Controlling How Documents Stack when Opened

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 14, 2015)

7

In Word, when Lori opens multiple documents, they automatically cascade. She wonders if there is a way, rather than cascading, to keep all documents directly on top of each other. Lori doesn't want tiles, but rather full-size documents one on top of the other.

There is no way to do this that we've been able to discover. When new document windows are opened, how they are opened is controlled by the operating system, not by Word. This would mean that the place to check is within Windows, but even there we can find no setting or Registry "hack" that can change this behavior.

This inability is evident even within Windows' tiling capabilities. If you right-click the taskbar you can select several window-arranging options, such as Cascade Windows, Show Windows Side by Side, etc. There is not an option to place windows directly on top of each other, which seems to imply that such an option is not one that Windows allows for as an arrangement method.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13374) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Pictures in AutoShapes

Filling an AutoShape with a picture of your choosing is a neat trick. Excel makes it easy to do.

Discover More

Summing Only the Largest Portion of a Range

Given a range of cells, you may at some time want to calculate the sum of only the largest values in that range. Here is ...

Discover More

Understanding Functions

Do some macro programming in VBA and you'll quickly find out that you can use functions to extend the power and ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Understanding the Normalize Text Command

Word includes tons of internal commands that you can access as you customize your system. One of these is the Normalize ...

Discover More

Understanding Picas

Word can understand many different measurement units. One common unit understood by Word is the pica, described in this tip.

Discover More

Nifty Zooming with the Mouse

Want to use the mouse to control the zoom level for your document? You can do it by combining your mouse use with the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four more than 1?

2016-12-13 19:45:46

George Talbot

My Word 2007 has been nicely cascading documents in W7 HP but has just stopped and I cannot restore it. Cascading with W7 is not the same as it reduces the documents' height.
After installation, with the first doc on the right, Word opened the second doc on the left. It did not cascade and I was unaware that W7 could. Then cascading started by itself, then stopped. I got it back, twice, but I was not sure how and cannot repeat it.
Your text says Word cascades but neither it nor hours of searching tells me how to fix it!


2016-10-21 11:04:30

Winslow

There is a setting in Word Options which will keep documents off of the task bar, which, if I understand her question correctly, is what she desires.

Options>Advanced>Show all windows in the task bar
Keyboard command sequence: (Alt F,a (advanced), alt w four times, space bar to uncheck
Uncheck this option and all documents are confined within the Word window.

To move between the two or more windows with keyboard commands:
Control F6 returns to the documents in the reverse order opened or used.
Alt, w, then w again, opens the list of documents in alpha order. open the desired document from the list by typing the number of the document in the alpha-ordered list.


2016-10-20 18:00:55

mike

you're wrong about this. by default word lays maximized documents on top of one another.


2015-02-16 12:18:48

ReneeS

I am running Word 2010 on Windows 7 Professional and my Word documents open on top of one another.

When I right-click on my task bar, I have "no" options selected.

When I go to Options>Advanced, the "Show all windows in the Taskbar" box "is" checked.


2015-02-16 01:57:35

Michelle Rapier

A few years ago I downloaded and installed the free version of Office Tab Center which works for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I've used it on Office 2007 and now 2010. You can choose the shape and color of the tabs and where you want the tabs to display. It's a free download for personal use although there is a screen that comes up to buy the product when you open Word, Excel or PowerPoint; but you can close that out and it doesn't come up again until you open Office later. I love it as I can see all my open documents on one screen and doesn't take up any room on the taskbar. Their website says, "Bring Tabbed Editing, Browsing and Managing User Interface to Microsoft Office 2010, 2007 and 2003." There is also a version for Office 2013. You can get it here: http://www.office-tabs.com/


2015-02-14 11:28:11

Winslow Parker

Hi Alan,

Actually, there was a way to stack documents in Word 2010 and all versions before that. It does seem to be missing in 2013.In 2007 and 2010:

Options>Advanced>uncheck the checkbox "Display documents on the Task Bar."

This forces all documents to be within the confines of the Word parent window. Besides the use of the mouse, Control F6 cycles between open documents in the reverse order opened. Ribbon shortcut sequence is: Alt W then W to open a list of currently open documents. These are listed in alpha order with the order indicated by a numeral. Tap the number or use arrow keys and then enter to open to the selected document.

In Word 2003 these two choices were automatic-no setting required.

Winslow



2015-02-14 05:35:30

Angelfeathers

Well, that's a bugger! That was on my list of things to see if I could fix. :-(


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.