Appendix A. Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar

In previous versions, Access let its fans move toolbars, rearrange buttons, and even scramble the order of items in the main menu. Reckless customizers could transform Access so completely that no one else would be able to use their computers, and the instructions in books like this one would be useless.

Access 2007 clamps down on customization. Unless you’re willing to get your hands dirty with a serious programming language, the ribbon’s off limits. Instead, Access lets you customize one tiny portion of screen real estate—the Quick Access toolbar.

This limitation may sound like a major one, but it’s actually a reasonable compromise. People who love to tweak and refine their workplaces (you know who you are) get to add all the timesaving shortcuts they need. Everyone else can relax. No matter what computer you’re working on, the ribbon’s always there, with its comforting uniformity and carefully organized tabs.


You can add a tab of your own to the ribbon. However, the process is definitely not easy—in fact, it’s aimed at experienced programmers who aren’t intimidated by serious code. The standard for customizing the ribbon is called RibbonX, and it requires a blend of XML and a hard-core programming language like C#. Gearheads can get started with the introduction at

The Quick Access Toolbar

You’ve already seen the Quick Access toolbar (known to Access nerds as the QAT). It’s ...

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