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Non-Excel Tip

Restore Those Taskbar Buttons In Windows XP

Recently one of my newsletter readers, Joel Young, discovered that after getting Windows XP, the taskbar (at the bottom of the screen and to the right of the Start menu) no longer displayed a separate button for each open window. Now the windows for each open program were grouped on one button on the taskbar. Therefore, if he had five Excel spreadsheets open, there was only one Excel button on the taskbar. When he clicked on this button he would get a pop-up menu showing a list of all open Excel workbooks. Then he had to select from this list in order to switch to a particular workbook.

Joel preferred having separate buttons for each open window. I have to agree. It makes it much easier for switching between windows.

If you do too and would like to change Windows XP back here's a simple solution:

  1. Right-click on the Taskbar.
  2. Choose Properties.
  3. Under the Taskbar tab, remove the check mark from the "Group similar taskbar buttons"
  4. Click OK.
Now isn't that better?

If you're using Excel 2000 and don't see separate buttons in the taskbar, choose Tools, Options, and on the View tab place a check mark in 'Windows in Taskbar'.

If you're still using Excel 97 or Excel 95 you're probably wondering what the heck I'm talking about. It's only been since Excel 2000 that Windows displays taskbar buttons for each open window. So, this tip doesn't apply to you. You still have to use the Window menu to switch between open Excel workbooks. Or if you remember my tip from a couple of months ago, you can use the much faster CTRL+F6 keyboard shortcut.

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