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Tabs in Microsoft Word?

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Posted

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!

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Posted

[quote name='jebus197' timestamp='1368819996' post='595695534']Hi, is it just me, or does not having tabs in most Microsoft Office products, including Word and PowerPoint etc a bit primitive?[/quote]
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.

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Posted

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


Open
[img]http://gyazo.com/870c2acb3ea67db062d33b2117e0b1ac.png[/img]

Minimised

[img]http://gyazo.com/14b3865deec023e59b255f68dc8b885b.png[/img]

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Posted

Here's the tabs you're after :)
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Posted

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

[img]http://www.techmixer.com/pic/2011/09/KingSoft-Office-2012.jpg[/img]
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Posted

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.

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Posted

[quote name='insanelyapple' timestamp='1368829051' post='595695724']
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


[/quote]

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

[img]http://gyazo.com/78358eb5babd8ae2d859750a9c84ad7a.png[/img]

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Posted

[quote name='jebus197' timestamp='1368819996' post='595695534']
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!
[/quote]

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.

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Posted

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

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

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.

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Posted

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 [i]away[/i] 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?
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Posted

[quote name='jebus197' timestamp='1368988860' post='595698596']
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.
[/quote]

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.

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Posted

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

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Posted

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)

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Posted

[quote name='Mayhem' timestamp='1368833088' post='595695810']
well this does the trick but not sure if it works on 2013

[url="http://www.office-tabs.com/index.htm"]http://www.office-tabs.com/index.htm[/url]
[/quote]

Thanks for the link :)

This version works with Office 2013

[url="http://www.extendoffice.com/product/office-tab.html"]http://www.extendoffice.com/product/office-tab.html[/url]

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Posted

[quote name='theyarecomingforyou' timestamp='1368989611' post='595698620']
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 [i]away[/i] 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?
[/quote]

If you hate the task bar so much you can change it to not group the items....

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Posted

[quote name='notchinese' timestamp='1368997958' post='595698782']If you hate the task bar so much you can change it to not group the items....[/quote]

I know, but then the labels are displayed and it looks horrible.

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Posted

[quote name='jakem1' timestamp='1368989734' post='595698624']
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.
[/quote]

Yes, like I said, I heard all of the same arguments for browsers back in the day. Heck it even took me a while to get used to tab web browsing. But now I can't imagine life without it. The take home message I think is if it's done properly, tabbed interfaces can work in a number of scenarios. I wouldn't want MS to take the approach that they did recently with Windows 8 and make it so that a somewhat different way of working was forced on those who didn't care for it. (I.e. the "do it my way, or the highway" approach to interface design.) Users should still have a choice, just as they do with tabbed web browsers, where in theory if you don't like tabs no one forces you to use them. However most people would agree that it would barely make any sense not to use tabs for this purpose now.

You are correct to some extent however. It depends on the usage scenario and on user preference. My frustration is born of the need to frequently have several tens of Word documents open, or PowerPoint slide shows, or indeed as someone else mentioned Explorer windows. My usage pattern under these conditions is often very browser like, with the need to frequently switch between different windows and documents.

The take home message is I think that if done right (and the 'done right' part should not be underplayed I think) that a tabbed user interlace could have many uses. Not so long ago people would have thought it was crazy to have a tabbed email client. However Thunderbird (although I rarely use it as my main client), appears to have implemented this rather well.

As another poster commented however, MS has seemed to 'lose the plot' a little with Windows 8, and have almost abandoned the paradigm of multitasking entirely, particularly with their new touch screen interface and lack of focus on providing a great desktop experience. It is not a helpful direction, particularly with those who may often be presented with the need to perform several complex tasks at the same time.

PS

Just a closing note too. It might be worth thinking that added travel time to the taskbar may only equate to a couple of seconds at a time. But add those seconds up over a lifetime and they will probably equate to hours. Hours that you probably could spend doing something else far more enjoyable!

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Posted

You don't need tabs. The OS manages switching between instances of documents just fine with the aero popups.

Also the tabs in Excel are not to separate documents, but sheets within one document. The mapping is not valid.

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Posted

I've not found myself wanting tabs in Office but I agree with some of the sentiment here that it's something that should be Windows-wide rather than specific to Office.

I use Switcher (http://insentient.net/) to search for windows by window title text but it can become quite a hog when you've got 50+ windows open.

Ideally I guess I'd like open windows to appear as results in Windows search.

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Posted

[quote name='nik louch' timestamp='1369002110' post='595698850']
You don't need tabs. The OS manages switching between instances of documents just fine with the aero popups.

Also the tabs in Excel are not to separate documents, but sheets within one document. The mapping is not valid.
[/quote]

Fair enough. Oh BTW welcome ... I hope you're enjoying life in the 1990's. ;)

Someone should at least give this tabbed interface thing a crack. Those who feel they would not like to use such an interface should certainly retain the means not to do so, or wear bags on their heads. Which ever they prefer, lol.

To be fair someone else would probably have to give it a go first prove to the doubting masses if it could work or not and then wait for MS to steal the idea. After 25 years working in the IT sector, this does rather seem to be the way things tend to get done.

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Posted

What the hell are you on about 1990s? This is an OS addition since Win 7 as I recall!

The implementation of multiple documents within one MDI container has been available for a long long time.

Win7 allows a group of instances of one application (such as Word) to be available from one taskbar entry, which when hovered, allows access to any, with live previews.

A tabbed interface is much more old-hat than this!

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Posted

http://www.windowtabs.com/

This basically adds tabs to not only office, but to every applications.
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Posted

[quote name='nik louch' timestamp='1369008820' post='595699058']
What the hell are you on about 1990s? This is an OS addition since Win 7 as I recall!

The implementation of multiple documents within one MDI container has been available for a long long time.

Win7 allows a group of instances of one application (such as Word) to be available from one taskbar entry, which when hovered, allows access to any, with live previews.

A tabbed interface is much more old-hat than this!
[/quote]

Yes indeed. So much old hat that it doesn't even exist, yet. However I would wager if it ever did happen - and particularly if it was implemented well, that within a few years, after some possible initial resistance, you would probably find yourself quite happily using it and wondering indeed how you ever managed without it, just as many did (including myself) when tabbed web browsing was introduced. I think the game changer for people like you might be how well it was implemented and how well it really worked however.

In any case I can give you one immediate advantage (in addition to reduced travel time for your mouse), which is that right now I have aproximately 19 separate web pages open in tabs in my immediate view. This is a rather low number for me and is because I am working at present with a small screen. However as I sit here I can glance at each of the tabs without moving my mouse at all. This enables me to move straight to a document of interest with exactly zero investment in time or effort whatsoever. A single glance is sufficient, with no eye scanning or mouse travel at all. I would argue that this is quicker and more efficient than the peek functionality of the task bar. Live previews in any case have only ever seemed like a gimmick and a probable memory hog to me. If I can monitor a dozen or more documents at no net investment in time and additional effort, I would take this option first every time.

It is of course as I said, a matter of preference and it would depend how well it was implemented, but done right and under the circumstances I often find myself in, I'm certain a lot of people would find it extremely useful, even if you did not. Tabbed browser interfaces tend to be more memory efficient than their separate window counterparts also.

PS

It is all rather academic anyway. As I said MS don't have a great track record for innovation, so unless someone tries to implement it and does a really good job of it, I doubt MS would be interested in stealing it.

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Posted

The usage of a web browser and a word processor are vastly different from the physical interaction through to the use case. Comparing apples and oranges doesn't help anyone.

I'm not against the use of tabs for those who would rather interact that way, but any argument that "One office app has it why don't they all" (which is what the OP wrongfully asserted is what I'm picking up on here.

Moreover, the Windows interface is obviously aware of multiple instances of one application, so whether tabs or any other mechanism, this should be a Windows feature and not an app-specific feature.

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