What Is the Standard Toolbar in Microsoft Word?

Written by francine richards
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What Is the Standard Toolbar in Microsoft Word?
Standard toolbars can be found in versions of MS Word prior to 2007. (computer image by blaine stiger from Fotolia.com)

One of the major changes between Microsoft Word 2007 and previous versions of Word is the absence of toolbars. Toolbars are a horizontal or vertical set of commands grouped together by like actions. The standard toolbar in Word 2003 and earlier versions contains the most frequently used commands and is usually present on the top of the screen. Most items on the standard Word toolbar are clickable icons, with the exception of the drop-downs or text buttons.

What is a toolbar?

A toolbar is a string of icons in a window that contain icons or text that allow an action to occur when clicked. Toolbars are most often found on the top of a window but can be on the side or bottom of the window. Most software contains pre-installed toolbars that appear when the application is opened. They contain the application's most frequently used commands. Toolbars in Word are customisable and can be hidden as desired.

Standard toolbar contents

Microsoft Word's standard tool bar contains 25 commands. These include common functions, such as file new, file open, file save, print, print preview, spelling and grammar check, cut, copy, paste, undo, redo, insert hyperlink, zoom and Word help. Each of these commands can be executed by accessing the standard toolbar in Word. Each of these functions can be completed in various ways, but using the toolbar allows for the quickest action.

Word 2007 "Ribbon"

The "Ribbon" in Word 2007 replaces toolbars found in previous Word versions. Rather than the strip of commands and familiar drop-down menus, the Ribbon has seven tabs: Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review and View. The commands from the standard tool bar are now dispersed in several of the Ribbon tabs. According to Network World, this has caused some contention from consumers who are used to toolbars. Though the Microsoft website states that the Ribbon is designed to help the user find commands quickly, those used to toolbars may have increased time in finding needed commands. The Ribbon can be minimised and a "Quick Access Toolbar" can be customised.


Users may wish to customise their standard toolbar in Word by adding or removing commands from the toolbar. To customise the toolbar, the user can right-click once in the toolbar area and select "Customize" from the drop-down menu or go to "Tools" and "Customize." From the "Commands" tab, the user can drop and drag icons to and from the standard toolbar. They can also rearrange the icons within the toolbar from the "Commands" tab.

Removing and moving toolbars

The standard toolbar in Word is available upon initial installation but can be removed within two clicks. Users may prefer a larger window for their workspace or choose to work from the pull-down categorised commands as opposed to the toolbar. If removed by accident, simply right-click in the toolbar area and click "Standard" and the standard toolbar will reappear.

A toolbar can be moved by dragging it from the current spot and dropping it to the preferred spot, such as vertically to the right or left side of the window or higher or lower on the page.

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