The Quick Access Toolbar can boost your speed


Creating good looking slides in PowerPoint can be slow going sometimes! If you use it a lot, I’m sure you already know a few shortcuts to speed up your workflow. It’s time to become friends with the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).

Quick Access Toolbar

An example of a Quick Access Toolbar

The QAT is great way to ramp up your speed even further. It’s a customisable toolbar which can house your most frequently used commands so that they are permanently displayed within quick clicking distance, either just above or just below the ribbon.

What should I QAT?

Yes, I think QAT can be used as a verb. Which commands you decide to add to your QAT is a very personal choice. At Presented, our designers have their own preferences but there is consensus about the must haves:

  • Undo and repeat
  • Alignment tools (e.g. Align Objects Left)
  • Order objects (e.g. Send to Back)

Some of our other favourites include:

  • Add an image from a file
  • Crop an image
  • Open the animation pane
  • Open the selection pane
  • Guidelines on/off

How do I add commands to the QAT?

Option 1: For commands that you can access in the ribbon

  • Go to the ribbon and find the button that you want to add to your QAT
  • Right click the button and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar

Option 2: For other commands

  1. Right click the QAT
  2. Click Customize the Quick Access Toolbar
  3. Go to More Commands
  4. In the Choose commands from: dropdown menu, select Commands Not in the Ribbon
  5. Find the command you want and click Add >>
  6. Click OK

Reorder your QAT

You might want to group similar commands together on your QAT (e.g. all alignment tools). To do this:

  1. Right click the QAT
  2. Click Customize the Quick Access Toolbar
  3. Select the command you want to move
  4. Use the Move Up or Move Down arrows until you are happy

Above or Below?

Microsoft gives you two options for the location of your QAT, above the ribbon or below the ribbon. However, there is only one choice that makes sense. Locate your QAT above the ribbon and your mouse will have to travel further from the slide to the command button. Over the years, this could add up to thousands of unnecessary miles. Choose below the ribbon and get your exercise elsewhere.

Check out our video below showing one of our designers using the QAT (OK – you caught us – the video has been sped up, we’re not quite this quick!)