MS Word

Cut Menus Down to Size

The Problem:

Half the commands on the menus are useless to me. I'd like to get rid of them to clear out the clutter.

The Solution:

Once you've worked out which commands you need, you can strip the menus down to size. There's a quick way of removing a command from a menu that you can use to knock out the occasional offender, but if you plan to reconfigure several menus, you should use a more formal method.

The quick way of removing a menu command is to press Ctrl+Alt+- (that's the hyphen key). Word turns the mouse pointer into a thick horizontal bar. Click the menu containing the offending command so that the menu opens. Click your victim, and it'll disappear.

The more formal method of removing a menu command is to use the Customize dialog box:

  1. Open a document based on the template you want to change.

  2. Choose Tools » Customize and click the Commands tab. Make sure that the "Save in" drop-down list shows the document or template you want to affect. If you want the change to affect all documents, choose

  3. Click the menu that contains the command, drag the command into the document area, and drop it.

  4. Click the Close button.

  5. Shift-click the File menu and choose Save All. If Word prompts you to save changes to, click the Yes button.

You can easily replace any item you remove from a menu or a toolbar. Start by choosing Tools » Customize, clicking the Commands tab, and selecting the document or template in the "Save in" drop-down list. To replace a single item, drag the command to the appropriate menu or toolbar. To reset a menu, right-click it and choose Reset from the shortcut menu. To reset a toolbar, select it on the Toolbars tab and click the Reset button.