In most applications, you're stuck
whatever the software company decides to put on its
shortcut menus (the set of context-sensitive
commands that appear when you right-click your mouse). For example,
Microsoft must consider hyperlinks extremely relevant; in Word 2003, you can insert
a hyperlink from 26 of the 62 shortcut menus!
The shortcut menu you'll probably use most is
the Text shortcut menu, which
appears when you right-click within the text of a document. This menu
is shown in its native form in .
Figure 1. The default Text shortcut menu
Fortunately, you can rearrange
any of the 62 shortcut menus in Word according to
your priorities. For example, if you insert a
lot of comments, the mouse mileage needed to repeatedly select the
text and then go up and choose Insert→Comment can really add
up. This hack will show you how to give your wrist a rest by moving
the Insert Comment command closer to where you're
working—onto the shortcut menu.
Accessing the Shortcut Menu Toolbar
All of the menus in Word reside on
Even the main menu bar (with File, Edit, View, etc.) is actually a
toolbar—appropriately named Menu Bar. Shortcut menus are no
different, but the toolbar they live on is a bit harder to find. In
fact, except for when you're customizing it,
you'll never get to see the Shortcut Menu toolbar;
notice it's not one of the choices offered when you
To see the elusive Shortcut Menu toolbar, select
Tools→Customize to display the Customize dialog. You can
also right-click on the title bar of any toolbar or an unoccupied
area of the main menu bar and choose Customize.
Select the Commands tab. If you want the shortcut menu changes to be
available in every document you use, choose
Normal.dot from the "Save
in" drop-down list in the Customize dialog, as shown
Figure 2. The Customize dialog
Next, click the Toolbars tab and check the "Shortcut
Menus" box, as shown in .
Figure 3. Getting to the shortcut menus
As soon as you check the box, a toolbar like the one in will appear on your screen, probably near the
top left. Don't press the Close
button on the Customize dialog. You can access the Shortcut Menu
toolbar only with the Customize dialog open.
Figure 4. The elusive Shortcut Menu toolbar
Modifying a Shortcut Menu
Word divides shortcut menus into
three categories: Text, Table, and Draw. This can help you narrow
your search for a particular shortcut menu among the five dozen or so
choices. To add the Insert Comment command to the shortcut menu that
appears from within regular text, choose the Text menu on the
Shortcut Menu toolbar, then scroll down and select Text, as shown in
Figure 5. Accessing the Text shortcut menu for customization
Now click the Commands tab in the Customize dialog and choose Insert
from the list of Categories on the left. Then, in the list of
Commands on the right, scroll down until you get to Comment. Drag it
from the Customize dialog to the Text shortcut menu. Once you release
the mouse button, the Comment command will appear on the shortcut
menu, as shown in .
Figure 6. Adding a command to a shortcut menu
After you press Close on the Customize dialog,
you'll be able to insert comments via the Text
shortcut menu, without moving your mouse from the page.
To save your changes to Normal.dot, you must