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Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) Shortcut Overview
The Quick Access Toolbar (or QAT for short) is the second half of Microsoft’s newest shortcut system that was introduced back in November 2006.
While you can use Ribbon Guides to access any command or feature in your PowerPoint Ribbon using your keyboard, the QAT is specifically designed to be customized with your most frequently used and hardest to reach commands.
To see why this works so well, see my explanation and QAT Guide demonstration in the short video below.
To learn more about the QAT Guides and get real-world practice using them in the context of investment banking pitch books, check out my PowerPoint Crash Course.
QAT Shortcut Characteristics
The common characteristics of your QAT Guide shortcuts are:
- You do not need to hold them down
- Hitting Alt activates them
- Follow the #’s to move forwards
- Hitting Esc walks them backwards
- Hitting Alt (a second time) exits out of them
- They are 100% customizable
- They are shorter than Ribbon Guide shortcuts
The great thing about learning how to use these shortcuts is that they work across the entire Microsoft Office suite. That means you can use everything you are learning here to speed up your workflow in Word and Excel too.
Adding and removing commands to your QAT
To add a command to your QAT, simply:
- Right-click the command or feature in your PowerPoint Ribbon
- Select Add to Quick Access Toolbar
To remove a command from your QAT, simply:
- Right-click the command or feature on your QAT
- Select Remove from Quick Access Toolbar
You can also add, remove and arrange commands in the PowerPoint Options dialog box, which you’ll learn about next.
Arranging commands on your QAT
To arrange commands on your QAT, you need to open up the PowerPoint Options dialog box by going to:
- File tab
- Select Quick Access Toolbar
Within the Quick Access Toolbar options, you can add commands and features from the different PowerPoint Ribbon tabs by selecting them in the Choose Commands from dropdown menu and then using the Add and Remove buttons.
On top of that, if you select a command in your QAT window on the right, you can then use the Up and Down arrow buttons to arrange them and change their Alt drive shortcut.
From top to bottom, the commands you arrange will have the following Alt driven shortcuts associated with them:
- Alt, 1 for the first command
- Alt, 2 for the second command
- Alt, 3 for the third command
In this way, you can set up the commands and features you use most with the easiest to use QAT shortcuts (positions 1 through 9 being the easiest).