Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Keeping Word Open after Closing Documents.
Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 9, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021
Paul notes that in Excel he can close all workbooks and the application still remains active. He would like to be able to close all the documents in Word and have the program still remain open, as well. He wonders if there is some way to configure Word to behave in this way.
In previous versions of Word (before the advent of the ribbon interface), Word included two Close buttons in the upper-right corner of the screen. The upper Close button was for the program and the lower Close button was to close just the document. This made it rather easy to click the right Close button and close just what you wanted to close.
In the ribbon interface, however, there is only a single Close button, and it closes the program as a whole when there is only a single document open. Now, the best way to close just the documents (and leave the program window open after closing the last document) is to use either of two shortcuts. Using either Ctrl+W or Ctrl+F4 will close just the current document. When the last document is open and you use one of these shortcuts, the document is closed, but the program window remains open.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9990) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Keeping Word Open after Closing Documents.
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