Customizing Shortcut Menus

Don’t you love Word’s shortcut menus? You know–the ones you get when you click the right mouse button. (If you’re a Mac user, you can access the shortcut menus by holding down the Control key while pressing the mouse button.)

But did you know can customize the shortcut menus, putting the features you use most within easy reach? Here’s how:


1. Click the “Tools” menu.

2. Click “Customize.”

3. Click the “Toolbars” tab.

4. Scroll down the “Toolbars” list until you see the entry for “Shortcut Menus.” Put a check in the checkbox next to it.

At this point, you’ll see the “Shortcut Menus” menu bar in your Word window. It includes three menus: “Text,” “Table,” and “Draw.” For now, click the “Text” menu. You can play with “Table” and “Draw” later.

You’ll see a long list of the various text shortcut menus. Boy, there are lots of them! To see the one you usually get if you just click in the text of a document, click the one labeled “Text.” Look familiar? If you’re using our Editor’s ToolKit program, you’ll see a bunch of useful editing features. If not, you’ll see the regular old Microsoft Word standards. You can add all kinds of commands, however, including Word features, macros, styles, fonts, and a bunch of other stuff. To do so:

1. Click the “Commands” tab in the “Customize” dialog, which should still be open on your screen.

2. Use the “Categories” and “Commands” lists to explore the various commands you can put on the shortcut menus. If you see something that catches your eye, use the mouse to drag it over to the text shortcut menu. If you change your mind, drag it off into your open document, where it will vanish into electron limbo. Want to use a different shortcut menu, such as “Comment”? Feel free.

3. Right-click an item on the menu to change its name, image, and so on. You can learn more about these options here:


1. Click the “Tools” menu.

2. Click “Customize.”

3. Click the “Menus” tab.

4. Click the drop-down arrow in the box labeled “Change What Menu.”

5. Use your mouse to scroll down the list and click the entry for “Text (Shortcut)” or one of the other shortcut menus.

6. Use the “Categories” and “Commands” lists to explore the various commands you can put on the shortcut menus. If you see something that catches your eye, select it with your mouse.

7. In the box labeled “Position on Menu,” click an existing menu item below which to place your new command. (You can also click “Auto” [to let Word decide the position], “At Top,” or “At Bottom.”)

8. Click the button labeled “Add Below” (or “Add”). (To remove a command, click the “Remove” button.)

9. Click the “Close” button.

Now, when you click that right mouse button, you’ll see the features *you* put there.



Well, look at that. Microsoft has a “Frequently Asked Questions” page for Microsoft Word. This resource is definitely worth checking when you have a question about you-know-what:

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