Glen Millar PowerPoint WorkBench PowerPoint MVP
since 2003
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Welcome to these tutorials, many of which were unique concepts when first published!


build: techniques to build and visualise faster

3d bezier curves ] [ custom toolbars ] clever snap to grid ] Excel in PowerPoint ] fast ppt in outline view ] Friday for FAQ's ] object selection and visibility ] offline clip art (new) ] photo albums ] powerpoint layouts ] round tripping ] Save image portion as image in 2003 or 2007 ] smart tags ] word art from text ] xcelsius Interactive Charts ]


Customizing Toolbars

Logic: allow you to place tools you use often to increase the speed of building a  PowerPoint slideshow

My thanks to PowerPoint MVP Bill Foley who gave me the idea for this!

If you are never really happy with where PowerPoint puts its buttons and menus, then don't put up with it any longer! In this example, I will add the Align and Distribute menu to my Picture toolbar so I can get to it fast. Now...

picture toolbar menu

First, we right click on any toolbar and select "Picture" in  the middle. While you are here, also make sure your "Drawing" toolbar is active.

 picture toolbar

This activates the "Picture" toolbar.

customise menu

We again right click on a toolbar and this time select "Customize".

toolbars dialogue box

A Customize Dialogue Box pops up. Now, we don't actually want to use this box, unless we make a mistake and have to reset our toolbar later on. So we can drag it right out of our way.

draw toolbar

With the customize Dialogue Box out of our view, look at the Drawing toolbar. Mine is at the bottom left of my screen, but yours may be elsewhere. When you click once on the "Draw" button, a menu will pop up. Be careful with dragging your mouse around here as you can cause damage!

align and distribute menu area

Notice the menu item of "Align and Distribute"? We are now going to do something very tricky. While we are in the Customize options, we can actually drag this menu item from its current position, onto the "Picture" toolbar. This image will show you the path we will take:

where to move the menu

But we have to be very careful! If we just drag it, it will move, and so we will lose it from its current position. That may be something you don't mind happening, but don't forget it is gone, and where you put it. As we are going to put it on my "Picture" toolbar, I want to create a copy!

align adn distribute

The trick here is to do a number of things at the same time:

  1. First, we have to drag the menu item to the "Picture" toolbar with our mouse, while

  2. Holding down the <Control> key. This will allow us to make a copy of the menu item, leaving the original in place,

  3. Finally, we drag the menu item onto the "Picture" toolbar so that when it is in a position that it will "set" itself to the new menu, we will get a vertical line appear on the "Picture" toolbar where it will drop.

picture toolbar

Remember, we have dragged the menu off its "Draw" location, onto the "Picture" toolbar, while holding the <Control> key. When we get the vertical line appear where you want it to "set", we drop it, while still holding the <Control> key. We can then close the "Customize Toolbar" Dialogue box to set all of our changes.

new toolbar placement

We now have a new menu item on our "Picture" toolbar. So, if I want to now align several images, and if the "Picture" toolbar is active, I can open the menu item with one click!

how it looks

Cool! But what if we muck it all up? That is, we drag the menu item and lose it from its original location?

customise dialogue box

If we again right click on a toolbar and bring back the Customize Dialogue Box, find the "Drawing" toolbar [remember, this is the one we dragged the menu item off], and Click "Reset".

reset option

This will get us our Align and Distribute Menu back on the Drawing toolbar, to try again.

Glen Millar

Last Updated: April 02, 2005





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