Excel Tool Bars

Dear Mr. Lenning:

Thank you for your excellent article in the JofA.

I have been having a strange problem with custom toolbars and wonder if you have had a similar one and have found a solution. Frequently, the icons on a custom toolbar I designed for Excel disappear. Sometimes they will reappear after a restart or reboot and sometimes not. I tried to find how the custom toolbar is stored, so that I could create a backup, but couldn't find the file.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Barry w

Barry, I am glad you

Barry, I am glad you enjoyed the article. I would be happy to help you troubleshoot the issue below. Help me understand a few items.

1) Do you have the "menus show recently used items first" box checked in the Tools -> Customize -> Options tab?
2) Do you know that you can "attach" a toolbar to a specific workbook by goint to Tools -> Customize and click Attach. This way, the toolbar will be always be available in a specific workbook?
3) Do they "disappear" when the other standard toolbars are moved around?
4) What version of Excel are you using?


Jeff, Let's deal with your


Let's deal with your last question first.

4) I am using Excel 97 - SR-2.

1) The option you mention in question 1 is not listed in my version.

2) Attaching a toolbar does not bring back the icons.

3) The icons disappear (and sometimes reappear) after rebooting my system.

Very strange, seems like I'm in the Microsoft Twilight Zone. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thank you,


Barry,   The location of your

The location of your toolbar settings file is located in your Windows folder on your C: drive. It has the extension of *.xlb. If you are on a network, then the name of the file is usually something like "username8.xlb", if you are not on a network, then the name of the file is usually "excel8.xlb".
Excel can set up multiple toolbar settings in this way. To open (or activate) your toolbars settings, simply open excel, and then open the xlb file that you choose.
 If you want to start from scratch and create a new toolbar file, simply goto your Windows folder, and find the xlb file. Rename it. Next time you open Excel, make toolbar changes, and exit, Excel will create a new file for you.
 Hope this helps.

Jeff, I think you hit the


I think you hit the nail on the head. I actually had both files, a local and a network. It seems there may have been a conflict between them causing the disappearing icons.

I changed the names of both files by placing an "x" in front of the file name and re-opened Excel. Only the local file was recreated, not the network file.

This seems to be working now, I'll let you know if I have any further occurrences of the "disappearing icons."

Thanks for your help.


Excel Tool Bars