Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 23, 2015)

4

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, and 2013. 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 5 + 0?

2016-02-27 10:29:27

Joann

I customize the Quick Access Toolbar: Click on the small arrow to the right of the QAT, click on More Commands. In the Backstage area, left column, click on the arrow by Popular Commands and choose All Commands. Scroll down until you find CLOSE. I select the first CLOSE with a yellow folder beside it, click on ADD (located between the columns) and click on OK. An icon will be added to your QAT area. When you click on the icon, it will close ONLY the document you are working in, leaving the program open. The icon will remain in the QAT until you remove it.


2016-02-26 14:29:09

Mark

You can also add an icon to the quick action toolbar (File>Options>Quick Action Toolbar) called "Close" and then click it to close only the document and not the program.
In the drop-down menu the icon is under "File Tab" and looks like a folder with a little arrow above it.


2015-10-30 16:58:07

Luis Martinez

Hi Allen. Please check comment of user REREvon-K in http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2010-word/keep-word-2010-open-when-closing-document/6bec1efb-239e-4fc6-b994-2d47282d2dae about how to make Word to enable a X button to close the document only.


2015-09-09 17:45:01

DAVID STEPHENSON

Excellent! Thank you.


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