Tech Tip #58: Show all Your Tools on Toolbars

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I work with younger students (first grade, second grade, even third grade). We’re using Office 2003. When I direct them to the menu bar and one of the dropdown menu choices, sometimes it isn’t there. Instead, there’s a chevron–double arrow–that they have to click to expand the menu. This is confusing for youngers. Is there any way to have the entire menu drop down rather than the truncated version?

A: Absolutely. Go to Tools, Customise. Select the Options tab and select the ‘Always show full menus’ checkbox.

In this same dialogue box is an opportunity to have all toolbars show when students open the program. This is listed as ‘Show standard and formatting toolbars on two rows’. I suggest you have students bubble that selection also. That way, when you direct them to a tool–like Bold or Italics–it’ll always show up (rather than them having to click the chevron at the end of the toolbar).

Now, your toolbars are nicely set up for new learners.


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

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