Close a document without closing Word (Word 2007)

August 15, 2009 at 10:33 am

Many people are accustomed to closing individual documents by clicking the “X” (the “Close” button) at the upper right-hand corner of the document window. That option has been available in both WordPerfect and Word through many, many versions.

Now along comes Word 2007, and by default there is no “Close” button for individual documents. Indeed, the “Minimize” and “Maximize/Restore” buttons are missing, too. The only “Control buttons” in Word 2007 are for the program window. Thus, when people click on the “X” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, the program itself closes — to some people’s surprise and consternation.

In this post, I provide an easy way to display a document window with the familiar trio of Control buttons (Minimize, Maximize/Restore, and Close) — as well as other tips for working with multiple document screens in Word 2007.

To Add A “Close Document” Button Below the Title Bar in Word 2007

(Thanks to Herb Tyson, MS MVP and author of The Word 2007 Bible, for this first tip. I have rephrased and expanded slightly on Mr. Tyson’s explanation, which I found in an online newsgroup.)

Click the Office Button, Word Options, and click Advanced (in the navigation bar on the left). Then, from within the Advanced options screen, scroll down to the Display category.

Note whether “Show all windows in the taskbar” is checked. If it is, click to uncheck it and then click OK to save your change.

Now you should see a second set of “Control buttons” at the upper right side of the screen — one for the program and one for the document. As in prior versions, the “X” on the lower rung is the one you should use to close the current document. (The “X” on the upper rung closes Word altogether.)

There are other ways to close a document, of course. If you are a “mouse person,” you can simply click the Office button, then click Close. If you are a “keyboard person,” you can use one of the methods outlined below.

Keyboard Shortcuts to Close the Current Document

Ctrl F4 will close the current document, as will Ctrl W.

My own preference is to use Alt F, C, the key combination I became accustomed to in earlier versions of Word (Alt F opens the File menu in previous versions and C executes the Close command). That key combo also works in WordPerfect.

Cycling Through Open Documents

Perhaps you just want to go back and forth among documents without closing any of them. It’s relatively simple to move from one open document to another in Word 2007. As in previous versions of the program, the key combination Ctrl F6 will cycle through all of your open documents. However, using that keystroke doesn’t tell you which documents you have open, and you might have to cycle among several before you find the one you want.

To see a list of open documents and navigate quickly to one in particular, click the View tab, then navigate almost all the way to the right side and click the Switch Windows drop-down. Note that you can add a Switch Windows button to the Quick Access Toolbar, also known as the QAT. (Click the Office button, Word Options, Customize. Change the drop-down at top left from Popular to All Commands, then click somewhere in the Command List and — in order to move the cursor quickly down through the lengthy list — press the letter “T” to go to the first command that starts with a T and scroll up to “Switch Windows.” Click to highlight it, click the Add button to put the icon on the QAT, and OK out of the Word Options. That’s all there is to it!)

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