Copy, Save, Transfer and Backup your Microsoft Office Toolbars

Posted by Alastair Bor | 2/21/2010 06:25:00 pm | | 1 comments »

I'm a very old-school user of office software (with my use of such tools going back to Lotus 123 3.0 and Wordperfect 4.2) who is definitely stuck in his ways. Heck, I've been using these tools for 20 years and other than the GUI change going from DOS to Windows there have been very few useful innovations to the core office toolkit.
Over the years, I have customised my Powerpoint, Excel and Word environments to the point that I've now basically reached toolbar perfection. And while I'm sure I might one day come to regret saying this, I see no reason to move on from my customised environment - "The Ribbon" be damned! (I still use the "Transition Mode" in Excel and still start all my formulae with @).
One of my (many) big complaints with MS Office is that there is no obvious way to save, transfer or backup the customised toolbars that I've spent years honing. The purpose of this post is actually as a reference for myself so that I can quickly get my optimised environment up and running when I'm away from my "home" systems.
The specific file names can vary depending on your configuration, but this is where you look:
Powerpoint: It's a *.pcb file (e.g. PPT11.pcb)
Excel: It's a *.xlb file (e.g. Excel11.xlb)
Word: It's stored in and custom toolbars can be copied from one template to another via the Organizer (Tools - Templates and Add-Ins... - Organizer...). Keep in mind that in Word customizations to the standard toolbars cannot be moved.
Use the Windows search feature to find these files, since their specific locations can vary greatly depending on the version of your MS Office installation.

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  1. Nicholas Hebb // 12 June 2010 at 13:06  

    Stumbled across this while looking at your VSM fonts (which are very cool), and thought I'd chime in on this. The .xlb files can be easily corrupted, so it's a good idea to back them up when doing any customization. In Excel 2000-2003, they're stored in -
    C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel

    The application data folder is usually hidden by default, so users would need to unhide it.

    In Excel 2007, you can customize the quick access toolbar (QAT) to make the ribbon suck a little less. :-)

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