Excel Quick Access Toolbar (A Complete Guide + Tips)

Written by Puneet for Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016, Excel 2019, Excel for Mac

KEY POINTS

  • On the quick access toolbar, you can add options that you use frequently to access them easily.
  • You can change its position from the title bar to below the ribbon.
  • It is activated by default and you can’t hide it.

The idea of using quick access toolbar is to have all the commands that you frequently use in one place so that you don’t need to move from tab to tab to find those commands.

And in this tutorial, we will be exploring everything about the quick access toolbar. So, let’s get started.

What is Quick Access Toolbar

Quick Access Toolbar is a thin bar that can hold buttons for the commands, and it is located at the left side of the title bar hey and is always visible regardless of which ribbon tab is active. You can add and remove buttons from the quick access toolbar and can change its position as well.

Below is the default quick access toolbar that you can see on opening Excel application for the first time.

A picture containing screenshot, street, drawing

Description automatically generated

It is a fixed toolbar that can’t be free-floating, and commands on the Quick Access toolbar always appear as small icons without any text (except autosave switch).

Quick Note: It’s one of those Excel Tips that can help to get better at Basic Excel Skills.

Default buttons on quick access toolbar

Even before you customize it and add your buttons for your favorite commands, it has for default buttons:

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
  • Autosave: It is a switch that you can turn on to save a workbook to OneDrive and SharePoint on a real-time basis. That means Axel will save the workbook one small intervals so that you won’t lose data.
  • Save: This button saves the active workbook or works as “Save As” if the active workbook not saved yet.
  • Undo: This button undoes the effect of the last action.
  • Redo: This button reverses the effect of the last undo.

What if quick access toolbar not available

The quick access toolbar is always visible in the Excel window. But when you are using Excel in full-screen mode only in that case, it will be hidden, and displaying it (temporarily), you need to click on the title bar or press alt key.

A close up of a sign

Description automatically generated

Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar

One of the most significant advantages of quick access toolbar is you can customize it in so many ways. On the right side of the QAT, you have a small drop-down, and when you click on this drop-down who find options to customize it.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

In this drop-down, you have a list of some of the basic commands which you can add.

You simply need to select the option that you want to add, and it will add a new button to the QAT.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

Next to that list, you have a button to add more commands (we will discuss it in a few seconds), and in the end, there’s a button to show the quick access toolbar below the ribbon.

A picture containing clock

Description automatically generated

Add more commands to quick access toolbar

Once you click on the mode commands, it will take you to the Excel options where you have the whole bunch of these to customize the quick access toolbar.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
  1. On the left side, you have options to select.
  2. And on the right side, you have the list of the commands that you have on the already quick access toolbar.

Steps to customize quick access toolbar

  1. Open the dropdown “Choose Commands from” and select the tab from where you want to add the command.
    8-steps-to-customize-quick-access-toolbar
  2. After that, select the command that you want to add and click on the “Add” button. The moment you click on the add button, you’ll get that command in the quick access toolbar commands list.
    9-click-on-the-add-button
  3. In the end, click OK, and you will have the new command that you have just added the quick access toolbar.
    10-click-ok

I’m sure you have seen that there are a lot of options in the “Choose commands from” drop-down that you can add to the quick access toolbar.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

All the commands that you have in Excel but for the categorize under different groups.

  • Popular Commands: Here, you can find all the popular commands that Excel has, and most of these frequently used commands.
  • Commands that are not in the ribbon: It is a list of commands that are not listed in the ribbon, but you can add then on quick access toolbar.
  • All Commands: It is a complete list of commands that Excel offers you to use.

To make it easy for you to find a command that you want to add the quick access toolbar, you also have tab wise commands that you can select.

The other way to add the command to the quick access toolbar is to go to that commands button and the ribbon and right-click on it and select “Add to quick access toolbar”.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

And this will add a button on the quick access toolbar for the command you have selected.

Remove buttons from the quick access toolbar

If you want to remove an option from the quick access toolbar, just right click on that button and select “Remove from Quick Access Toolbar“.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

The second way is to open the more commands dialog box and select the command and click on the remove button.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

And you can also untick commands from the dropdown menu that are listed there.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

Rearranging the icons

From the Excel options, you can rearrange the icons that you have on the quick access toolbar.

When you select a button, it activates the up and down arrow at the right side of the list, and you can use these arrow buttons to rearrange the selected command’s button.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

Tips for using quick access toolbar like a PRO

Below are some of the tips that you can learn to use the quick access toolbar to its best.

Check Out: 100 Excel Tips and Tricks

1. Customize QAT for a Single Workbook

When you make customization in quick access toolbar that applies to the entire Excel application.

But there is also an option to have different customizations for different workbooks.

From the Excel options, you can select the option.

  • For all documents (default)
  • For a workbook.
A close up of a sign

Description automatically generated

This dropdown shows all the active workbooks that you can select and apply the customization.

2. Move the quick access toolbar to the bottom of the ribbon

As the quick access toolbar is on the title bar that gives it less space to add more commands.

But you can also move it below the ribbon, which gives it most based to add commands.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

For this, you simply need to click on the dropdown that you have and select “Show below the ribbon”.

A picture containing bird

Description automatically generated

You can also do this while customizing the quick access toolbar from the Excel options. There is a small box that you need to tick mark.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

3. Undo and Redo Drop Down

Usually, for undo and redo, you need to press the shortcut key again and again, but with the buttons that you have on the quick access toolbar, you can undo and redo up to the last 100 activities.

Simply click on the dropdown and select the activity up to which you want to undo or redo.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

4. Spell check button on the quick access toolbar

You can also add the spell check button on the toolbar that can be handy for you if you want to check your worksheet for spelling mistakes.

It’s there in the popular commands list.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

5. Reset the quick access toolbar buttons

If you want to go back to the default settings and remove all the customization that you have made and the quick access toolbar, go to the More Commands ➜ Reset Button ➜ Reset only Quick Access Toolbar”.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

There’s one thing that you need to take care that once you reset the settings for the quick access toolbar, you cannot restore them.

6. Add quick print to the QAT

If you do a lot of printing, then you can add a quick print button to the quick access toolbar. It’s like a one-click print command.

A close up of a sign

Description automatically generated

You can add it from the popular commands list.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

7. Run macros from QAT

You can also run macros from the quick access toolbar by adding a button assigning a macro from the list.

Just need to select macros from the Choose commands from and then select the macro you want to add and, in the end, click on the add button.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

You can also select an icon, so the command from the modify button.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

8. Import and export settings

You can also import and export customization that you have done with quick access toolbar using the Import/Export button.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
  • Import Customization File: It asks you to locate the customization file to load. And when you load a customization file, it replaces all the previous settings and customizations you have on Excel ribbon and quick access toolbar.
  • Export All Customizations: It prompts you to enter a filename and location for the file to export.

This one problem with import and export option that you cannot export and import customization for quick access toolbar alone.

9. Other useful buttons you can add to quick access toolbar

Below are some of the useful commands that you can add to the quick access toolbar:

Note: There’s no Quick Access Toolbar in Excel Online (Excel Web Version)

The way I use Excel Quick Access Toolbar

I have all the commands that I frequently use on the quick access toolbar, and I have made the Excel ribbon to show only tab names, and the quick access toolbar is below the ribbon.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

In this way, I can save a lot of space on for the worksheet view and quick access toolbar has a lot more area to add more command buttons.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Quick Access Toolbar

You can also use a keyboard shortcut to use buttons on the quick access toolbar.

When you press ALT, Excel shows you all the keyboard shortcuts for the quick access toolbar.

As you can see in the above snapshot, commands on the quick access toolbar assigned numbers for shortcut keys.

Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

For example, the shortcut Alt + 1 executes the first command on the Quick Access toolbar, and then after the ninth command, the shortcuts change to 09, 08, and so on.

After the 18th command, the shortcuts change to 0A, 0B, and so on, and after Alt+0Z, Excel stops assigning shortcuts.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for Video Tutorials.

This tutorial is a part of our Basic Excel Skills, and if you want to sharpen your existing Excel Skills, checkout these Excel Tips and Tricks. But if you are just getting started with Excel, check out this tutorial on Excel Basics.