POWER USER

Trim the Word 2000 toolbar to suit the way you like to work

John McCormick

My recent column about Microsoft Word 2000 [GCN, April 17, Page 37] covered several tricks I've found for customizing Word.

Subsequently, I started to feel cramped whenever I used Word 2000, because there wasn't enough room on its toolbars for all the tools I like to use.

The problem is that by default both toolbars occupy the same line on the screen. To give them separate lines'at the cost of losing a line of text in the text window'go to Tools, Customize, Options. Uncheck 'Standard and formatting toolbars share one row.' This change, unlike some other options, does not alter how the remaining Office 2000 applications appear.

Or you can simply right-click on the >> symbol at the right of the menu bar. It only shows up if you have more icons than will fit on the bar.

Word 2000 has an add/remove button feature. Access it by left-clicking on the >> symbol. One option displayed'in some cases the only option'is 'Add or remove buttons.'

Click on it to see a menu showing all the available options along with check boxes you can select to hide or display the icons.

Killing the clutter

Those are my most recent Word 2000 discoveries, but I haven't fully customized the giant word processor to my taste yet. One thing that stumped me was the way a third-party program mysteriously put dozens of identical links to its graphics capture tool on the Word 2000 toolbar.

All the links worked, but they crowded out the other items. I couldn't kill them using the add/remove feature because, although they showed up on the options menu just described, they were only ghosts that couldn't be edited out.

Fortunately, I didn't intend to use the image capture program from within Word anyhow. By choosing the 'Reset toolbar' option at the bottom of the add/remove buttons menu, I forced the toolbar to revert to its original defaults. Then I edited it to show just the tools I normally use.

I checked Envelopes and Labels, unchecked Document Map, Drawing, Hyperlink, Insert Excel Table, Tables and Borders, and a half-dozen more items I seldom use.

Now once again I have a useful Word toolbar with a manageable number of icons.

Quick exit

If you tend to open Word 2000 only when you need to compose something, then exit quickly, you probably have never explored all the available options.

For example, if you just hit the F7 shortcut key to run a spell check, you probably don't know Word 2000 has a good, easily accessed thesaurus.

To find synonyms for a word, simply right-click on it. You'll see a small menu with Synonyms as the bottom option.

Highlight it to view a list of alternative choices plus the option to open the full thesaurus menu. This is a new feature'it doesn't work in Word 97'and a lot of busy office workers will likely get good use out of it.

Something else you may never have succeeded in doing with earlier versions of Word is now possible: numbering a bulleted list.

At times, you want bullets to emphasize items in a list, as well as individual item numbers for easier reference if the list is long.

Versions up through Word 6.0 would not allow both a bullet and a number at the beginning of a paragraph. But I added them both in Word 2000 with no problem, so I tried Word 97 and found it works there also.

Microsoft Corp. has suggested fixes that let you work around the limitation in earlier versions of Word for Windows and Mac OS, but they are pretty kludgy, so you probably have just found workarounds when you wanted to number bullet lists. Word 2000 has eliminated the need to do such handstands.

John McCormick, a free-lance writer and computer consultant, has been working with computers since the early 1960s. Send him e-mail him at poweruser@mail.usa.com.

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