For this lesson, we need to open the sample file The Wealth of Nations from your Sample Files Folder.
This lesson focuses on the Quick Access Toolbar.That's the bar at the top left of the screen. You can customize the Quick Access Toolbar to suit your own special requirements.
In this lesson we'll add some useful buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar to save a few clicks when accessing common commands. The Quick Access Toolbar is one of the keys to being really productive in Excel 2013. This lesson will introduce you to the main features.
Something you'll want to do a lot when working with Excel is to preview how the page will look when it's printed. To do that, I click the File tab at the top left of the screen and then the Print button on the left hand menu bar. A huge number of print-related features are now displayed. And a preview of how the page will look when printed is displayed on the right hand side of the screen.
Notice there's a button to the bottom left of the preview pane. This allows me to iterate through all of the pages on the worksheet.
Notice also that there's a Zoom button on the right hand side of the screen. If I click the Zoom button, I zoom into the worksheet, allowing me to see it more clearly. I'll now click the Zoom button again to go back to full page view.
I'll now return to Excel by clicking the Back button at the top left of the screen.
Print Preview is a very useful feature and you'll probably use it a lot. Every time you use it however, it's going to take two clicks of the mouse. Wouldn't it be better if you could show a Print Preview with just one click? We can do that by customizing the Quick Access Toolbar. To do that, I click the Customize button to the right of the Quick Access Toolbar, and then select Print Preview and Print from the shortcut menu.
Notice that a new icon has now appeared. And if I hover the mouse cursor over the icon, you can see that it will produce the Print Preview and Print dialog with a single click. I'll click the icon now, and you can see that I've gone straight to the Print Preview with a single click.
I'll now click the Back button to return to the normal Excel screen.
You can also add any of the commands on the Ribbon directly to the Quick Access Toolbar. For example, if I want to add the Font Color button to the Quick Access Toolbar, I'll click Home on the Ribbon and, in the Font Group, you can see the Font Color button. I'll right click the button and then select Add to Quick Access Toolbar from the shortcut menu.
Now let's use that new button to change the color of some of the text on the screen. I'll click on the cell with Jersey written in it and then click the button and change the color to Green. And I'll click on Norway and I'll change that to Blue.
And now let's change them back to the default color. I'll click on Jersey and I'll use the button to go back to Automatic color.That's the default color of Black. And for Norway I'll also go for Automatic to return it to black.
Removing buttons from the Quick Access Toolbar is as simple as adding them. I can simply right click on any button and select Remove from Quick Access Toolbar from the shortcut menu.
Sometimes, when there's a lot of commands on the Quick Access Toolbar, they can be difficult to identify. For example, let's add all of the quick commands to the Quick Access Toolbar. That's Email, Quick Print, Spelling, Sort Ascending, Sort Descending and Touch/Mouse Mode.
You can see with this number of icons, things are a little confusing. If we could split them into groups, the Quick Access Toolbar would look a lot clearer. So why don't I create a group for the Ascending and Descending buttons and another group for the Undo and Redo buttons. To do that, I'll click the Customize button to the right of the Quick Access Toolbar and then select More Commands from the shortcut menu.
In the left hand window you can see there's a separator. I'll click the separator now and then click the add button four times: one, two, three, four, to add four separators.
Now my first separator is going to go before the Undo command. So I click it and then use the Up button to place it in the right place.
Let's now click the next separator and move that so that it's beneath Redo.
The next separator can go just before Sort Ascending, and the final separator just after Sort Descending.
I'll now click OK, and you can see that the Quick Access Toolbar is now a lot clearer, as we have separator bars splitting the Quick Access Toolbar into logical groups. I have one group containing the Undo and Redo buttons and another group with the Sort Ascending and Sort Descending buttons.
Sometimes, when you've added a lot of commands to the Quick Access Toolbar, you'll want to put things back to the way they were originally: to the default state. That's really easy to do. Just click the Customize button on the right of the Quick Access Toolbar, then More Commands..., and then click the Reset button at the bottom right of the dialog. I'll select Reset All Customizations, and Excel asks me if I'm sure. Yes I am sure. And when I click OK, you can see that the Quick Access Toolbar has gone back to its default setting.
Now you may be surprised to know that some amazing hidden Excel features can't be used at all without customizing either the Quick Access Toolbar or the Ribbon.
One of my favourite hidden features in Excel 2013 is its ability to read the workbook to me via it's text to voice facility. When I need to input lots of numbers from a sheet of paper and want to check them, I get Excel to read them to me as I tick off each on my list. This feature is covered in depth in the Expert Skills course in this series but, if you're curious, let's add one now.
I'll click the Customize button to the right of the Quick Access Toolbar and then select More Commands... from the Shortcut Menu. You can see the commands in the left hand window. At the moment we're showing Popular Commands, but if I change this to All Commands you can see the enormous number of commands it's possible to add to the Quick Access Toolbar.
But the ones I want to focus on now are the commands that are not on the Ribbon. So I'll click the dropdown list and select Commands Not in the Ribbon. And you're now looking at all of those hidden features: features that can only be accessed by adding a button to the Quick Access Toolbar or to the Ribbon. Let's choose one at random. There's an option here called Calculator, so I'll click on Calculator to select it, and then click the Add button to move it onto the Quick Access Toolbar. And I'll now click OK.
Let's see if we can figure out what the calculator does. I'll click on the Calculator icon, and a calculator appears on screen. Let's see if it works. Seven, eight, nine, plus one, two, three, equals... Yes, it seems to work just like a pocket calculator.
I'll click the Close button now at the top right of the calculator. And I'll also right click the icon on the Quick Access Toolbar and select Remove from Quick Access Toolbar from the shortcut menu.
As I said earlier, the Quick Access Toolbar is one of the keys to being really productive with Excel 2013. Always try to minimize the number of mouse clicks needed to do common tasks. If you find yourself forever changing tabs to use a button, change two clicks into one by adding the button to the Quick Access Toolbar. All of those extra clicks add up to a lot of time over the weeks and years.
You've now completed Lesson 1-14: Customize The Quick Access Toolbar and Preview the Printout.