Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Opening Multiple Documents at Once.

Opening Multiple Documents at Once

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 28, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Word provides a complete file management system. One of the features of this system is that you can quickly load multiple documents in one easy step. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Open dialog box. (There are many ways to do this. Perhaps the easiest way is to just press Ctrl+O. If you are using Word 2013, you'll also need to click Computer | Browse after pressing Ctrl+O. If you are using Word 2016, you'll also need to click This PC | Browse after pressing Ctrl+O. If you are using Word 2019 or Word in Office 365, you'll also need to click Browse after pressing Ctrl+O.)
  2. Instead of double-clicking on a file name, start to create a "selection set." If you are selecting sequential files, click on the first file in the sequence, then hold the Shift key as you click on the last. You can add additional files to those selected by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking with the mouse.
  3. To remove files from the selection set, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on a file name you previously added to the set.
  4. When you are satisfied with the list, click on Open.

Take some time to look around and play in the Open dialog box. It has many of the same options as Windows Explorer or File Explorer (depending on which version of Windows you are using) as well as a few more. Pay particular attention to the options available on the drop-down list displayed from the Open button (click the down arrow at the right of the Open button).

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8696) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Opening Multiple Documents at Once.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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