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Have you backed up your QAT?!!

Have you backed up your QAT?!!

Two Young Women in Front of the Computer TalkingIf you use Microsoft Office 2010 and you don’t know what a QAT is, read on. One of the ways to be most productive in Office 2010 is the Quick Access Toolbar, choosing the right buttons and vitally, saving those button choices so if it all goes wrong you can bring them back!

The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) sits by default at the top left of the Ribbon, and can be moved below the ribbon if preferred. One reason for moving it down is that if the user wants to put a lot of buttons on the QAT if left at the top they will eventually run into the document name on the Title bar, but of course it’s not really quick to access those buttons if there’s too many – if it’s a very long list of buttons. I am ruthless with my QAT buttons, try them for a while then remove them if I’m not finding them useful.

Buttons which are needed frequently but are not close at hand or in the Ribbons at all can be added (or deleted).



Which buttons would I include?

I don’t take up space with the often recommended “New, Open, Close, Save, Print Preview, etc.” because they are simple keyboard shortcuts to learn and that saves space for more complex and useful buttons.

If you have a large number of users you could send out a survey asking what commands they frequently use in the different MS Apps.

My personal favourite button is Shrink One Page button (formally known as Shrink to Fit). How many times I need to use that? So that’s exactly the sort of button you should put onto your QAT.

Also another one I like is Restrict Editing  To get to use this command if it is not on your QAT you would need to go to the Review Ribbon, in the Protect Group. So, much quicker to add it to your QAT!

The Styles button is a good one to include, and Email as a PDF attachment. Here’s how to do it:-

Export or backup your Quick Access Toolbar

It is relatively straightforward to save the customised toolbar, by clicking on the More button and More Commands at the bottom left of the dialog box click Import/Export, Export Customisations. If you save these on a shared drive another user can Import them so useful customisations can be shared amongst a team. It’s also a good idea to Export the QAT as a backup in case the IT team need to reload your software or in case of future upgrades – you wouldn’t want to lose all your favourite toolbar shortcut commands.


The QAT can be saved with the user’s roaming profile, so that whichever PC they log onto they have their own QAT. This is a useful feature for staff who ‘hot desk’.


If you want to lock down the QAT after adding customised buttons (so users cannot change it) an admin policy can restrict modification:


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