In earlier versions of Word you could ctrl-tab Alt+Tab through the open documents, but in Word 2010 it seems you can only switch document through the views menu. Am I missing something or do they not want me to be able to quickly jump back and forth between my documents?

  • I'm running on Windows XP here, with two documents open in Word 2010. Alt+Tab works as expected - since each document opens in a new window, and Alt+Tab switches between windows. Both Ctrl+F6 and View-> Switch Windows appear to work as well. I'm not sure how much this helps but wanted to note that Alt+Tab isn't explicitly missing from Word 2010. – Warrior Bob May 13 '11 at 15:53

CTRL+F6 seems to do it - it may be buried somewhere on here: Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word - I couldn't find it.


Yes CTRL-F6 is the "Next Window" command in Word, unlike in most programs where CTRL-TAB does the trick. However you CAN make Word use CTRL-TAB to switch windows. I'm on Win7 with Word 2010, so if you're using something else YMMV.

If you don't already have 7Zip (or some other archive program which will allow you to edit a file within an archive), then get it.

Close Word before you begin

  • Find your "Normal.dotm" document - for me it was in /users/yourname/appdata/roaming/microsoft/templates.

  • Right click on the file, go to 7Zip --> Open Archive.

  • In 7Zip, double-click the "word" folder

  • Right-click on the "customizations.xml" file and choose "Edit"

  • Look for the <wne:keymaps> tag.

  • If it IS NOT there, then paste this before the <wne:toolbars> tag:

<wne:keymaps><wne:keymap wne:kcmPrimary="0209"><wne:fci wne:fciName="NextWindow" /></wne:keymap></wne:keymaps>

  • If it IS there, then paste this after the <wne:keymaps> tag:

<wne:keymap wne:kcmPrimary="0209"><wne:fci wne:fciName="NextWindow" /></wne:keymap>

  • Save and close the document.

  • 7Zip will prompt you to update the archive, choose Yes.

  • Close 7Zip.

  • Open a few documents in Word, and gleefully switch between them with CTRL-TAB!


I have the same problem. Sometimes I'll have three Word 2010 docs open but I'll be able to Ctrl-F6 only between two. I have to use Alt-Tab to get to the third. It seems to be based on how the Word docs were opened.

E.g., I select two and hit Enter to open, or they were attachments opened via a link in an e-mail. Haven't pinned it down but it's something like that...instantiation problems, I'd wager.

Anyway, I close the doc that doesn't want to play with the others and reopen it via the the Open command in Word. If you need to constantly cycle through several Word docs, it's worth the effort.

  • It could be similar to Excel where the behaviour is more visible: generally all workbooks open in the same window and you can switch between them by CTRL+Tab or CTRL+F6, but sometimes there are multiple instances of the application open, and only Alt+Tab switches between them. – Máté Juhász Oct 6 '15 at 11:23

I am using Office 2010 in Windows 7 and Crtl-f6 does not work for me either. Ctrl-f6 is different than Alt-TAB.

Alt-TAB works with Microsoft Windows operating systems, not specifically Word. It allows you to rotate through all open windows. Ctrl-f6 swaps between open documents in Word. Shift-Ctrl-f6 swaps back one document; Ctrl-f6 goes "forward" one document. I find this far more convenient when working in Word than using Alt-TAB and flipping through all my open windows.

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