Clever Clogs tip # 726
2 March 2023

Various ways to flip through your open windows (Microsoft Office) *

Here we are, my March tip - and it's something really simple, which I think you might like.

I've recently been DM-ing with Mister FlashFill himself - Sumit Gulwani, Research Manager at Microsoft - and I loved the fact that he reframed the age-old what problem to solve question from trying to solve the hardest problem to solving the simplest problem with the most impact.

Well, here's a simple problem I think we can all relate to ... too many windows open.

So how do you flip through your open windows?


Or perhaps you are a CTRL + TAB-ber in Excel?

I also know some people who press CTRL + F6 to flip through their open Office documents per application.

From experience I know some of you might prefer buttons and use the Switch Windows button in the Window group on the View tab. But you know how much I love keyboard shortcuts, so that's not for me. That said, I recently stuck it as a button on my Quick Access Toolbar and made it the very first button in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

And now I think I might have solved the simplest problem with the most impact. Thanks for the inspiration, Sumit.

Here's how:

  1. Right-click the Switch Windows button on the View tab and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. Right-click any of your buttons on your Quick Access Toolbar and select Customize Quick Access Toolbar.
  3. Select your Switch Window button at the bottom of your list and click the Move Up arrow until it is in your favourite spot. Mine is right at the top!
  4. If your Quick Access Toolbar is still above the ribbon you might want to tick the Show Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon check box.
  5. Click OK or press ENTER.

As I made it my very first button I can now simply press ALT + 1 to activate it. So I can keep my hands on the keyboard. Happiness is.

Related tips

  1. Preview and flip through your open windows: tip_419.php
  2. Show running applications and find recently opened documents: tip_644.php
  3. Use a keyboard shortcut to switch between open workbooks (Microsoft Excel): tip_433.php
  4. Have your favourite buttons easily accessible: tip_664.php
  5. Selecting commands without using your mouse: tip_220.php
  6. Split first name and double-barrelled surnames into separate cells (Microsoft Excel 2013 onwards): tip_709.php

From the tip archive

Thanks to those of you who told me the two emails I sent about the "oldies but goodies" were helpful. The one about putting the Mail, Calendar, People and Tasks buttons in Outlook back where they used to be - horizontally at the bottom - seemed to be a winner! As promised, I've updated the online versions tip_708.php and tip_459.php

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PS Get in touch if you need some help. Why not invest in a one-hour 121 session and focus on your struggles with Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook in your day-to-day work. One hour can have a major impact!

* Unless stated otherwise this tip is written for Microsoft 365 desktop apps and Windows 10 users, but might also be useful in Office 2010, 2013 and 2016.