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Along with the ribbon containing the tools you need, Microsoft Office provides a Quick Access Toolbar. This tiny bar can hold actions you perform often like undo, redo, save, or open. However, access to it can and should be faster and easier.

Why Change the Quick Access Toolbar’s Position?

Here’s the thing, the Quick Access Toolbar sits way on the top left of your Microsoft Office application. It’s above both the ribbon and the tabs. So many times, it’s just quicker and simpler to grab the tool you need from one of those spots.

But here, we’ll show you how to fix this situation and get to the Quick Access Toolbar faster.

Move the Quick Access Toolbar

You may not realize it, but you can move the Quick Access Toolbar from its remote location at the top of your Office application. You can place it below the ribbon instead of above it. This gives you the quickest access to it because it’s directly above your workspace.

Click the arrow on the far right of the Quick Access Toolbar for Customize Quick Access Toolbar and select “Show Below the Ribbon.”

Select Show Below Ribbon

And there it goes! That toolbar is now right above your workspace for much quicker access.

Quick Access Toolbar below ribbon in Word

You can move the Quick Access Toolbar in each of the Microsoft Applications that you want. Meaning, just because you move it below the ribbon in Word doesn’t mean it will be there when you open Excel. This flexibility lets you only relocate it in the applications where it’s beneficial to you.

Tip: You can also move the Quick Access Toolbar below the ribbon in File Explorer on Windows. Then, customize the toolbar’s actions for what you use most.

Add Actions to the Quick Access Toolbar

The options for the toolbar include the most common actions for the particular application. Click the arrow on the right side again and select (checkmark) each action you want to display.

Choose Quick Access Toolbar actions

Note that the actions will appear in the order you select them, not the order they are in the list.

Again, the flexibility here lets you select what you use most for that particular application. Some actions like new, open, and save are available across all Microsoft Office applications. But others are application-specific.

As examples, you can add actions to draw a table in Word, sort in ascending or descending order in Excel, start a slideshow from the beginning in PowerPoint, and find a contact in Outlook.

Quick Access Toolbar in Excel

For additional actions, check out our how-to for customizing the Quick Access Toolbar. This lets you add more actions than what you see in the list.

Show Only the Quick Access Toolbar and Tabs

Now, if you don’t like the Quick Access Toolbar below the ribbon because you feel it encroaches on your workspace, here’s something to try: hide the ribbon!

If you’ve included the actions you use most and took it a step further by customizing the Quick Access Toolbar with our tutorial, then you may only need to see the ribbon once in a while.

RELATED: How to Quickly Show or Hide the Ribbon in Office 2013

Click the arrow on the far-right side of the ribbon to collapse it.

Collapse the ribbon

Now the only things you see at the top of the application window are the Quick Access Toolbar and tabs. You can click any tab to view its tools on the ribbon when you need one. And you have much more workspace than before.

Quick Access Toolbar with hidden ribbon in Word

If you want to return the ribbon to its set location, click the drop-down arrow on the top right for Ribbon Display Options and pick “Show Tabs and Commands.”

Select Show Tabs and Commands

When you use Microsoft’s Office applications daily, it’s worth a few minutes to make changes like this if they help you work more efficiently.

Another way you can increase your efficiency is by enabling macros in Microsoft Office.

RELATED: How to Enable (and Disable) Macros in Microsoft Office 365

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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