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How do I make the WHOLE menu display always?

How do I make the WHOLE menu display always?

A couple of versions ago, several Microsoft products introduced the
concept of “smart menus” – menus that would display only the most
common and most recently used items and hide the rest. The idea was to
make the ever growing menus seem a little less daunting. The problem
of course is that many functions and options were hard enough to find
already, and hiding a bunch of menu items made that problem worse for
many people.

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Short Format Menu

Full Format Menu

Smart menus in applications such as office work like this: when you
first drop down the menu, it shows you the short form. There’s a little
downward pointing indicator at the bottom that indicates there are more
items on the full version of the menu. (See the accompanying examples
of Word 2003’s Format menu above.) What most people don’t realize is that a)
if you wait a few seconds the full menu will be displayed, or b) if you
click on that little downward pointing indicator the full menu will be

If, like me, you never want to see short menus again that’s easily
taken care of as well once you know where to look.

To turn off ‘smart menus’:

– Right click on any menubar or toolbar

– Click on Customize

– Click on the Options tab

– Make sure that “Always show full menus” is checked

– Click on OK or Close

Microsoft also has a Knowledgebase article on this topic

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9 comments on “How do I make the WHOLE menu display always?”

  1. The Smart Menus concept is right on par with “Clippy”…..

    Thanks for spreading the word on how to get rid of this pain-in-the-ass.

  2. Hi! Is there a way to make Photoshop CS3 menus appear in full too. It drives me crazy. If I don’t use PS for a couple of weeks it’s easy to forget where everything is – there’s so much in there.


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