Word 2013 with multiple documents open

I have Office 2013 installed on a Win7 PC. It has changed its behaviour in the way it handles multiple documents.

When I open multiple documents, the only way to switch between them is to go to the ribbon, click View, then on Switch Window and roliing down to the one I want. That takes too long, and it switches the ribbon setting, so once I start editing I need to go back and pick the right area in the ribbon again. I have done several Google searches and cannot find any way to make this easier.

In Word 2000 way I could just type Alt-W-1, or just click Window and the document. That was my preferred way, but Word 2000 has problems under Win7. Until recently, in Word 2013 all documents appeared separately on the taskbar, and I could select them there. Somehow that stopped, and now it takes multiple clicks in the ribbon to get where I want. As a matter of fact, it took me a little while after the change before I realised that I could indeed open more than 1 document!

To make it even stranger, my wife uses the same PC, with a different login, and for her the documents still appear on the taskbar.

Can anyone tell me how to fix it (apart from going back to Office 2000)?
LVL 40
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

I don't know where the actual setting is but...

Press Alt + F11, this will open the VBA part of word

On the view tab, check 'Immediate Window', a small window should open

In that window, type:
application.ShowWindowsInTaskbar = True

then press Enter on the same line.
Like this: ShowWindowsInTaskBar
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
If you hover your cursor over the Work icon on your task bar, it should show multiple docs open, just select the one you want active.
Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

Tg.... I  think that is the specific feature that has been disabled.
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
I'm using Office 2013 and it works for me. I have not enabled anything special. I'm on a PC that I setup a month ago with a fresh install of Windows 7 and Office 2013.  Nothing extra was done. Take a look at the screen print I attached.
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Sorry, I thought the screen print was attached.
Yup, that is exactly what I mean. Use my code and set to false and that behavior will stop...  btw you need at least 2 documents open to test.
hdhondtAuthor Commented:

Yes, that's how it worked until a little while ago, and how it still works for my wife. I think I'll try to repair or reinstall Office tonight. I'll let you know how I go.


But that's the feature I want back - unless M$ are willing to go back to the Office 2000 menu system, instead of this rubbish called Ribbon.
Wait... do what I said in my first post, that will fix it
hdhondtAuthor Commented:
OK, I'll try it
This is where it is in Word 2010:  File > Options > Advanced ... prob different in 2013
show windows in taskbar
hdhondtAuthor Commented:

Sorry, your first post does not work for me. And the feature under Options does not exist in 2013...
BTW that last link should be the solution you are looking for, sorry I am unable to test :-/

BTW2 - thanks for bringing this to my attention... I have some code to rewrite :-/
hdhondtAuthor Commented:

That last link did not work either.

And, when I tried to do a repair from the DVD, M$ told me "Oops, we couldn't install Office. We ran into a problem. Please try installing Office again". This is even before it asked me whether to repair or install.

I don't have time at present for a full reinstall, and from that error it doesn't look as if that will work either.

If it weren't for some spreadsheets I wrote long ago with complex macros (e.g. a wine database), I would long ago have installed OpenOffice, as I detest the Office 2013 user interface. It's a throwback to the dark ages.
I reckon you have yourself a corrupt user profile. Try a freshie and migrate everything over. Sorry - at this stage that's the most likely explanation I can see. Corrupt profile is a surprisingly common problem 😬
hdhondtAuthor Commented:
I have since tried an uninstall - which failed. Now both my wife and I get a message on login, saying that the Office installation failed. However, after that Office works for both of us, except for the multiple-document issue.

I've tried finding out what process produces this message but I have been unsuccessful. I've looked through MSCONFIG, and I've searched through the registry, but came up blank.
hdhondtAuthor Commented:
After living with Office applications randomly refusing to start, I tried again to repair and/or uninstall, both of which again failed. So I finally bit the bullet and uninstalled the hard way, as per this link:


After that, reinstalling went smoothly and the silly thing appears to be working again. Unfortunately, both my wife & I now have the annoying multi-document behaviour that seems to be the new "standard" in Word 2013. The "show al windows in Taskbar" option has been removed. Apparently users prefer 3 clicks instead of 1 to change documents...

Unless you have other ideas I'll accept my own answer. It doesn't fix anything, but at least it tells people how to manually uninstall Office.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
No worries. Have fun with it...  😉
hdhondtAuthor Commented:
There is no solution to the real problem: the Word 2013 multi-document interface. My answer just shows how to uninstall Office if it refuses to do so normally.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Word

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.