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Take Control of Customizing Microsoft Office
Sep 09, 2005

Take Control of Customizing Microsoft Office

Work faster and more efficiently in Microsoft Office X and Office 2004!

You know Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are powerful, but are you harnessing that power effectively? Microsoft Office expert Kirk McElhearn has distilled years of experience with these programs to explain how to work in Office more quickly and effectively. Learn how to issue your favorite commands faster, whether that means that you put commands on a toolbar for one-click access, stick them on custom menus where you can find them easily, or assign them keyboard shortcuts so that your fingers can do the work. Find tips for arranging toolbars and customizing the Formatting palette. Discover how to insert frequently typed bits of text with ease, and learn to use templates so that you never re-create a frequently used document (such as a monthly report) from scratch again. Kirk will have you working more efficiently than before in no time! Also included: how to navigate toolbars using the keyboard, working with the Word work menu, where Office stores customizations, and more. Bonus! A special appendix lists 20 favorite Office customizations from Macintosh experts.

This ebook covers Microsoft Office X and Office 2004 for Macintosh; however, much of the information applies to recent versions of Microsoft Office for Windows and to older versions of the software on both platforms, as well as Office 2008. The ebook does not cover writing macros.

More Info

Read this ebook to learn the answers to questions like:

  • How can I access different commands from a toolbar?
  • How do I assign keyboard shortcuts to frequently used commands?
  • How can I revert Word’s menus to a Word 5 layout?
  • What’s the point of the Word Work menu, and how do I use it?
  • How can I quickly insert frequently typed bits of text?
  • How can I get a list of all keyboard shortcuts assigned in Word?
  • How do I make an Excel template for my monthly report?
  • How do I create a Word template for business letters?
  • Where are my customizations and templates kept, and how do I share them with others?
Update Plans

December 2009 – At this time, we do not plan to update this ebook for Microsoft Office 2008 or for any future version of Office.

Posted by Tonya Engst

  1. Changes in Take Control of Customizing Microsoft Office 1.0.1

    The following changes were made to the ebook in this new version:

    • Added info about how the Customizing Formatting Palette dialog may list panels only if the Formatting Palette is showing onscreen. See Customizing the Formatting Palette, page 32.
    • Added directions for disabling the Word5Menus keyboard shortcuts so that neither people nor pets can press it accidentally. See The Case of the Missing Menu Items: Part II, page 45.
    • Added information about yet another way to insert an AutoText entry in a Word document - type the first four letters of the entry, and then press Command-Option-V. See Using AutoText, page 56.
    • Added a warning reminding readers to perform the bulk of their toolbar customization work in new toolbars, not in the built-in toolbars. See Modifying Toolbars, page 20.
    • Added a warning that you not add boilerplate text to the Normal template and clarified the directions for opening a new document based on a Normal template. See Customizing Word’s default (Normal) template, page 62.
    • A new Resources section notes two Web sites that you may find valuable if you want to become an expert Word user. See Resources, page 71.

    Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

The Author

Kirk McElhearn is a freelance writer specializing in Macs, iPods, iTunes, digital music, and more. In addition to having written or co-written a dozen books, he is a Senior Contributor to Macworld magazine and he contributes to several other publications. He reviews classical CDs for MusicWeb and audiobooks for Audiofile, and he is a translator from French to English.