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I just upgraded from Word 2003 to Word 2010. I'm mostly OK with the Ribbon, except that I've spent years maintaining and enlarging several custom toolbars full of buttons for extremely specialized macros I've recorded for my work. They were simple enough to record without editing, but invaluable because they saved so much time.

The macros themselves showed up in the 2010 macro list without my having to do anything, but they're not worth having without the ability to run them easily, and there are too many to assign to keystrokes.

I was able to assign most of them to a custom ribbon tab plus a few to the Quick Access Tab, but all of these buttons are identical unless I hover over them long enough for a tooltip to display to tell you which macro it is. Microsoft provides a few alternate button images to choose from, but they're random pictures that have no relationship to what the macros do.

In 2003 and previous versions, I was able to use the Button Editor to make my own meaningful button images, or even to choose "no image" and give it a very short name, like a letter or two, that would then show up as an "image" on the button. As a hypothetical example, to change entire documents to the Verdana font at 10pt, I could record the macro, then choose "no image" and name it V10. This would instantly get me a button "V10" on my custom toolbar.

It was so useful, quick and perfect that naturally it seems to have vanished from the new Word. Or at least, I can't find how to do it. I've seen a couple of how-to's purporting to show how to do it, but they're all about editing XML and/or VBA code. I have no problem with saying I'm not up to this; I tried to follow one of these guides and couldn't understand the instructions well enough to carry them out.

Is there a way to use my own buttons, without writing code from scratch? I can live without my nice toolbars if I must, but not having the buttons is seriously slowing down my accustomed work pace.

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I have exactly the same issue and found the suggestions about writing VBA etc. which also do not suit my need. I also tried to edit the icons themselves by digging into the EXEs and DLLs using an icon editor program, I've been unable to locate where these icons are stored. –  JulesDesigner Sep 21 '11 at 23:06

3 Answers 3

I was able to overcome this issue in Word 2010 by creating a Macros Tab using Customize Ribbon, and creating groups on the tab. Within the Groups, I added macros which brought in a macro icon and name of the macro: Normal.Macros.newtest. I then renamed them on the ribbon to reflect what the macro does: test. It seems to work.

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Elsie said: "Microsoft provides a few alternate button images to choose from, but they're random pictures that have no relationship to what the macros do."

She knows that you can assign these built-in icons to buttons, but they're useless if they don't correspond to the button's function. The built-in icons are generic. She wants to make her own and use them, or simply use a text label instead of an icon image.

Elsie: I feel your pain. Microsoft, in all its wisdom, has eliminated this simple functionality from Word 2010 because they once again assume that everyone is a programmer just like all of them.....it's a company full of engineers and programmers.

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I also tried this and got same results. However, you said all buttons are identical, but each button can be customized. Go to Word Options | Quick Access Toolbar and click on the Modify button to change the icon for each macro. I hope this helps...

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