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Open Office: Make a Custom Toolbar

The other day we looked at a few quick ways to alter the toolbars found in the OpenOffice Suite of programs.

Well today I’d like to take that a bit further… all the way to creating a custom toolbar that contains any combination of commands of your choosing.

If you’ve ever wondered why the programmers didn’t just put a button on your toolbar for something then this one is for you… they didn’t include the button – no problem – we’ll do it ourselves.

To begin, we go to the Customize dialog box. (You can use the down-arrow on the right end of any toolbar and choose Customize Toolbar.)


Once here, we have so many choices it will make your head spin… but I’m looking to focus on two ideas today.

1. Adding buttons to an established toolbar.
2. Creating your own toolbar from scratch.

For a simple addition to a toolbar, first choose the toolbar to work with at the top, then click the Add button in the bottom section.


This will bring up the Add Commands dialog box, which is where we’ll choose what to add to the toolbar.

On the left, you’ll find command categories. Each time you choose a different category, the list on the right shows you what’s included in it.

Simply locate a command you want to add to your toolbar… such as the Delete Column command in the OpenOffice.org Calc program.


Select the command and click Add.

This will place the button on the toolbar list. From there you can start rearranging as you see fit.

Now that we know how to add buttons, creating your own toolbar is quite easy.

Back in the Customize dialog box (Toolbars tab) click the New button.


You’ll be asked to give your toolbar a name and where it should be saved. I always save it to the program so that it’s always available – otherwise it would be linked to a specific file only.


You’ll be placed back into the Customize dialog box with your new toolbar selected and you’ll notice that the bottom section is empty…


Time to fill it up!

Use the same process as before to add whatever commands you want to use in your toolbar – obviously this one is all you.

When you’re done adding commands click OK.

If you’ve created a brand new toolbar, you’ll find that it’s now listed under the View menu, Toolbars sub-menu.


This allows you to display or hide it, just like the rest of them.

Any way you go, this has got to be one of the best ways to speed up your work – especially for those of you who work predominately with the mouse.

If you think about it, we arrange the items on our desk for working efficiently – everything in a place that best suits our needs, with the most commonly used items close at hand… this is just really more “desk” arrangement to make us more efficient.

And really, what’s better than being able to arrange your workspace to be more efficient, without actually adding any more clutter to the top of your desk?

~ April