Remove the side panel in a new Microsoft Word document (XP)

How do I remove the 'side panel' in a word document permanently in Microsoft word (XP)? Every time I open a new word document, this side panal would appear with the headings - Open a Document, New, New from Existing Document and New from Template. I have to physically close the panal. I would like to remove the panel permanently so that I do not see the panal every time I opened a word document. Thanks!
erestorAsked:
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Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services CenterCommented:
Tools, Options, View, uncheck Startup Task Pane.

Exit Word.  If it asks to save normal, say yes.

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erestorAuthor Commented:
Thanks. It worked.
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Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services CenterCommented:
Great - thank you erestor :)
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