Older versions of Microsoft Office have a visible “panning hand” option that allows you to scroll through files using your mouse. Features haven’t been seen since around Office 2010, so here’s how to make this super useful function available again.
What is “Panning Hand?”
Panning hand is a tool in several applications in Microsoft Office (and Internet Explorer) that turns the mouse pointer into a hand icon and allows you to hold the left button and drag the page up and down or left or right instead of using the scroll bar or mouse wheel.
In earlier versions of Office, the panning hand is visible at the top of the scroll bar. By Office 2013, it disappears from the standard interface, but the functionality is still there if you need it.
This is very useful for long documents or large spreadsheets that come out from the right side. Hand panning is very precise and allows you to drag pages in all directions, including diagonally, which is why it is a popular tool for navigating large spreadsheets that scroll down and across.
You might notice us saying that it is a popular tool for navigating large spreadsheets. This is because, unfortunately, panning hands are no longer available for Excel, but are still available for OneNote, Word, and Outlook.
How do I make my “panning hand” look?
The panning hand cannot be added again to the top of the scroll bar – which we consider shameful because it is very useful – but can be added to the ribbon or quick access toolbar. The process for doing this is similar for both, but we will add it to the quick access toolbar. If you want to add it to the ribbon, then we have instructions for that.
We will use Word in this example, but the instructions are the same in OneNote and Outlook.
Open the Word application, click the down arrow on the quick access toolbar, and then select “Other Commands.”
Select the arrow next to “Popular Commands” and select “Unmanned Commands” from the dropdown.
Scroll down to the “Panning Hand” command and select. Click the “Add” button and then select “OK.”
The hand symbol will now be visible on the quick access toolbar.
To use it, just click the hand icon and the cursor will change to a hand. Hold down the left mouse button or trackpad and drag the page around.
To change back to the normal cursor, click the hand button on the toolbar again or press the ESC button.