Software

How to remove Word's scroll bars and enable AutoScroll

Susan Harkins shows you how to remove the scroll bars in Word and then how to enable the AutoScroll feature.

Word displays a horizontal and vertical scroll bar by default. I can't imagine removing them, but I recently ran into someone who wanted to do just that. Once I removed the scroll bars, I showed him Word's AutoScroll feature - another feature that I don't use, but he loved it. It occurred to me that others might want to know about these two scrolling features. They won't be for every one of course, but it does help to know these things are available, especially if you support a large number of users with varying needs.

Word 2003

Word 2007 and 2010

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. In the Show section, uncheck the Horizontal Scroll Bar and Vertical Scroll Bar options or just one - you don't have to turn the both off).
  4. Click OK.

  1. Click the File tab and choose Options (under Help) in the left pane. In Word 2007, click the Office button and then click Word Options.
  2. Select Advanced in the left pane.
  3. In the Display section, uncheck the Show Horizontal Scroll Bar and Show Vertical Scroll Bar options (or just one - you don't have to turn the both off).
  4. Click OK.

This is an application-level change. Your scroll bars will be gone until you turn them back on - they won't disappear just for the current document. A word of warning: you'll also lose the Select Browse Object at the bottom of the vertical scroll bar. That's the small circle with double arrows above and below. Using this neat tool, you can quickly browse your document using different parts of the document, such as pages, tables, sections, and so on. (I would miss this handy tool!) Enabling AutoScroll

Once you disable the scroll bars, you might benefit from enabling AutoScroll - actually, you might like this feature even with your scroll bars, especially if you're working in a large document. This feature lets you scroll through a large document fast! To enable AutoScroll, do the following:

Word 2003

Word 2007 and 2010

  1. Right-click any toolbar and choose Customize.
  2. Click the Commands tab.
  3. In the Categories list, select All Commands.
  4. From the Commands list, drag AutoScroll to any toolbar.
  5. Click Close.

  1. Click the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) dropdown.
  2. Choose More Commands.
  3. In the Choose Commands From dropdown, select Commands Not In Ribbon.
  4. Double-click AutoScroll (or select and click Add) to update the list to the right.
  5. Click OK.

To use AutoScroll, just click the new icon on the toolbar or in the QAT. Doing so will display a small circle with a triangle above and below in your document - this is the AutoScroll indicator. When you see this small icon, drag the mouse up or down just a smidgen and Word will respond by zooming through your documents pages. Press [Esc] or click the icon again to disable the feature.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

7 comments
sck52462
sck52462

The page moves too fast to read.

Vineet369
Vineet369

And I believed that clicking middle mouse button to Auto Scroll was as elementary as right clicking! And as elementary as clicking a link, to open it in new tab!

asjeff
asjeff

As per bd1235's post I have a Dell mouse that does the same. However I cannot recall actually installing any dedicated software for it - maybe it was pre-installed on my (Dell) rig to begin with. Likewise I find it a very handy feature

bd1235
bd1235

I have autoscroll in many programs. It is implemented by my Logitech mouse and the Logitech Setpoint software. An excellent feature. It is implemented by clicking the centre button (the scroll wheel) when it is not on a URL. When it is in IE9 and you centre button click on a URL, that URL opens in a new tab.

bd1235
bd1235

not sure about your problem but with the Logitech mouse implementation the speed is proportional to the distance your mouse pointer is above or below the auto scroll indicator. It can vary from very slow to very fast and also the speed varies with different programs. IE9 can scroll faster than Outlook.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Thanks for mentioning the mouse!

sck52462
sck52462

Thank you very much for your response. It reminds me that I so long ago set my Logitech mouse to accelerate that I forget. Now, I disable that and it works exactly as you point out.

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