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Using the keyboard to access Word's toolbars

Word Toolbar

Here is Microsoft Word's toolbar. It is full of useful icons to allow mouse users to quickly access all the most frequent commands in the program. This is fine if you can use a mouse, but for those who can't a whole load of keyboard shortcuts need to memorised, or you at least need to search through the menus and submenus to find the function that you want.

Fortunately in Word XP you can access the toolbar with the keyboard. Press


and you'll see that the File menu becomes highlighted. You can then use the arrow keys to jump from menu to menu and select items within them.

While the menus are active in this way press:


and you'll see that the first icon on the toolbar becomes highlighted. You can then use the arrow keys to move around the icons, or press CTRL+TAB again to jump to the next toolbar. It will even jump to 'floating' toolbars such as Tables & Borders.

To leave a menu or a toolbar without selecting an option press the Escape key:


Have a look at my other Word tutorials such as Uncluttering Word and using Word for Accessible Worksheets.

Also I've got some other useful resources for people who use their keyboard to access Windows such as a list of most useful keystrokes, information about doing away with the mouse, and the QPointer Keyboard access software.

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