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.

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


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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.

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 five more than 6?

2022-04-09 07:16:49

Erik Eilertsen

Closing the working doc in Word without closing word. (Based on my own 2016 version but I think all versions with the ribbon and QA toolbar will be the same.
If you cannot remember the keyboard shortcuts just go to the FILE, OPTIONS, QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR and load the Close/close all shortcut to the QA toolbar.
A single click closes the working document
A double click closes all docs
Neither of the above will close Word itself - you still have to go to the top right corner to do that - or find the appropriate shortcut


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