting. Luckilym there is one part of the Office 2007 applications that you can customize. The Quick Access Toolbar is the one saving grace for those who need a customized Office 2007 appearance.

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    Editing the Microsoft Office Quick Access Toolbar

    You cannot alter the appearance of the Ribbon in Microsoft Office applications, but you can make some customization changes. For example, you can work with the Quick Access Toolbar, which is customizable; you can add/remove all the commands you like. To do this, you simply need to select the down-arrow next to the toolbar that allows you to choose from the following options:

    Minimize the Ribbon - This allows you keep your Ribbon tabs visible, while allowing you a little more room at the top of your screen. The Ribbons will reappear if you select the ribbon tab.

    Show below the ribbon - The Quick Access toolbar will grow as you add buttons to it, but you may not want it all the way at the top of your document. You can give it a bit more space to expand if you put it below the Ribbon.

    More Commands - This takes you directly to the Customize settings that will allow you to add more commands to your toolbar

    If you want to do more with the Ribbon, you can customize it without being a programmer. You just need the Ribbon Customizer™ and ToolbarToggle™ add-ins for Office. Both add-ins let you customize the Office interface, and both can display a version of the menus and toolbars found in Office 2003 and earlier. If you want to learn more about these tools, you can learn more on the MVP Word website.

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    Conclusion

    You cannot alter the appearance of the Ribbon in Microsoft Office 2007 applications, but you can make some customization changes. For example, you can work with the Quick Access Toolbar, which is somewhat customizable. From here you can add/remove all the commands you like. but it can become cumbersome if you add too many functions.

    If you want to do more with the Ribbon, you can customize it without being a programmer. You just need the Ribbon Customizer™ and ToolbarToggle™ add-ins for Office 2007. Both add-ins let you customize the Office interface, and both can display a version of the menus and toolbars found in Office 2003 and earlier.

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    Images

    Changing the Quick Access Toolbar