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Ctr+Tab in Word

Normally, pressing Ctrl+Tab switches between different files in any software product e.g. Excel, VB, etc etc. But when I press Ctrl+Tab in Word, it just inserts a tab. Why doesn't it work. Seems like some quirk.

The One You Loved (TOYL)
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

that's ALT+TAB,

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Ctrl+F6, or alternatively F1.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

No, Alt-Tab switches between applications. Ctrl-Tab usually switches between files in the same application.
  But the OP is right that it doesn't work in Word.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

My guess would be it is probably a leftover from WordPerfect compatibility. Unlike many Microsoft understood that to be successful you have to closely follow the lead of the topdog in a certain catagory to make switching as painless as possible.

(I never used WordPerfect so this might be total bollocks)

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

My guess is that Word actually goes back further than the Ctrl-Tab convention. Thus, to change it to match the new convention would break existing user expectations.

Given that the latest version of Word that I have (Office XP) has given up MDI (and is better for it, in my opinon), it's not much of a problem anymore.

Michael Kohne
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I hate when apps put every open document (Word, Outlook) in the taskbar because it clutters the task bar. MS Office is not consistent with this, as some Office apps (Access, Excel, Power Point) make this optional, but others do not.

I like MDI better (even more with Tabs).

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

And yes, I know you can use XP's ability to "Group" taskbar items, but using the keyboard to navigate between screens (Alt+Tab) is also painful when you have 20+ documents and applications open.

I'd rather have a decent implementation of virtual desktops for Windows, but I haven't found one yet.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

"I'd rather have a decent implementation of virtual desktops for Windows, but I haven't found one yet."

4Screens (

Give it a try.

Paulo Caetano
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I know that if you're in a table in a cell in Word and press the TAB key, you switch to the next table cell. Pressing CTRL+TAB in the table cell actually gets you a TAB.

I suspect that breaking the CTRL+TAB convention was a decision made so that:
1. There was an easy keyboard way of inserting a TAB in places where the TAB key has a different meaning.
2. Consistent such that it ALWAYS inserts a TAB and doesn't work differently depending on if a table is being edited, etc...

Mark L. smith
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Another point is that I seem to recall that at least as far back as Windows 3.1, the official documentation referred to CTRL+F6 as the way to cycle through Program Groups of Program Manager. This may go further back to earlier versions of Windows or OS/2 and maybe even into some of the DOS shells that were available (I seem to remember CTRL+F6 in Norton Shell and it's knock-off, DOSShell).

I remember telling my students that CTRL+TAB *seemed* to be equivalent and that CTRL+F6 *seemed* to be officially recognized as a window-switcher in most MDI applications, but that I could find no evidence of official support for CTRL+TAB anywhere except on an application by application basis.

A similar situation existed (exists?) for CTRL+C, CTRL+X, CTRL+V and the usually equivalent CTRL+INSERT, SHIFT+DELETE, SHIFT+INSERT.

In other words, just because it's common doesn't mean it's part of a standard. Even if it is a part of a standard, we all know that standards are often set aside when it seems sensible to do so.

Ron Porter
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

That 4screens program has bugs when used with a dual monitor setup (Windows XP).

Thanks though.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Virtual desktop manager that works in XP:

It is not free, but it is very easy to use.

Glade Warner
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

There's also the XP "Desktop Manager", one of Microsoft's "Power Toys".

Michael Eisenberg
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

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