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A Menu of My Own

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help

A Menu of My Own

The other day, we took a look at your options for customizing the menus in the MS Office programs. It’s a great time saver to be able to arrange the items so they are efficient for you.

But, what if you could have the ultimate in customized menus? What if you had a menu you could build from scratch? You know, one that contains only the items you choose: nothing more, nothing less. A menu that easily allows you to mix and match items that are already in existing menus and then add a few other commands from the Customize window, etc. Imagine the possibilities! Only the items you deem to be the most useful would be on your menu, arranged in the order you dictate.

Ready to learn how you can build your own menu?

Was that a “yes” I heard? Good! Then let’s get started.

The first step is to open the Customize window. You can either go to the Tools menu, Customize choice or right click over any toolbar and choose Customize from the bottom of the list.

When the Customize window opens, you’ll need to navigate to the Commands tab.

On the left side of the window, in the Categories list, you’ll need to scroll all the way to the bottom and select the New Menu category.

With the New Menu category selected, move your mouse pointer to the right side of the window in the Commands list.

Click-hold-and-drag the New Menu command from the Customize window to the top of the program window and into the other menus already displayed. You can choose to add your menu to the end of the list or place it anywhere between the menus that already exist.

When you’ve found the “perfect location” for your new menu, release the mouse button, dropping the menu into the program window.

You’ll notice that the menu is initially called “New Menu” and I’m sure you’ll want to change that immediately.

With the Customize window still open, right click on the New Menu name.

The pop up menu that appears will have a field forName.” Click on that and type in a new (hopefully more creative) name for your menu. Hit the Enter key when you’re done and you’ll find that your menu name has been adjusted.

Congrats! You’ve created your first menu! Too bad it’s empty though, huh? Well, then it’s time to fill it up.

Using the techniques described the other day, use the Command tab in the Customize window to drag whatever items you need into your new menu.

Remember, you can use any command from any of the categories. This isn’t about sorting them into their category types (Microsoft did that for you with the original menus). This is about what you want. It’s all about you putting the items in the menu you need the most.

If your list of commands is getting rather long and you’d like to add a few horizontal group dividers, simply right click on a command in the menu and choose Begin A Group from the pop up menu. A divider line will appear above the selected command.

Also, remember, you can rearrange the menu items with a quick click-hold-drag-and-drop.

Basically, take your time and create a menu masterpiece. Once all your menu elements are in place, click the Close button in the Customize window.

Poof! The menu is complete and it works perfectly.

Should you find that you need to make changes at any time, simply return to the Customize window and modify your menu the same way you would any other.

I did notice that the new menu does not automatically receive a letter that can be combined with the Alt key for keyboard access. But, I did find that if you just hit the Alt key by itself, you’ll be in the menus and you can use the arrow keys to move over to your menu and then down on through the list.

Complete menu customization. It’s truly a menu user’s dream!

~ April

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