Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Quickly Changing Document Windows.

Quickly Changing Document Windows

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 23, 2015)


If you routinely use several open documents to do you work, you already know that you can change between document windows by using the Switch Windows tool on the View tab of the ribbon. You may not know, however, that there is a shortcut for changing windows. You can cycle through your documents by pressing either Ctrl+F6 or Shift+Ctrl+F6. The difference is that Ctrl+F6 cycles through the list of windows in a forwards direction, while Shift+Ctrl+F6.

If you would rather not take your hands off the mouse, you can create a macro that cycles through the windows. This macro can then be assigned to the Quick Access Toolbar. The following macro will cycle forwards through the windows:

Sub ChangeWin()
    On Error GoTo ChangeWinErr
    Set bb = ActiveWindow.Next
    If Windows.Count > 1 Then
        Exit Sub
    End If
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9891) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Quickly Changing Document Windows.

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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What is 7 - 2?

2015-07-23 11:07:50

Benjamin C. Morin

The article refers to changing (switching) DOCUMENT windows within Word. If this is true, then the instructions are totally correct.

Alt + Tab works as well; however, it also allows you to switch opened programs and documents at the same time.

Both techniques are handy depending on what you are doing.

Ctrl + F6 and Shift + Ctrl + F6 do not work outside of Word. These shortcuts are program (application) specific.

2015-07-23 09:18:27

Dianne Lafleur

Put your thumb on the Alt key and hit the Tab key to loop through all of your open windows. Hit Tab key until the right document is selected and then take your finger off the Alt key. This takes you to the selected window.

2015-07-23 09:11:54

Rick G.

Mary, very often
when Ctrl+Something does one thing,
Shift+Ctrl+Something does the opposite, or does the same thing in the other direction. That is also true here.
Ctrl+F6 goes forword,
Shift+Ctrl+F6 goes in reverse order.
Nancy, Alt+Tab is easier but it should be mentinoed that it is slightly different in that it cycles through all your windows, not just Word windows.
All, if you don't want to bother with the macro, Word already has a built in "Switch Windows" button you can put on the QAT that lets you select which window to goto next. To add it:
Right Click on the QAT, and click
Customize Quick Access Toolbar
Choose commands from: View Tab
Switch Windows

2015-07-23 08:50:43


It looks like Shift + Ctrl + F6 cycles through the list of windows in a backward direction.

2015-07-23 08:00:44

Martin Pruimers

Great Tip! Spares a lot of clicking!

2015-07-23 07:18:22


The below paragraph copied from your article above, is not complete. What does Shift+Ctrl+F6 do???

The difference is that Ctrl+F6 cycles through the list of windows in a forwards direction, while Shift+Ctrl+F6.

2014-11-17 08:22:16


You can also use Alt + Tab. Super easy key strokes.

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