What can the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) do for you?

Updated to include Outlook 2013 & Outlook 2016

Of all the time saving features available in modern Office applications, shortcut keys are one of the easiest to leverage. However, as applications evolve, the list of available commands grows, and there are only so many key combinations or places to include the function within the interface. Take the Home Ribbon for example; these are the most common commands, but what if the one you want isn’t among them?

Fortunately, there is an easy way to provide one click access to your commonly used commands in any Office application, and they come equipped with their own direct keyboard combinations. No, it’s not too good to be true; it’s the Quick Access Toolbar!

Adding “Switch to HTML” to an Outlook Email

Today we’re going to talk about using the Quick Access Toolbar with an Outlook  email message so that we can change the format to HTML with a single click, or keystroke combination. The toolbar is available in all the Office applications, for any command available, so the steps we take for Outlook apply to any Office window featuring the QAT.  Now, onto our email message:

First of all, we need an email message window open in Outlook 2010 & 2013. By default, the commands SAVE, UNDO, REDO, PREVIOUS ITEM, and NEXT ITEM are available.


Adding a Ribbon Command to the QAT

With the email message window selected, find which Ribbon contains the command you’re going to need regularly. It can be any command available, but remember that some Ribbons require context in order to display their commands. Since we want to add the HTML format command:

  1. Choose FORMAT TEXT, then [Right Click] .

Adding a non-Ribbon Command to the QAT

To add any command, even ones that aren’t displayed on a Ribbon:

  1. [Click]  on the right side of the Quick Access Toolbar, then select MORE COMMANDS.
  2. Select which commands to show from CHOOSE COMMANDS FROM.
  3. To add a command, [Click] the command in the left panel, then [Click] ADD. Or, to remove a command, [Click] the command in the right panel, then [Click] REMOVE.
  4. When finished, [Click] OK.

Using Quick Access Keyboard Shortcuts

Now you’ve got a custom Quick Access Toolbar with all the trimmings, and we haven’t even told you the best part of the deal yet! Not only are these shortcuts available with a single click, but they’re also available by pressing <Alt+Number>, where the number corresponds to the shortcut’s position on the toolbar. That means you can also plan to have whatever commands, in whatever order you like for easy access. We know! It doesn’t get any easier, or quicker than that!

To see tooltips for the numbers assigned to your QAT shortcuts, press <Alt>: