Customizing Toolbars

The following list summarizes the ways you can customize toolbars. (I discuss these topics in detail later in this chapter.)

1 Remove toolbar controls from built-in toolbars. You can get rid of toolbar controls that you never use, reduce screen clutter, and free up a few pixels of screen space, to boot.

1 Add toolbar controls to built-in toolbars. You can add as many toolbar controls as you want to any toolbar. The controls can be custom buttons or buttons copied from other toolbars, or they can come from the stock of toolbar controls that Excel provides for you. And, of course, you can attach your VBA macros to these buttons.

1 Create new toolbars. You can create as many new toolbars as you like, with toolbar buttons (or other types of controls) from any source.

1 Change the functionality of built-in toolbar controls. You do this by attaching your own macro to a built-in toolbar button.

1 Change the image that appears on any toolbar button. Excel includes a rudimentary but functional toolbar button editor. You can also change a toolbar's image by using several other techniques.

Don't be afraid to experiment with toolbars. If you mess up a built-in toolbar, you can easily reset it to its default state:

1. Choose ViewOToolbarsOCustomize.

2. Select the toolbar in the list.

3. Click the Reset button.

How Excel handles toolbars

When you start Excel, it displays the same toolbar configuration that was in effect the last time you used the program. Did you ever wonder how Excel keeps track of this information?

When you exit Excel, it updates a file called EXCEL11.XLB. The exact location (and even the name) of this file varies, but you can use Windows' Find File feature to locate the file. (Search for *.XLB.) This file stores all of your custom toolbars, as well as information about the on-screen location of each toolbar and which toolbars are visible.

If you need to restore the toolbars to their previous configuration, choose FileOOpen and open your XLB file. This restores your toolbar configuration to the way it was when you started the current session of Excel. You also can make a copy of the XLB file and give it a different name. Doing so lets you store multiple toolbar configurations that you can load any time. And if you've made lots of toolbar changes and want to return to Excel's original toolbar state, just delete your XLB file and restart Excel. It creates a new one for you.

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