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Making Word Work on Netbooks

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on February 19, 2009

In my current column, I complain that most standard PC applications don’t work well on netbooks because the menus, toolbars, and other fixtures take up so much of the very limited display space. Microsoft Office 2007, with its huge ribbon menus, is the worst offender, but the always helpful Office Watch has found a way to use the full screen for document editing in Word 2007.

Full-screen editing had been a feature of earlier versions of Word, but seemed to disappear in Word 2007. The feature is actually there, even though a search for it in Help comes up empty. But it takes some work to make it appear.

Here's how:


At the right end of the "Quick Access Toolbar" at the very top of the Word 2007 window, there's a little, hard-to-spot down arrow (circled in the screen shot above.)Clicking this arrow opens a menu called Customize Quick Access Toolbar. Click on "More Commands..."


In the drop-down box above the left pane, select "Commands Not in the Ribbon." Then scroll down the list of options in the pane to find Toggle Full Screen View. Click it to select, then click Add and the OK button.

An icon that looks a bit live a CRT monitor will appear in the Quick Launch Toolbar. When you click it, Word will go into a full screen editing mode. The menus are supposed to appear if you move the cursor to the very top of the screen, but that did not work for me. But if you press the ESC key, you will return to normal mode, with full menus and toolbars.

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Reader Comments

Patrick Moorhead

February 19, 2009 10:53 PM

Nice find. Seems like everyone has a workaround for something missing on netbooks these days. I wonder how many mainstream users would know to do this.


February 20, 2009 05:37 AM

Just use Google Docs (and Gmail).
These are designed for web use, and do not take up so much screen real estate.


February 22, 2009 09:16 PM

well windows 98 used to work like a charm on my PIII 555MHz m/c with 32mb RAM, that was in 1999. before i trashed my pc, gave it a second thought. installed ubuntu with open office / Opera (just upgraded the RAM to 1GB). feels like a brand new m/c again and yes the webcam works with skype. what more can i ask for free..:). have win98 as dual boot, but i know i will never get back to Win again..nostalgic good bye atleast on my home PC.

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