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Tabs in Microsoft Word?


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#1 jebus197

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 19:46

Hi, is it just me, or does not having tabs in most Microsoft Office products, including Word and PowerPoint etc a bit primitive?

I know you can have tabs in Excel, kind of, but it would be nice if MS stole the idea of tabs, like they did with IE from Firefox and built this into all of their office software.

I'm a college student and I frequently have several documents open at the same time, it's frustrating to not just quickly flip between them like I can with my browser. I know there's Flip 3D and probably a keyboard shortcut. But the same argument could be made for not introducing tabs in Web Browsers. Why do it? Because it makes life a little bit simpler is why!

Please MS steal this idea! If anyone has any influence with them and wants to steal it instead, please feel free!

There is a 3rd party add on that enables this feature I believe, but it seems to be quite buggy and unstable. So other people have clearly at least thought about it!


#2 Max Norris

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 20:13

Hi, is it just me, or does not having tabs in most Microsoft Office products, including Word and PowerPoint etc a bit primitive?

Just my own preference of course, but personally haven't missed them. Can already quickly flip between them now with either a keystroke or a single click on the taskbar, complete with previews, there's also window list on the ribbon too. For me it doesn't matter if I'm clicking above the document or underneath it, it's still one click or one keypress, personally don't see adding another place to click really boosting my productivity. You mentioned addons, there's a couple that do that, don't use them myself, my neighbor does though, don't recall the one he uses giving him problems. "Office Tabs?" Not positive, didn't pay much attention to it, seems happy with it with Office 2010 anyway.

I'm not 100% positive, but reasonably sure Firefox wasn't the first one with a tabbed browser... could of swore it was IE via a third party shell for IE called NetCaptor, late '90s, then Opera a couple years later. Could be wrong, old age, bad memory, too lazy to search and all that.

#3 arachnoid

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 22:08

Word has changed over the years the 97 version does a paned type view


Open
Posted Image

Minimised

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#4 derviskemal

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 22:16

Here's the tabs you're after :)

Attached Images

  • tabs.png


#5 insanelyapple

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 22:17

arachnoid, are you using Office/Word 97? O_o

Kingsoft Office (which in its basic version looks like MS Office 2003) provide a tabbed document interface

Posted Image

#6 zhangm

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 22:21

I guess I'm not understanding how switching focus from one window to another using Tabs is substantially different than what you do using the Taskbar these days.

#7 arachnoid

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 22:28

arachnoid, are you using Office/Word 97? O_o

Kingsoft Office (which in its basic version looks like MS Office 2003) provide a tabbed document interface



Cant see you image but I was using it as an example.of how Word has changed over the years i.e. In word 2K3 it makes separate pages in the taskbar the same as in 2K13

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#8 chrisj1968

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 22:31

Hi, is it just me, or does not having tabs in most Microsoft Office products, including Word and PowerPoint etc a bit primitive?

I know you can have tabs in Excel, kind of, but it would be nice if MS stole the idea of tabs, like they did with IE from Firefox and built this into all of their office software.

I'm a college student and I frequently have several documents open at the same time, it's frustrating to not just quickly flip between them like I can with my browser. I know there's Flip 3D and probably a keyboard shortcut. But the same argument could be made for not introducing tabs in Web Browsers. Why do it? Because it makes life a little bit simpler is why!

Please MS steal this idea! If anyone has any influence with them and wants to steal it instead, please feel free!

There is a 3rd party add on that enables this feature I believe, but it seems to be quite buggy and unstable. So other people have clearly at least thought about it!


Personally I'd like to have seen a UI that i could tab word, outlook 2010 into tabs as I often copy and paste for my research.

#9 Mayhem

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 23:24

well this does the trick but not sure if it works on 2013

http://www.office-tabs.com/index.htm

#10 OP jebus197

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 18:41

Yeah, like I said, all the arguments presented by the naysayers (of which there are always a majority on Neowin) could have been made for any browser too, pre-Firefox. Ask them to give up their properly integrated and elegantly executed tabbed browsing interface now however and go back to the old taskbar only way of doing things and I'm sure you would hear them all sing a different tune.

My experience when I have 20 or 30 word, or powerpoint documents open is that the travel time to the taskbar is often longer than if I could use tabs. bizarrely I can use Tabs with MS's online version of Office, but not with the desktop version. You may think WTF is a few inches of extra movement to get to the taskbar to open a document? But the difference is a that few inches adds up to miles worth of difference through the years and those miles worth of unneeded repetitive movements can lead to serious cases of RSI. (Which I have had the misfortune to experience several times in my life.)

It always just seemed like a natural desire to me, when I had a lot of documents open, to just flip between easily identifiable tabs. Of course you could use keyboard shortcuts and flip 3D etc to achieve a similar goal, but I always find that people who say 'just use the keyboard short cuts' are really a little primitive. Why have a GUI at all in that case? This is the same kind of argument Linux die-hards of old used to make. It is a very old fashioned and out of date paradigm in my view. Keyboard advocates will of course almost certainly object to this perspective.

#11 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 18:53

I agree with the OP. Tabs have proven to be indispensable for web browsing, yet remain conspicuously absent from Explorer and Office. Switching between multiple instances of Explorer or Word has been incredibly tedious since Microsoft introduced the superbar in Windows 7. If you have several windows open then when you click on the taskbar icon it brings up Aero Peek rather than displaying the active window and the window preview is utterly useless given that most Explorer windows look the same and can't be easily discerned at a quick glance.

Microsoft was late to the game with a tabbed web browser and doesn't seem to care about multi-tasking on the desktop. In fact Windows 8's Metro interface demonstrates that Microsoft is actually moving away from multi-tasking, which is quite concerning. The success of tabs in web browsers clearly demonstrates that users understand and benefit from tabbed interfaces, so why is the company so reluctant to bring tabs to Explorer or Office?

#12 jakem1

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 18:55

Yeah, like I said, all the arguments presented by the naysayers (of which there are always a majority on Neowin) could have been made for any browser too, pre-Firefox. Ask them to give up their properly integrated and elegantly executed tabbed browsing interface now however and go back to the old taskbar only way of doing things and I'm sure you would hear them all sing a different tune.


I don't think you can really compare a content creation application like Word with a content consumption application like a browser because people use them differently. Tabs might be useful in Word sometimes but there are other times where they would be a real pain. For instance, I often have multiple documents open side by side so I can easily cut and paste from one document to another using ALT+TAB to switch back and forth between documents. This would be difficult to do without using your mouse if all documents opened as tabs in a single instance of Word. Excel behaves in this way (without tabs - it acts as a sort of MDI interface) and it always annoys me.

#13 Pam14160

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 19:55

Per the Seventies "That's a Big 10-4 on the tags."

Will try that Tag app that "MayHem" posted about on Office 2013 and get back later.

Back: Tried to use the app mentioned by Mayhem, albeit it will not load, however, it will direct you to a home page where you can download a "Free version" that will work (and does) for Office 2013.

Tested it out and at present show no problems.

There is also an Enterprise Version for a price.

Good Luck. . . :D

#14 Paul Ferson

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 20:32

Mayhem's link has worked well for me with Office 2003 and 2007. I haven't used it with 2010 or 2013 but if it works, it's one of the better options. I can recommend it for that purpose. If you go through the settings you can get the tabs along the bottom like in Excel. (Y)

#15 Buendia

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 20:55

well this does the trick but not sure if it works on 2013

http://www.office-tabs.com/index.htm


Thanks for the link :)

This version works with Office 2013

http://www.extendoff...office-tab.html