Tag Archives: Excel

Wrong toolbar icons in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc) for Mac

I came across a really bizarre issue on my Mac regarding the toolbar icons in Word (and Excel). For example, the save button now contained an icon of scissors and the up arrow on the scroll bar was now the spell check icon. Needless to say, this mix-up is less than convenient.

I did a bit of research online and found several threads talking about the issue:

You can read about each proposed solution in detail by visiting the respective link above, however what did the trick for me was the following one:

  • Ensure all Microsoft products are quit, including Outlook, Word, Excel, Communicator, etc.
  • Launch Terminal: Applications > Utilities > Terminal.app
  • Type in cd /Library and press ENTER.
  • Type in sudo mv Automator Automator_Old, hit ENTER.
  • Enter your Mac password and hit ENTER again.
  • Launch Microsoft Word.
  • Go to: Help > Check for Updates and then press the “Check for Updates” button.
  • You should now see an update; for me it was update 14.2.5.
  • Quit Microsoft Word and install the update.
  • Go back to Terminal and type: sudo mv Automator_Old Automator followed by your password again.
  • Launch Microsoft Word and your icons should be restored.

I think Microsoft Office tried to update some time ago, but failed. I didn’t worry much about it then, but that could have been the catalyst for the icons getting mixed up. By temporarily moving the Automator folder, it will download and install the update again. After that’s completed, we just move the Automator folder back.

I hope this helps someone else. It definitely beats reinstalling and reconfiguring all Microsoft products again — especially Outlook.