Deploy Office 2007 with custom Quick Access Toolbar commands

Receiving some complaints that users can’t find the Open, New etc. commands in the new Office 2007 interface, I had a task to customize Quick Access Toolbar so that all users can have these commands installed by default.

Office 2007 applications (Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Word) use a Quick Access Toolbar setting file (.qat). Every application has its own .qat file (Access.qat, Excel,qat, Outlook.qat, PowerPoint.qat and Word.qat). In order to customize and deploy these files using Office Customization Tool, we must add a registry entry to enable roaming user profiles to access the .qat file during deployment. This is because, by default, qat files are not saved in a roaming location.

I did this using the OCT:

  1. Open or create a new setup customization file (.msp) for Microsoft Office 2007.
  2. Under Additional content, select Add registry entries and click Add.
  3. Select HKEY_CURRENT_USER in the “Root” select box.
  4. Select REG_DWORD in the “Data type” select box.
  5. Enter Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\Toolbars in the “Key” input box.
  6. Enter QuickAccessToolbarRoaming as a “Value name”.
  7. Enter 1 as a “Value data”.
    Add/Modify Registry Entry
  8. Click OK.

After this, the default folder for .qat files will be: %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Office.

Now log in to any computer that has this modification and customize the Quick Access Toolbar for every Office 2007 application as you want. When you’re done, navigate to “%appdata%\Microsoft\Office” folder and copy all .qat files from there to a USB media for example.

QAT files

Now you have two methods of distributing these files: copy these files to all computers manually/using a script or use OCT. It depends on your needs… I will use OCT to have these files copied during the installation of Office 2007.

To do this, open the same office customization file (.msp) as earlier and do the following modifications:

  1. Under Additional content, select Add files and click Add.
  2. In the Add Files to MSP File dialog box, open the folder that contains your *.qat files, select the Excel.qat file (for example) and then click Add.
  3. In the File Destination Path dialog box, select the path [AppDataFolder]\Microsoft\Office for the “Destination path on the user’s computer”.
    File Destination Path
  4. Click OK.

Next time when you will install Office 2007, Quick Access Toolbar in every application will have the commands you set. In my case, Excel’s Quick Access Toolbar looks like this:

Quick Access Toolbar commands