I recently wrote about some “oldie but goodie” features in QuickBooks Desktop. The article, “QuickBooks Desktop Weekly: Color Schemes in QuickBooks Desktop,” focused on customizing the user interface by changing the color schemes.
The “tips” in that article are just the “tip” of the customizability iceberg.
Over the years, I have made use of many UI customization features in QuickBooks Desktop. This QuickBooks Desktop Weekly article focuses on the icon bar.
Left / Top / Hide Icon Bar
By selecting View in the menu bar, you can decide whether you want to use the Left icon bar, the Top icon bar (which most of us old-timers prefer) or (if you need the screen real estate and are comfortable with using the menu bar only) hide the icon bar altogether.
After you choose which icon bar you want, there are some customization options there too.
Customize Top Icon Bar
For the top icon bar, right-clicking anywhere on it brings up the Customize Icon Bar option:
Once the Customize Icon Bar is clicked, it brings up the window to re-position (by dragging the diamonds), add, edit or delete an icon. It also offers the option to add a separator between icons so that the user can position their icons in logical groupings.
And the user can specify if they want the icons to display with their labels (“Show icons and text”) or just the icons only. They also can specify if they want to have the Search Box appear at the far right end of the icon bar.
By selecting Add on the Customize Icon Bar window, users can add new icons for just about any function or window imaginable, including the customized label (e.g. “Check”) and the mouseover description (e.g., “Write Checks”). Then the new icon can be moved to a better position on the icon bar.
And if there’s a particular window that is not on the list of icons that can be added, such as a customized report (whether memorized or not), users can add it to the icon bar as well by selecting View > Add “[name of screen]” to Icon Bar:
That will allow the user to choose the customized label and description as well as the icon (and then they can customize the icon bar again and reposition this new icon):
For those who aren’t fans of the dark icon bar, they can select Edit > Preferences > Desktop View > My Preferences > Switch to colored icons/light background on the Top Icon Bar and then select OK:
Customize Left Icon Bar
If the user prefers the left icon bar, they can right-click on it and choose Customize Shortcuts.
And then, similar to the top icon bar, they can customize the left icon bar:
Differences Between the Top and Left Icon Bar Customizations
Compared to the top icon bar, the left icon bar:
- Cannot be changed to colored/light icons
- Cannot be customized to show icons and text or icons only
- Cannot be customized to add the Search Box (however, the Search Box is at the top of the left icon bar)
- Can be collapsed on an as needed by selecting the left-facing caret next to that Search Box once collapsed, the left icon bar can be expanded by clicking on the right-facing caret)
Be aware that all icon bar customizations are on a per-user basis. That means that if I’m customizing my icon bar in a particular company, no other QuickBooks user in that company gets that experience. They would have to customize their icon bar separately.
And if I want the same icon bar in multiple companies, I have to set up each company’s icon bar for myself separately.
Esther Friedberg Karp is an internationally-renowned trainer, writer and speaker from Toronto, where she runs her QuickBooks consulting practice, EFK CompuBooks Inc. Consistently in Insightful Accountant’s Top 100 ProAdvisors, she has been named to the Top 10 twice.
With the unique distinction of holding ProAdvisor certifications in the US, Canadian, UK, and International versions of QuickBooks, she has traveled the world with Intuit. She has spoken at conferences such as “QuickBooks Connect,” “Scaling New Heights,” and “Future Forward,” and has written countless articles for Intuit Global. In addition, she is author of “Multicurrency in QuickBooks Desktop: The Most In-Depth QuickBooks Multicurrency Training Available.” The book, which is available on Amazon, is the only one of its kind that teaches how QuickBooks treats foreign currency transactions—all the tricks and the tips, and how to deal with foreign business as an expert.
Esther has been named one of the “Top 50 Women in Accounting,” a “Top 10 Influencer” in the Canadian Bookkeeping World, and is a repeat nominee for the “RBC Canadian Women’s Entrepreneur Awards.” She counts among her clients many international companies, as well as accounting professionals seeking her out on behalf of their own clients for her expertise in multi-currency and various countries’ editions of QuickBooks Desktop and Online.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-410-0750.
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