A Definitive Guide to the Toolbar in Excel (With Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 25, 2022

Professionals across many industries use Microsoft Excel to perform tasks for their work. One way they tailor their experience is by using the quick access toolbar. Knowing what the quick access toolbar is and how to use it can help you increase your capabilities with the Excel program and make your work more efficient.

In this article, we discuss what the toolbar is in Excel, including how you can use it, its benefits and examples of its uses.

What is a toolbar in Excel?

A toolbar in Excel is an area where you can add Excel-related commands to your program. In the default Excel program, it's above the ribbon at the top of the screen. It may be on the right or left side of the screen. The quick access toolbar in Excel has a symbol that has a line above a triangle. When you click on the symbol, Excel displays a drop-down menu with options to change your quick access toolbar. Accessing this menu is important because it's the primary way you can change your toolbar and access the tools you want quickly.

Related: Basic Excel Formulas and How To Use Them

How can you use the Excel toolbar?

You can use the Excel toolbar to set tools you use frequently in one easy-to-access location within the Excel program. This is helpful if you frequently click through the tabs in the Excel ribbon trying to find the exact tool you need. For example, you can place tools such as the tables command or the justification commands into your Excel quick access toolbar. This lets you customize your Excel experience by giving you a bar you have control over and letting you adjust it as your needs change. For example, if you're a writer, you can place editing tools there.

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Benefits of using the toolbar in Excel

There are several benefits you can experience by using the toolbar in Excel, detailed below:

  • Quick access: The toolbar gives you the quickest access to the tools you use most often. When you assign tools to the toolbar, you also create keyboard commands for each one, allowing you to access the tools without clicking on them.

  • Customizability: The toolbar is a highly customizable feature in Excel. Besides putting the tools you want in it, you can also change where the toolbar is on your Excel program to create ease of access for yourself.

  • Unusual commands: You can add nonstandard commands to the toolbar. For example, you can add commands that aren't listed in the ribbon of the Excel program, such as those found in the right-click menus.

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Examples of using the toolbar in Excel

Below are examples of ways you can use the toolbar in Excel:

Add a command to the quick access toolbar

When you click on the button to access your toolbar, it gives you several options you can add to the bar immediately. These include options like email, quick print, undo, redo and other tools you may use frequently. It also gives you the option to add more commands to the toolbar with the "More Commands..." button in the list. To add a new command to your toolbar, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the toolbar button at the top of the Excel program's window.

  2. Select "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" from the list of options.

  3. Choose a command you want to add or click "More Commands..."

  4. Click on the features you want to add to your toolbar.

  5. Click "Ok" beneath the box with your changes.

You can also add new commands to your toolbar by right-clicking on the command you want from the ribbon and then selecting "Add to Quick Access Toolbar."

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Remove a command from the quick access toolbar

Because the toolbar is customizable, you can also remove commands you don't want from the toolbar. For example, perhaps you don't need the undo and redo buttons because you really make mistakes and know the keyboard commands you can use to perform those functions. You can remove them from your toolbar by following the steps below:

  1. Access your toolbar from its location in the Excel window.

  2. Click "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" from the list of options.

  3. Select "More Commands..." from the choices Excel presents.

  4. Choose the command you want to remove from your toolbar.

  5. Push the "Remove" button.

  6. Click "Ok" beneath the box with your changes.

You can also remove commands from your toolbar by clicking on the Microsoft button in the Excel program, then choosing the customize tab and selecting the quick access toolbar button.

Related: How To Undo in Excel (With Tips)

Moving a command's position on the quick access toolbar

As you use the quick access toolbar, you might realize you need some tools more than others and want to position them differently in your toolbar. Excel gives you the ability to change the position of the tools in your toolbar so they align with your needs. Follow the steps below to access your toolbar and change the position of your tools:

  1. Access your toolbar from its location in the Excel window.

  2. Click "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" from the list of options.

  3. Select "More Commands..." from the choices Excel presents.

  4. Select one of your tools from the list in your toolbar dialog box.

  5. Use the up and down arrows located to the right of your commands to adjust the positioning of your tool.

  6. Repeat steps three and four for each tool until your tools are in the order you want.

  7. Click "Ok" beneath the box with the changes.

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Resetting the quick access toolbar to its default state

Finally, if you use your quick access toolbar frequently but want to reset it to how it was when you began using it, you can do so. Follow the steps below to reset your toolbar to its default state:

  1. Access your toolbar from its location in the Excel window.

  2. Click "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" from the list of options.

  3. Select "More Commands..." from the choices Excel presents.

  4. Choose the "Reset" button beneath the options box.

  5. Press "Ok" to let Excel reset your toolbar.

Please note that none of the companies or products mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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