Exporting your customized Ribbon and QAT (Word 2010 only)
Unlike Word 2007, Word 2010 enables you to customize the Ribbon by creating your own tabs and groups and adding the commands you use most often. You might not realize that it is easy to save those customizations (as well as any you have made to the Quick Access Toolbar, aka the QAT) to a file and then copy them to another computer—such as your own laptop or a co-worker’s machine at your job site. This process, called “exporting,” can save you a great deal of work.
To export your custom Ribbon and QAT settings, either (1) right-click the Ribbon (or the Quick Access Toolbar) and click Customize the Ribbon or (2) click the File tab, Options, Customize Ribbon.
1. When the Customize Ribbon screen appears, navigate to the lower right-hand side and locate the Import/Export button.
2. Click the button to open the drop-down list. It offers two choices: (a) Import customization file and (b) Export all customizations.
3. To save your Ribbon configurations to a file, click Export all customizations.
4. Word will open a “File Save” dialog.
The program automatically assigns the name “Word Customization” to the configuration file, but you can rename it. (Just be sure to use a name that clearly describes the file’s contents and that indicates the computer of origin. See footnote 3.)
5. Optional step: Rename the file if you wish, but don’t change the file extension (see footnote 2).
6. Optional step: Use the drop-down to change the location if you wish.
7. Click “Save.”
Once you have saved this file to your hard drive, you can copy it to a USB drive, an external drive, a CD, or some similar medium; paste the copy on another computer; and then import the configuration file via the Word Options on the additional computer.
1. To import the file to another machine after you have pasted it onto that computer’s hard drive, go into the Customize Ribbon screen of the Word Options and click the “Import / Export” button, then click “Import Customization File.”
2. Browse to the location of the file.
3. Click to select (highlight) the file, then click the “Open” button.
4. A warning message will appear, prompting you in case you’re not sure you wish to proceed.
5. If you are unsure whether you wish to replace all customizations to the Ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar, click “No.”
6. If you are sure you want to proceed, click “Yes.”
The changes will go into effect regardless of whether you click “OK” or “Cancel” when you close out of the Word Options.
CAUTION: When you import the configuration file to another computer, you will overwrite not only any customizations the user has made to the Ribbon on that machine, but also any customizations he or she has made to the Quick Access Toolbar. It’s a good idea to export the configuration file on the “destination” machine (as well as on the “source” machine, the one you’re copying from) before installing and importing the configuration file to the other machine. That way, you have a backup copy you can use to restore the original settings if need be.
NOTE: This article first appeared in a somewhat different form (and with screenshots) in my book, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010 (published in May, 2010).
 By default, Word will save the configuration file in your “My Documents” folder, but you can use the drop-down at the top of the dialog to save it to a different folder.
 Word saves the file as an “Exported Office UI file” (“UI” stands for “User Interface”).
 Be careful to give the exported file on the second computer a descriptive name that clearly distinguishes it from the exported file you copied from your own machine!
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