Microsoft fixes their Quick Access Toolbar changes

Microsoft has reversed course on their proposed changes to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) in Microsoft Office 365 apps.  The current defaults remain for new installs with ‘below the ribbon’ available as an option.  In other words, common sense has prevailed.

Microsoft wanted to move the Quick Access Toolbar from its familiar location ‘top left’ on the toolbar to below the ribbon like this.

The whole thing was an ill-conceived effort to change something that didn’t need fixing which we (among many) said back in 2021 Quick Access Toolbar nasty surprises in the new look Office .

It was possible to return the QAT to its original position. The default positioning is very important because Microsoft knows that most people don’t change the ‘out of the box’ view.

Most likely this change was made because Microsoft has added a lot to the top title bar since the Quick Access Toolbar was added in Office 2007. There’s now a lot less room for QAT buttons to fit, especially since Microsoft added the unnecessarily large and self-serving ‘AutoSave’ label and slider (to promote OneDrive).

However, moving the QAT to below the ribbon means more valuable screen space is used (less space to see your doc, sheet or slide). Perhaps Microsoft had forgotten their own design intentions when the ribbon and QAT were created?

Quick Access Toolbar returns to the top line

Now Microsoft has changed its mind and will keep the QAT on the title bar for new installs.

The ‘out of the box’ look will have AutoSave, Save, UndoRedo commands like this.

AutoSave still too big

The AutoSave command hasn’t changed, it still takes up too much space.  Microsoft is totally deaf to complaints and even has the gall to say that “AutoSave has found its rightful place back on the title bar”.  As if the only problem with their OneDrive promotion was the positioning on the screen!

How to move Quick Access Toolbar

Right-click on the QAT to see some options

  • Show above/below the ribbon
  • Hide Quick Access Toolbar

Restore the Quick Access Toolbar

If the QAT is hidden, the only way to restore it is from File | Options | Customize Toolbar then check the ‘Show Toolbar’ box.

For some unknown reason, these Customize settings refer to just ‘Toolbar’ instead of ‘Quick Access Toolbar’, the latter is the long-standing name which is also used elsewhere in Office. 
Changing text and icons on Office Quick Access Toolbar
Putting a Command on the Quick Access Toolbar
Putting Style buttons on Word’s Quick Access Toolbar
Make a custom Quick Access Toolbar for special documents in Word
Quick Access toolbar – keyboard shortcuts

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