How to customize the Microsoft Office 2007 interface

Benjamin Free Range

My work as a priest involves a good deal of writing, including letters, articles, and longer documents. I supplement this by occasionally writing a book, and so I spend a fair amount of time in Microsoft Word.

The Office 2007 interface uses a series of toolbars called ribbons. The ribbon interface means that a lot of buttons I rarely use are right in front of me, while I have to flip back and forth between the ribbons to find the commands I use all the time (I wrote my doctoral thesis in LibreOffice, which works like the old Office interface).

I recently discovered that you can build a custom interface for Microsoft Office by taking full advantage of the Quick Access Toolbar.


1. Right click on the Quick Access Toolbar or on the top of the Ribbon and click “Show Quick Access Toolbar Below the Ribbon”
2. Click again and choose “Customize the Quick Access Toolbar…”
3. Add all the commands you want
4. Click again and choose “Minimize the Ribbon” (This is not strictly necessary but it makes the interface much cleaner. The Ribbon is still instantly accessible whenever you want it).

You’re done!