Upper Menu

4 Ways to Switch Between Open Documents in Word

Share Button

If you’re multitasking, or using one document as a reference, you need to quickly switch between two or more documents. Here are four ways to move back and forth between them.


Press CTRL-F6 on the keyboard to toggle between Word’s open windows.


Hold down the ALT key on the keyboard and tap the TAB key once (keep ALT down). An overlay appears with icons for all your open windows. Continue to press TAB until the desired document is highlighted. Let go.

Press SHIFT-TAB to go the other way.

If your just type ALT-Tab, ALT-Tab, I toggle between my two most recent windows.

Alt-Tab switch between open documentss

The View Tab

Click on the VIEW TAB, then on SWITCH WINDOWS. Pick your document off the list.

Use View Tab to switch between docs

Using Windows

Depending on what version of Windows you’re using, or your individual settings, this behavior may vary.

In earlier versions of Windows, there’s at least one ICON FOR EACH WORD DOCUMENT on the task bar at the bottom of your screen.

Click on the CORRECT DOCUMENT to jump to it.

In more recent versions of Windows, you’ll see ONE WORD STACK ICON with a number of open items.

Click on the STACK, and thumbnails of the open documents appear. Click on the desired file.

Use windows to switch between open docs

Buy the Book

Microsoft Word 2010 Tips & TricksFor the complete collection of time-saving tips and tricks, buy my book, Microsoft Word 2010 Tips & Tricks. Available in eBook, iBook, Multi-touch, and paperback versions.




2 Responses to 4 Ways to Switch Between Open Documents in Word

  1. Tom October 19, 2016 at 11:26 pm #

    5th and best way: bring back good ol’ Ctrl + Tab: see Joshua Cargile’s answer on http://superuser.com/questions/283016/jumping-through-documents-in-word-2010

  2. Jim Watson February 5, 2019 at 9:12 pm #

    Ctrl-F6 Is now saving me from mousing to the word icon on the dock below when I need to move back and forth between two documents.

    Thanks Alicia!

Leave a Reply