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Add tabbed document editing to Microsoft Office with Office Tab Free Edition

24 May 2011, Nick Peers

If you’re the kind of person who finds themselves moving backwards and forwards between multiple documents in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you’ll know how frustrating and fiddly it can be. Office opens each document in a separate window, which can prove bothersome if you’re constantly copying and pasting from one document to another, or need to reference two or three while editing a fourth.

The logical approach is to allow users to open multiple documents in the same window using a series of tabs: it revolutionised the way we use our web browsers, and it’s something already pioneered in the free Office alternative, Lotus Symphony. But if you don’t want to switch office packages simply to access all your open documents from a single program window, check out Office Tab Free Edition instead.

Office Tab Free Edition, which is available in separate editions for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office 2003 or later, works from the moment you install it. Fire up one of the supported Office applications and you’ll see a new bar appear under the menu bar or ribbon. Open a document and it’ll appear as a tab in this bar. Open a second document and it’ll appear in the same window, allowing you to effortlessly switch between them.

Don’t like the position of the tabs? Office Tab allows you to move them to the bottom, left- or right-hand side of the screen where they’re not so prominent. You can customise the tab’s appearance, plus tweak various keyboard shortcuts and modify the tab’s behaviour.

Right-clicking a tab brings up a series of useful options, but not all of these are available to Free Edition users. If you want to be able to save or close all open documents with a single click, rename the current document without having to open the Save As dialog or lock the current document, you’ll need to upgrade to the Professional Edition for $25. An Enterprise Edition is also available that extends the program’s functionality to Visio and Project.

Office Tabs Free Edition is for non-commercial use only, and is available as a free download for Windows PCs in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The 32-bit version requires a 32-bit version of Microsoft Office 2003 or later, while the 64-bit version works with 64-bit versions of Office 2003 and 2010.

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