Close Window Button in Microsoft Word 2010

I recently had a question about the window control buttons (Minimize, Restore, Close) that seem to be missing in Word 2010 documents. In truth, I never really paid much attention to their absence. I thought it was too easy to accidently hit the Close application button by mistake, so I never got into the habit of working with them. While it’s not really obvious what setting to change, you can display the buttons if you like using them.

  1. On the File tab, click Options.
  2. Click the Advanced button and scroll down to the Display group.
  3. Uncheck Show all windows in the Taskbar.
  4. Click OK. The window control buttons will display in the document.

Now, if you want, you can use the Arrange All command on the View tab to stack your open documents in the Word window. You don’t have a choice about how they’re arranged.

There are some tradeoffs. By default each Word document displays in its own Word window, with its own ribbon. What this means in Windows 7 is that when you mouse over the Word button in your Taskbar, you see (pretty big) thumbnails of the open Word documents, along with their titles. Then you can select the document you want.

When you uncheck the default, all documents are in a single window, so you can’t select a different document from the Taskbar. Also, if you’re accustomed to using Alt+Tab to switch to different documents, that won’t work either (as I said, all of your documents are now in a single window).

As for me, I prefer having the individual windows open. I just add a couple of commands to the Quick Access Toolbar. I add the Close command from the File tab, and the Switch Windows command from the View tab.

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