locked
Multiple Instances of the Same Excel Document in 'Alt-Tab' List RRS feed

  • Question

  • So I am having a very weird problem, and I can't seem to find an answer anywhere. I was recently given a new laptop at work with Windows 7 and Office 2010. It has worked pretty well so far, but recently I have been noticing something very strange. While this problem is quite small, due to how I use windows and my habits of alt-tabbing between multiple documents throughout the day, it is causing a serious problem.

    This typically only happens when I have multiple excel documents open, and am tabbing between them or other documents or windows. For example, I have ClientList.xlsx open and need to cut and paste a cell from it to FinalReview.xlsx. I have 'ClientList' open and just clicked Control+C to copy a cell. I click on 'Alt-tab' and while the icon in the alt tab list appears to change, I am taken immediately back to the same document. What is happening is that there are actually two separate copies of 'ClientList' in my alt tab list. If I press and hold 'Alt' and then hit 'tab' twice, I can pull up the other excel file, 'FinalReview'.

    At any point in time, I can click on the 'Alt' button to see the list and see three Excel icons. There will be one large excel icon with the name 'Microsoft Excel - ClientList.xlsx', and then right next to it will be two smaller looking excel icons with the names 'ClientList.xlsx' and 'FinalReview.xlsx' respectively.

    Has anyone seen anything like this before? I have spend hours searching for a resolution on the internet, as well as calling my work's tech support line and have not found anything remotely close to this as even being an issue.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Thursday, March 14, 2013 2:28 PM

Answers

  • Hi,


    First, I would like to verify whether this issue only occurred with Excel? Have you checked the Excel settings? You can perform a system restore to see how it works.


    In addition, I suggest you try the following:


    1. Test the issue in Clean Boot and Safe Mode

    2. Create a new user to test if this issue still exists.


    Thanks,


    Vincent Wang
    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, March 15, 2013 6:06 AM

All replies

  • Hi,


    First, I would like to verify whether this issue only occurred with Excel? Have you checked the Excel settings? You can perform a system restore to see how it works.


    In addition, I suggest you try the following:


    1. Test the issue in Clean Boot and Safe Mode

    2. Create a new user to test if this issue still exists.


    Thanks,


    Vincent Wang
    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, March 15, 2013 6:06 AM
  • I experienced the exact thing you are describing and it was very annoying.  I eventually found an option under File - Options - Advanced, in the Display category, called "Show all windows in the Taskbar".  Uncheck this and alt-tab will stop trying to interpret each spreadsheet in the same instance of Excel as a different application.  Then to switch between spreadsheets in the same excel instance, use ctrl-tab instead.
    • Proposed as answer by effdj Friday, November 13, 2015 6:07 PM
    Friday, March 29, 2013 5:40 PM
  • I had this issue in the office and it was really annoying. I tried what you have told and it really worked. Thank you.
    Thursday, June 20, 2013 2:59 PM
  • Hi,


    First, I would like to verify whether this issue only occurred with Excel? Have you checked the Excel settings? You can perform a system restore to see how it works.


    In addition, I suggest you try the following:


    1. Test the issue in Clean Boot and Safe Mode

    2. Create a new user to test if this issue still exists.


    Thanks,


    Vincent Wang
    TechNet Community Support

    Mate, did you even bother to read the question? To mark your response as the answer is a complete load of garbage - you haven't even bothered to respond to the actual question. The correct answer is below from B.W._.

    No wonder anyone wanting decent responses uses stack overflow instead of these ridiculous forums...

    Monday, October 21, 2013 5:09 AM
  • Thanks a lot Vincent. it worked one time
    Friday, May 2, 2014 11:01 AM
  • thanks,great help
    Wednesday, August 12, 2015 9:31 AM
  • I haven't found a way of showing exactly one instance in the Alt-Tab dialog for each open workbook, when you are running one instance of Excel.  If you look in Task Manager, generally you will have exactly one EXCEL.EXE process; the same process is generally used by all files when they are open.

    If you can tolerate running multiple copies of EXCEL.EXE, you can open each of your workbooks in its own Excel process.  Try it once to see what I'm saying; you can do this by opening each Excel process from the Run menu or command line.  If you open each workbook in its own Excel process (i.e. multiple EXCEL.EXEs running at once), with that it is possible to achieve your desired effect.  With this solution, when you look through Alt-Tab, you will see one Excel window per workbook and the title of each window will be "Microsoft Excel - Workbook Name;" Alt-Tab will not display any windows with just the workbook name as the title.

    It is not ideal, but I am happier with the solution than without.

    • Proposed as answer by effdj Friday, November 13, 2015 6:06 PM
    Friday, November 13, 2015 3:57 PM
  • Complete load of garbage is right. Providing generic OS answers to an application specific questions is a waste of everyone's time, and to mark it as the ANSWER is rubbish. 
    Thursday, August 25, 2016 11:22 PM