Free Word 2011 Toolbar

A free toolbar for Microsoft Word 2011

by Jim Gordon, Microsoft Macintosh MVP and co-author of
Office 2011 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies

Word 2011 is fantastic - but I wished it had these tools handy all the time at the top. Well, now it does!

Screenshot of toolbar

What's on the toolbar?

Borders and Shading commands

These are commands I use often.

If your cursor is in a table, then the borders buttons will show you which borders of the cell or table are active. You can click the buttons to turn borders on or off. If you select an entire table, then the controls show and apply settings to the entire table.

The dark square button displays the Borders and Shading dialog. Want to have some fun? In the Borders and Shading dialog, click the Page Border tab of the dialog. In the middle, near the bottom, click the Art button. Click the Art pop-up button to choose from a whole bunch of page borders.

When your cursor is in a Table cell, the Line Style pop-up lets you choose a style for the border of the cell. If you select an entire table ((Table > Select Table). the
Line Style pop-up lets you choose a style for the border of the table.

Here's a trick:
1. Select some text in a document.
2. Choose a line style.
3. Click the Outside Border button on the toolbar.
Your text is now surrounded by the border (see illustration). You can use the shading pop-up to apply shading to the selected text (which is now really in a table cell).
Screenshot of text

The shading pop-up applies shading to the selected cell in a table, or to all cells in a table if the entire table is selected. The shading pop-up also formats the background of SmartArt objects. If you used the trick in the previous paragraph, the shading pop-up also works with the text within the border.

The Fill Colors pop-up lets you choose a fill color for table cells, selected text, or SmartArt backgrounds. You can apply a fill color from this pop-up menu along with shading from the shading pop-up menu described in the previous paragraph.

Select text in a document, then click the Fill Palette button. Choose a color. You can shade text any color you want. not just the 8 colors offered on the Ribbon.

Fill Effects

Click the Fill Effects button to display the Fill Effects dialog.

New AutoText

Select text or any object, then click the New button. In the Create New AutoText dialog, type the text that you want to use to trigger Word into inserting what you selected in the future.

Select Objects

Click this button, then drag diagonally over multiple shapes, pictures or other objects to select all that are completely enclosed by the selection boundary. It's handy when working with lots of callouts or small drawing objects.

Zoom to Window

Does the same thing as clicking the Standard Toolbar's Zoom button's triangle and choosing Page Width. It makes your document fill in the document window, even if you resize the window.


Sure, you can use the Toolbox on the standard toolbar to get at the AutoShapes. Unlike the AutoShapes from the Toolbox, when you click this button you can "tear off" the toolbars contained within, so you can have little mini-toolbars for just the shapes you need. To "tear off" a toolbar to make it "float," click the double-lines, as shown here:
Make a floating toolbar

Drawing Toolbar

Click this button to display the drawing toolbar from previous versions of Word. Some things, such as the 3-D effects, only work on documents in compatibility mode. The main reason this feature is here is to get at the align and distribute toolbar, which can be torn off, as shown:
Tearing off the align and distribute toolbar

Insert Field Dialog

Click this button to display Word's Insert Field dialog.

Show/Hide Field codes

Click this button to toggle the display of field codes on or off.

Update Field Codes

Select the field code(s) you wish to refresh, then click this button. It's handy when making forms or when a field is connected to a data source.

Insert File

Choose an insertion point by clicking in your document, then click this button to insert only the text from a file you choose.

Visual Basic Editor

Clicking this button displays Word's Visual Basic Editor.

So Easy to use and install!

Download instructions

  1. Click here to download Jim Gordon's MVP toolbar2011 installer
  2. Choose your browser's "Save" option. (Do not choose "Open" or "Run this file in its current location.)
  3. Double-click the downloaded file. Check your browser's preferences to learn where your browser saves downloaded files.
  4. Double-click the zip file to unzip the file and show MVPtoolbar2011installer.docx
  5. Open MVPtoolbar2011installer.docx and complete the six remaining steps as described in the Word document

Updated May 28, 2010

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