MS-Word / Getting Started

The Window Group: Doing the Splits

Word 2007 has more options for viewing multiple documents and multiple windows. If you ever find yourself comparing two documents or borrowing extensively from some other text, then having two or more documents visible on your screen can double or triple your work speed.

The commands for managing multiple documents, views, and windows are in the View tab's Window group.

In the Window group, the three commands on the left New Window, Arrange All, and Splitlet you open and view your work from multiple vantage points. The commands in the middle View Side by Side, Synchronous Scrolling, and Reset Window Positionare helpful when reviewing and comparing documents. The big Switch Windows button lets you hop from one document to another.

Switch Windows
New Window (Alt+W, N)
When you are working on a long document, sometimes you want to see two different parts of the document at the same time, as if they were two separate documents. Perhaps you want to keep an Outline view open while editing in Draft view. That's where the New Window command comes in. When you click this button (or hit this keystroke), you have got your document open in two windows that you can scroll independently. Make a change to one window, and it immediately appears in the other.

Arrange All (Alt+W, A)
Greatnow you have got documents open in two or more windows, but it takes a heck of a lot of mousing around and window resizing to get them lined up on your screen at the same time. Click Arrange All and, like magic, your open Word document windows are sharing the screen, making it easy to work on one and then the other. Word takes an egalitarian approach to screen real estate, giving all windows an equal amount of property.
One downside of Office 2007's ribbon: It takes up more space on your computer's screen than menus or even the older button bars. When you open a couple of windows, you are not left with much space to do your work, especially when you're working on an ultra-portable laptop or a computer with a small screen. You can double-click the active tab to hide the ribbon, but in most cases, you're better off working with a split screen.

Split (Alt+W, S)
The Split button divides a single window so you can see two different parts of the same documentparticularly handy if you are copying text from one part of a document to another. The other advantage of the Split command is that it gives you more room to work than using Arrange All for multiple windows because it doesn't duplicate the ribbon, ruler, and other Word tools.
When you are viewing two different parts of a single document, use the Split command; it leaves you more room to work than two separate windows. Each section of the split window has a scroll bar, so you can independently control different parts of your document. If you want to fine-tune your split, just drag the middle bar exactly where you want it. When you're done, click Remove Split to return to a single screen view.

Viewing multiple windows

One common reason for wanting to see two documents or more on your screen at once is so you can make line-by-line comparisons. Imagine you have two Word documents that are almost identical, but you have to find the spots where there are differences. A great way to make those differences jump out is to put both versions on your screen side by side and scroll through them. As you scroll, you can see differences in the paragraph lengths and the line lengths. Here are the commands to help you with the process:

View Side by Side (Alt+W, B)
Click the View Side by Side command and Word arranges two windows vertically side by side. As you work with side-by-side documents, you can rearrange windows on your screen by dragging the very top of the Window frame. You can resize the windows by pointing to any edge of the frame. When you see a double arrow, just drag to resize the window. Synchronous Scrolling (described next) is automatically turned on.

Synchronous Scrolling (Alt+W, Y)
The Synchronous Scrolling feature keeps multiple document windows in lock step. When you scroll one window, the other windows automatically scroll too. Using the same button or keystroke, you can toggle Synchronous Scrolling on and off as you work with your documents.

Reset Windows Position (Alt+W, T)
If you have moved or resized your document windows as described earlier under View Side by Side, then you can click this button to reset your view so the windows share the screen equally.
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