How to Add, Show, & Customize Toolbars in Microsoft Word

989833 How to Add, Show, & Customize Toolbars in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word offers a wide range of features and customization options to enhance your document creation experience. The toolbars provide quick access to commonly used formatting tools, allowing you to easily apply styles, fonts, alignments and more.

While Word comes with default toolbars like Home, Insert and Page Layout, you can further customize them or even create your own custom toolbars suited to your specific needs. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about managing toolbars in Word.

Show or Hide Built-in Toolbars

The ribbon interface in Word displays the most commonly used toolbars by default. These include:

  • Home – basic text formatting commands
  • Insert – insert tables, images, links etc.
  • Design – customize page layout and themes
  • Layout – adjust margins, orientation, size etc.
  • References – insert footnotes, captions, table of contents
  • Mailings – mail merge functions
  • Review – proofing tools, comments, tracking changes
  • View – control document views and zoom

If you want to toggle the visibility of the ribbon, use the Ribbon Display Options button at the top-right corner. From here, you can choose to:

  • Show Tabs and Commands
  • Show Tabs
  • Show Commands (minimizes the ribbon)
  • Auto-hide the ribbon

To bring back a default toolbar that you hid, go to the View tab > Toolbars and select the one you want to display.

Add, Remove or Rearrange Commands

You can customize the default toolbars in Word by adding, removing or reordering commands.

To do this:

  1. Right-click on the toolbar and select Customize the Ribbon
  2. In the right-pane, choose the toolbar tab you want to edit
  3. Use the arrows to rearrange groups or click New Group to create your own
  4. To add commands, select them in the left pane and click Add > OK
  5. To remove, select them in the right pane and click Remove

This allows you to tailor the interface to your frequently used features.

Create Custom Toolbars

Apart from modifying existing toolbars, you can also build new custom toolbars in Word from scratch. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the ribbon and choose Customize the Ribbon
  2. Click New Tab to create a new toolbar tab
  3. Enter a name for your new toolbar and press Enter
  4. Click New Group to start adding command groups
  5. Name the group, then select commands from the left pane and click Add to add them
  6. Click OK to save changes

This will create a fully customizable toolbar with your most used functions for easy access.

Show or Hide Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar is a small customizable toolbar with shortcuts to commonly used commands. It is located by default at the top left corner.

To add commands here:

  1. Click the drop down arrow at the end of the toolbar
  2. Select More Commands
  3. Choose commands from the left pane and click Add

You can also control the placement of this toolbar from:

File > Options > Quick Access Toolbar > Show Below/Above the Ribbon

Unchecking it from here will hide the toolbar.

Reset Toolbars

If you don’t like the changes made to your toolbars, you can easily reset them.

Go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon and click the Reset button on the lower right. This will restore the original toolbar settings in Word.


Customizing the Word interface with custom toolbars and commands can greatly boost your productivity by putting your most used features upfront. Use the tips in this article to optimize the ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar so your preferred formatting options are always within reach!

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