Office gripe?

Subject: Office gripe?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Susan Hogarth <hogarth -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2007 13:53:18 -0400

Susan Hogarth wondered: <<Why is the default file handling behavior
different for Office apps? Specifically the thing that drives me
nuts: in Word, when you have 4 docs open and hit the 'close' button
(upper right) the *document* closes, while for Excel the entire *app*
closes. I keep finding myself closing all 3-4 spreadsheets I have
open instead of just the one I am finished with - then i have to
remember what I was working on and re-open it.>.

You didn't mention which version of Office you're using, but there's
a decent chance that this is one of the "general" settings. I'm not
using Windows, and I don't know which version of Office you're using,
so forgive me if I'm a bit imprecise; hopefully others can nail down
the details. On to some answers to your question:

If memory serves, somewhere around (just before?) Office XP,
Microsoft changed between using the multiple-document interface (a
single uber-window for the software, with separate sub-windows for
each document) and an approach in which each open document represents
a separate window in the taskbar. If you click the [x] in the former
interface, you have to be sure you're clicking the close button _for
the document_, not the application; in the latter interface, you'll
only close the one window.

More importantly, why are you wasting your mouse hand clicking the
close bar? On the Mac, the keyboard shortcuts for closing a document
and closing the program are, respectively, Command W and Command Q.
If memory serves, the corresponding shortcuts in Windows are Control
F4 and Alt F4 (or Alt-F to open the File menu, followed by C? for
close window and Q? for quit -- check the menu to see which letters
are underlined to indicate that they're shortcuts). Faster and easier
to use.

Instead of having to remember which documents you had open, open the
Tools menu, select Options (Preferences on the Mac), and in the
General tab, set the number in "Recently used files list" to 9 (the
maximum). From now on, the last 9 documents you were working on will
be visible at the end of the File menu. Alt-F opens that menu, then
type the number of the document to open it. I believe that Office
2007 replaces this approach with something newer and more flexible,
but I haven't used it, so you'll have to wait for advice from those
who have.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Office gripe: From: Susan Hogarth

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