Show open documents as separate windows on the taskbar

Some applications don't show your open documents as separate windows on the taskbar, which prevents you from switching to a specific document. This tip explains how you can get quick navigation in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Some applications don't show your open documents as separate windows on the taskbar, which prevents you from switching to a specific document directly by clicking its taskbar button, or by using Alt-Tab. This tip explains how to fix this problem.

To get quick navigation in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, do the following:

Choose Tools, Options. Click the View tab, make sure that Windows in Taskbar is checked, and click OK.
In Adobe Acrobat or Reader, choose Edit, Preferences, and select General on the left.
Check Show documents in taskbar, and click OK. The change will take effect when you restart the program.

Note: In Office apps, this changes the Alt-F4 keyboard shortcut so that it closes only the current document, not the whole application (unless only one document is open). But in Acrobat, Alt-F4 still closes the program and all open documents in one fell swoop.

Please let us know how useful you find this tip by rating it below! If you have a useful Windows tip, timesaver or workaround to share, submit it to our tip contest and you could win a prize!

This was first published in October 2006

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