How to add custom galleries to Word’s QAT and ribbon for quick access ?

Adding custom elements to galleries is easy to do—easier than you might think. But the feature doesn’t stop there. Once your custom element is a building block, you can add it to Word’s Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) or to a custom ribbon tab. Either way, you’ll have fast access to the custom elements you use the most, unencumbered by the built-ins. We’ll start by adding a simple header to a custom gallery using the Quick Parts feature. Once the element is part of that custom gallery, you can add it to the QAT or a ribbon tab as you would a macro.

I’m using Office 365 (desktop) on a Windows 10 64-bit system, but this technique will work in earlier versions. Specifically, you can add custom galleries to the QAT in Word 2007 and later. You can add galleries to the ribbon in Word 2010 and later. You can download the demonstration .docx file or work with your own document. This technique won’t work in the browser edition. This article assumes that you’re familiar with galleries and that you know how to create a simple header. If you’d like to start at the beginning of this series, read the following two articles first:

Add the custom element

Word offers a number of galleries—15 built-in galleries, 15 custom galleries that seem to duplicate the first 15, and five additional galleries, for good measure. You can customize the galleries to suit your needs. Before we can add a custom gallery to the QAT or the ribbon, we need to add a custom element to one of the custom galleries.

Now, let’s get started:

  1. With the header open in edit mode press Ctrl+A to select everything in the header.
  2. Click the Insert tab and then choose Save Selection To Quick Part Gallery from the Quick Parts dropdown (n the Text group) or press Alt+F3.
  3. In the resulting dialog, name the element Header TR Logo. Galleries sort them alphabetically, but we won’t be accessing the element from a gallery, so naming is a bit more flexible. However, you might consider adopting some naming conventions—consistency will be helpful if you work with lots of custom elements.
  4. From the Gallery dropdown, choose Custom Headers (Figure B). You’ll have to scroll by the Headers gallery to find it.
  5. From the Category dropdown, choose Create New Category. Enter Logos for the category name (Figure C) and click OK.
  6. From the Options dropdown, choose Insert Content In Its Own Paragraph (Figure D).
  7. Click OK.