Create Toolbar Buttons for Less Common Commands

Many reporters and scopists ignore the toolbar most of the time because they are accustomed to using keyboard commands to do the vast majority of tasks in Edit.  Most of the time this makes good sense; after all, why move your hand over to the mouse and then point and click on a toolbar button to do something like J-define, or play audio and then have to move your hands back to the home row to type a word, or navigate to the next item? It’s so much faster and easier to press a key, right?

That’s absolutely true when it’s a common, frequently-used edit command. However, sometimes you need to access features that aren’t used often, and you’ve probably noticed just how much it can slow you down to hunt for an item in a menu for which you don’t have a keyboard shortcut. For example, if you needed to redact something, how long might it take you?  If you need to write a note to your scopist (or if you’re a scopist, you need to write a note to your reporter),  do you have to stop and think about what to keys to press or where to click to open a hidden text? Assigning a keyboard shortcut isn’t always the best solution, because if you don’t use it frequently, it’s probably going to be hard to remember what that shortcut key is when you need it!  Situations like these are when having a toolbar button is genuinely helpful: when you have a less-frequently used command for which you don’t want to (or can’t!) remember a keyboard shortcut.

Creating a new toolbar button is incredibly simple. Here are two easy methods.

Add or Remove Buttons

  1. Click the down arrow at the end of any toolbar. Then click Add or Remove Buttons and then select the toolbar that you want to edit, for example, the Edit toolbar.
  2. The command for which you want a toolbar button may already be present and available to select. Check the list of unselected commands, and if it’s there, just select it. For example, click Redact.
  3. The button is added to the toolbar.

EXTRA TIP:  This is also a quick way to get rid of any toolbar buttons you wouldn’t use and don’t want. Just click the names of any commands you always use keyboard shortcuts, to de-select them. They’ll be removed from the toolbar, and free up space on your screen for other tools or information.


  1. Right click any toolbar, and then click Customize
  2. The Customize dialog box displays. Click the Commands On the left side of the dialog box, under Categories, scroll down and then select the name of the menu under which you would look for the command.  For example, If you were inserting a hidden text, you would click the Edit menu, so click Edit.
  3. On the right side of the Customize dialog box, under Commands, scroll down until you find the command you want, for example, Hidden Text/Comment… Click the name of the command, hold down the left mouse button, drag it up to the toolbar and drop it. The button is added to the toolbar.

EXTRA TIP: Not every button has an image assigned to it. If you see the words, but would prefer an image, before you close the Customize dialog box, right click the button on the toolbar and select Change Button Image, and then select an icon that would be helpful to you for that feature. For example, four rows down, four columns over is the icon of a pencil – that might be a helpful icon for making a note!  When you click it, that icon will be assigned to the button.

There are a lot of different commands available to help you customize a new toolbar button – you can change its name, assign a letter to press with Alt to use with the command, display the text and the image, edit the image, etc. If you want to learn more about customizing your toolbars for more efficient editing, schedule a training session with one of Stenograph’s outstanding certified independent training agents.

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