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Tech Tip #58: Show all Your Tools on Toolbars

Posted by on November 8, 2011

tech tipsAs 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.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for, an Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, an IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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