Join Dennis Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Quick Access Toolbar, part of Excel 2016 Essential Training.
- Above the Ribbon Menu system in the upper left corner of your screen is what's called the Quick Access Toolbar, sometimes abbreviated QAT. Initially it has only three buttons in it. A save button, an undo button and a redo button. Undo by the way is extremely helpful if you've taken an action, perhaps you've used a command maybe that deletes data, and you've got all kinds of errors on your worksheet? You can easily undo your last action, but not only the last action but lots of others as well.
That's covered in a later movie. But here's the basic idea behind the Quick Access Toolbar. You can add to it, you can put buttons up here for features that you use frequently. Now I'm going to take a simple example. Maybe you haven't even used Excel a whole lot, but you've recognized that here's an underline button, right here. Maybe you don't know or overlook the fact that there's a keystroke shortcut. Suppose you're working with the data and maybe you're using the Data tab here, using one of the features here, or you're on the Page Layout tab and you want to apply underlining.
What do you need to do? You need to go back to the Home tab to get to that feature. Every button in the Ribbon Menu System, is a potential candidate for the Quick Access Toolbar. So using that simple example, here's what I'm saying. I need this button available all the time, because when I need it, I'm not always using the Home tab. So by right clicking this button, or any other button in the Ribbon Menu System, there's a choice called Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
I'm going to choose it, and there we see underline. So maybe I am working on the Data tab or working with some functions here on the Formulas tab. I want to apply underlining here, there's that button. I don't have to go back to the Home tab. Of course, if I knew the keystroke shortcut, we wouldn't need this here. Over time, you reassess perhaps the need for certain buttons. Maybe after a while when I realize the Control U is faster and maybe easier anyway, I don't need this here.
So right click this button, Remove from Quick Access Toolbar. Therse a dropper on the right side, we can click this and it's handy to have an open button, might as well choose that one. There are some others out here you might want to choose from as well. Do you do spellcheck a lot? Activate that one. Remember, we can always remove these simply by right clicking a button if we decide they're not very useful. And there's some others here as well. If you'd like to see additional buttons, you can also slide down to More Commands.
This opens a dialog box with a list of some popular commands. So maybe you're frequently using Fill Color. Now that's on the Home tab. We could have gotten to that otherwise, but here we see it as well. We can click Add, and now we see it here. The top-down order that we see here will correspond to the left or right order that we see in the Quick Access Toolbar. So I've added the Fill Color button. And if this were not enough, keep in mind we only see about 30 choices here, here's a drop arrow and we can choose Commands Not in the Ribbon.
Now as you become more experienced with Excel, you should check back here from time to time, maybe quickly sift through the list. Are there features in here, commands in here that you'd like to have represented in the Quick Access Toolbar so they're available all the time? Just pick this one or that one, and maybe you've found one here for query parameters. Add that. And if that were not enough, click the drop arrow, here's a choice called All Commands. So tons of options here, over a thousand choices here.
Any one of these we could add to the Quick Access Toolbar. Here's one on Data Validation. Maybe that would be a good one to add based on my experience using Excel. At some point, you click OK, and watch the idea here, Save, Undo, Redo, Open, Spelling, et cetera, as we see this moving downward, we're about to see these buttons across the top of the screen in the Quick Access Toolbar. And there we see them there. Remember, as you slide over these too, you get a description of what that feature does. Occasionally, a feature looks great out because you haven't selected data or done anything to make that feature available right now.
And at a later time, as you reassess from time to time a feature that's there, you might right-click and say, "You know, I don't really need this button here," right-click and remove. There are times too when you want to change the left or right order here. You can simply right-click any button in the Quick Access Toolbar, customize the Quick Access Toolbar and then consider, as we look at the top-down order here, remember that corresponds to the left or right order, maybe I want Save to be the rightmost button.
So I'm going to click Save and move it down the list. Here's the down arrow here, and I'm moving it down the list, which, in effect, will mean moving it on the right side of the list as I click OK. At some point, you might find yourself using someone else's computer or maybe someone else has left the office and you are now using that computer. Maybe the buttons that the other person has used are not ones that you will need. You could either get rid of them one by one, or consider another option, right-click, Quick Access Toolbar, Customize, and at the bottom here, Reset.
Rest only Quick Access Toolbar. Are you sure you want to restore this to its default contents? Yes. And OK, and that's the way it looks when you first start Excel. Another option worth considering, right now on my screen, I'm seeing 26 rows, a lot of empty rows, but sometimes you've got data there you'd like to see maybe more maybe less. You can put the Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon. Now the main purpose of that is to make it closer to the data.
But it might show you fewer rows. So I'm going to right-click the Quick Access Toolbar and show the Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon. So before I do this, I'm looking at 26 rows on this worksheet and now I'm seeing only 24. That's a downside of it but on the other hand, the Quick Access Toolbar is closer to the data. And sometimes, that's handy. In my experience and seeing how Excel people use this, I think about 90 percent of the users are keeping this above the Ribbon.
But do recognize that you have this option of putting it above or below the ribbon. So I'm going to right-click here on the Quick Access Toolbar now, show the Quick Access Toolbar above the ribbon is a more common location. A viable tool and the more you work with Excel, the more you'll find this handy. And from time to time, reassess the buttons that are there, optimize it for your use of Excel.
- Working with the Excel interface
- Entering data
- Creating formulas and functions
- Formatting rows, columns, cells, and data
- Working with alignment and text wrap
- Adjusting rows and columns
- Finding and replacing data
- Printing and sharing worksheets
- Creating charts and PivotTables
- Inserting and deleting sheets
- Using power functions such as IF and VLOOKUP
- Password-protecting worksheets and workbooks
- Sorting data
- Analyzing data with Goal Seek and Solver
- Creating and running macros