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    Getting Started: Open Word

In Working with Windows you learned to open programs in several ways:

  • Start menu shortcut
    Start screen tile (Win8, Win8.1, Win10 Tablet mode)

  • Search box on Start menu
    Search screen (Win8, Win8.1)
    Search box on Taskbar (Win10)

  • Run dialog

  • Double-click the executable file that starts the program in File Explorer or My Computer

  • Double-click a document in File Explorer or My Computer when there is a program associated with the file's type.

You may have even more methods for Word and other programs.

More Shortcuts on the Start Menu

Menu: Start - New Office Document; Open Office Document (Windows 7)One of the installation options for Office 2007 and 2010, under the Office Shared Features, adds two shortcuts above All Programs on the Start menu, New Microsoft Office Document and Open Microsoft Office Document. These open a dialog for choosing what type of document or which existing document you want.

Menu: Start - Icon for Word 2007
 Menu: Start - Icon for Word 2010

In Windows Vista and Windows 7, you can pin shortcuts to the top of the initial Start menu and also above the programs on the All Programs list.

Shortcuts: Quick Launch Bar

Taskbar: Quick Launch with Office programs (Vista)
Does your Windows Taskbar shows the Quick Launch Bar? Are there shortcuts to Office programs on it? The illustration is from Windows Vista and shows shortcuts for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

Right Click Menu: Taskbar > Toolbars > Quick Launch Bar (Win7)The Quick Launch bar is available in WinXP and Vista You can make Window 7 and Windows 8 show this bar. Directions from Microsoft Icon: Off site The directions are for Win7 but work for Win8 also.

How to turn on Quick Launch Bar:

Right click on the Taskbar to get the context menu. Hover over Toolbars to expand the list of available toolbars.  Then click on Quick Launch. (If there is a check by the name, it is already turned on.)

How to add an icon to Quick Launch Bar:

Taskbar: Quick Launch Bar - drag shortcut to create new icon on bar (Win7)Drag a shortcut from the Start menu, Desktop, or Taskbar to the Quick Launch Bar. When you see a ScreenTip "Create link in Quick Launch" or a dark line between two icons on the Quick Launch bar, drop. An icon will show up in that spot for your program. You can drag it to a new spot on the bar.

Taskbar: Quick Launch Bar - hidden icons (Win7)If there are too many icons to show, a double chevron >> shows at the right. Click the double chevron to open a list of the hidden icons.

Shortcuts: Taskbar

Taskbar: Office applications (Windows 7)
In Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10, you can pin an icon for any program to the Taskbar. The illustration show icons for Word 2007, Excel 2007, Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010.

How to pin a program to the Taskbar:

Drag a desktop shortcut and drop it on the Taskbar to pin it there (Win8)Icon: Windows 7 Icon: Windows 8 Icon: Win8.1 Icon: Win8 Win7, Win8, Win8.1, Win10: Drag a shortcut and drop it on the Taskbar.

Right click a tile and then click on Pin to taskbar (Win8)Icon: Windows 8 Icon: Win8.1 Win8, Win8.1: Start screen
Right click the program's tile on the Start screen to show the bar of commands across the bottom. Then click on the command Pin to taskbar at the bottom of the screen.

Menu: Start > right click tile > Pin to taskbar (Win10)Icon: Win10 Win10: From Start menu tile or All apps list
Click the Windows button to open the Start menu. Right click on the program. Select 'Pin to taskbar'.

What the icon means:

Taskbar Icon: one document open (Win7) Border and a highlight =  1 document open

Taskbar Icon: 2 docs open (Win7) Two stacked icons = 2 documents open

Taskbar Icon: 3 docs open (Win7) Three stacked icons = three or more documents are open

Right Click Menu: Taskbar icon (Win7)Icon: Windows 7 Icon: Windows 8 Icon: Win8.1 Icon: Win10 Open new document from Win7/8/8.1/10 Taskbar:

If no document is open: Click the icon. The program opens with a new blank document (Office 2007 or 2010) or ( Office 2013 or 2016) the program offers the choice of templates or previous documents.

If the program already has a document open:
Right click the icon and select the name of the program. A new window for the program opens either to a blank document or to a dialog to choose a template or previous document.

Microsoft Office applications can sometimes be installed separately, rather than as part of a suite of applications. It's another way you can get confused. (Have you been keeping count? I've lost track!)

Icon Step-by-Step 

Step-by-Step: Open Word

 Icon Step-by-Step

What you will learn: ways to open Word

Start with: Desktop with no open applications (Windows 7) (Windows desktop with no open applications)

If you see a New Office Document icon:

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Icon: Windows XP WinXP: Click on New Document icon or Word 2000 icon for new document (the New Office Document icon) in the Start menu.
    Icon: Windows VistaIcon: Windows 7Vista / Windows 7: Click on All Programs in the Staret menu and then on New Microsoft Office Document. The more programs you have installed, the taller the list.  You may have to hunt to see if the shortcut is there.
    [If you can't find this icon, skip to the next section.]

      Menu: Start | All Programs | New Office Document (WinXP) Menu: Start > All Programs > New Office Document (Win7)

    A dialog box will appear with tabs for different types of documents, depending on which Office applications are installed. The icons look a bit different in the different versions.

    Dialog:  New Office Document (Word 2010)

  3. Icon: Blank Document for Word (Win7)Select the General tab, if necessary, and then click on the Blank Document icon.
  4. Click on the OK button. Word opens with a fresh blank document ready for your typing. Not too hard!

    Icon: TipPreparing to install Office: Don't panic if you see a dialog box that says it is "Preparing to install Office...". What is happening is that Office is checking to see if any parts need to be reinstalled. Sometimes certain files get replaced by other software, even other versions of Office programs, which can cause problems. It takes a little longer to open the program, but it is safer with these checks. If you have two different versions of Office installed and use one version sometimes and the other at other times, you will see this message a lot!

If you don't see the New Office Document icon:

  1. Tiles for Word 2013 and 2010 (Win8)

    Menu: Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office > Word (Win7)To open Word from the Start menu or Start screen:
      Start  >  Programs  >  Microsoft Word 
    Or Start > All Programs >  Microsoft Office >  Word 
    Or Win10: Start >  All apps  >  Word 
    Win8/8.1: Start screen > tile for Word.

Word will open with a blank document ready for your typing.

Initial pane for Word 2013. Pick a recent document or template or browse to something else. Icon: Word 2013 Icon: Word 2016 Word 2013, 2016: Opens to a dialog offering you various templates and recently opened files. If you have saved custom templates, you will see FEATURED and PERSONAL pages. Click the blank workbook template or press the ESC key.