Weekly Computer Tip # 316
13 August 2010

How to manage a large number of open documents and programs
(Windows XP)

Last week we spoke about how to keep your documents within easy reach (see tip_315.php if you missed it) by making the My Documents folder available from the taskbar. But when you have lots of programs open your taskbar can get rather crowded. OK, if you have more than one document open in the same program, Windows combines all the documents into one taskbar button and you simply click the triangle on the right side of the button to access the open documents. (If it doesn't, right-click the taskbar, click Properties and on the Taskbar tab, select the Group similar taskbar buttons check box, and then click Apply.) But did you know you can also use the taskbar button to quickly close all open documents?

Here's how:

  1. Right-click anywhere on the taskbar button. (It doesn't have to be on the triangle itself.)
  2. Select Close Group.

And don't worry, if you haven't saved changes in the document, the program will prompt you to indicate whether or not you want to save those changes before closing the file.

By the way, if you have more than one folder open you can use the same procedure to close all open folders.