Making the most of the QAT

Hilary Cadman Update Leave a Comment

Do you sometimes struggle to find things in MS Word? Perhaps a particular feature isn’t where you expect it to be, or you get frustrated at having to click several times to get to a feature. If so, you might find the quick access toolbar (QAT) helpful.

Many people aren’t aware of this useful feature. Microsoft didn’t highlight the QAT when they first brought out the ribbon versions of Word – perhaps because it implies that their system isn’t perfect! I’d been using Word 2007 for several months before I discovered the QAT, but straight away found it really useful.

What is the QAT?

The QAT is basically a toolbar on which you can park features that you want to access quickly. It is up on the top lefthand corner of your Word document and is automatically loaded with three things:

  • save
  • undo
  • redo.

By customising the QAT you can make it much more useful. Just right-click on a particular feature to add it to the bar.

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

Is there a QAT for Mac users?

For Mac users, only the most recent versions of MS Word include a QAT. But older versions of Word for Mac can easily be modified to include a toolbar that works like the QAT.

How do I use the QAT?

I use the QAT for features that I constantly look for on the wrong tab, things that take multiple clicks to get to and things that are useful for me to be able to see while I’m working. In the 5-minute video below I show you where the QAT is and give you some ideas for how you might use it.

Click here or on the video to find out more about the QAT. If you have a tip about using the QAT, do share it in the comments.

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Hilary CadmanMaking the most of the QAT

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