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In pre-ribbon versions of Word you there was an 'X' that would show when you opened a document that would close it without closing the application. I was placed right underneath the closing 'X' that closed the application.

In Microsoft Word 2010, I don't see that 'X', I only have the 'X' to close the application.

Is there some trick I don't know about to do a one-click close of the document?

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I did try the advanced options suggestion. When I got to Display, the "show all windows in the Taskbar" was selected and greyed out so I could do nothing with that button -- though it would appear it was already set up to work. However, it did not. I too like to have two Word windows open simultaneously so it probably wasn't the best solution for my needs. Adding the icon to the quick access toolbar works great, just takes a bit getting used to going to the left, not the right side of your screen. Or you can use the Ctrl+W command as well. I just usually forgot and quickly hit the X out of hab – user114268 Jan 18 '12 at 19:28
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Click File > Close, right there under Open and Save. Does exactly what you want, it just takes an extra step than in previous versions. Leaves Word running with no document open.

If you want it to be one-click, add Close to the Quick Access Toolbar at the top. Click on the dropdown, then choose More Commands.

customize quick access toolbar

Under Choose Commands From, select File Tab, then select Close and click the Add >> button.

modify toolbar

Now, just click on that close button, and the document will be closed but the Word window will remain open.

close button

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File->Close is definitely not what I wanted, but the QAT solution looks good. I'll try it out tomorrow. – Lance Roberts Apr 22 '11 at 3:40
Well, File->Close does get the job done, but it's not just one step like you asked for. Hopefully QAT works for you though. – nhinkle Apr 22 '11 at 3:46
Yep, that worked just fine, it'd be nice to have it on the other side, but it's workable on the left also. Thanks. – Lance Roberts Apr 22 '11 at 15:14
Found the way to enable the true close button, see my answer, also @Randolf. – Lance Roberts Apr 22 '11 at 16:11

You should be able to press CTRL-W on your keyboard to "close the child window" (your document).

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That's helpful, and I'll remember and use it, but still hoping that there's something in there I don't know about that still does the same thing. Thanks. – Lance Roberts Apr 22 '11 at 0:29
Actually, there may be an option somewhere in the Preferences (possibly called "Options" in the "File" menu which was changed to a throbbing ball in MS-Office 2007; I'm not sure if it changed again in MS-Office 2010) to "always show menus." If you can turn this on, it might display that smaller "x" in the corner for that quick close you're after. – Randolf Richardson Apr 22 '11 at 0:43

My solution was to assign a variable to the number of open documents. Close the active document without saving. Then test to see if the number of open documents had been greater than 1. If it was, the macro stopped, leaving other active documents open. If the number = 1 then Word closed.

Sub CloseWithoutSave() 

  x = Documents.Count    
  ActiveDocument.Close SaveChanges:=wdDoNotSaveChanges    
  If x = 1 Then Application.Quit

End Sub
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You can hover over the active icon on the task bar and the X to close each windows is available.

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The answer is that Microsoft has defaulted Word to open all applications in a New Window, so they disabled the close 'X'. It can be re-enabled by going to the File->Options menu then choosing the Advanced tab, Display section and unchecking the Show All Windows in the Taskbar option.

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NOTE: This disables you from opening more than one Word document at a time. Trying to open another instance of Word, or another document will close the first one.

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Nifty. Just curious, does this make it so that you can't have the two Word windows next to each other, or are they still separate windows? – nhinkle Apr 22 '11 at 16:59
@nhinkle, It looks like it prevents you from having a second Word window. When I try to open another instance of Word, or another document, it just closes the open document, and either brings up a new blank one or the one I asked to be open. I guess that isn't really as functional for me as I hoped it'd be, so I'll leave yours as the accepted answer. – Lance Roberts Apr 22 '11 at 17:09
That's what I had worried would happen. Your solution is still a useful answer though for some situations, so definitely leave it up! – nhinkle Apr 22 '11 at 17:25

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