Software

Return to your last editing location when you open a Word document

Finding your way back to the spot where you left off can be tricky, especially in a long document. Here's a keyboard shortcut that will take you there when you reopen a document -- plus a nice bunny macro that will do it automatically.

One of the confounding things about Word is that when you reopen a document you've been working on, it puts you back at the top of the document. Unlike Excel, which takes you to the spot where you left off last time, Word's short-term memory always wants to start you off at the beginning again. You can work around this if you press [Shift][F5] as soon as the document opens. [Shift][F5] is the Go Back shortcut, which cycles you between your four most recent edits during a Word session. But if you can remember to hit it immediately after opening a document, Word will jump to the last thing you changed before saving and closing that doc.

Automate it

If you always want Word to return you to the location of your last edit when you open a document, you can build a simple macro. First, go to Tools | Macro | Macros. In the Macro Name text box, enter AutoOpen. This is a built-in macro that Word will run automatically whenever it opens a document. (Like any macro, it will run only when it's saved with the document you're opening or when the document is attached to a template where you saved the macro. In most cases, Word will choose All Active Templates And Documents — making the macro globally available — but you may want to use the Macros In drop-down list to limit the macro's functionality to a specific document or template instead.)

Once you've entered the macro name, click Create to open the Visual Basic Editor. There, type

Application.GoBack

as shown in Figure A. When you finish, choose Close And Return To Microsoft Word (or press [Alt]Q).

Figure A

go back macro

If you decide you're not crazy about this go-back behavior after all, just return to the Macros dialog box, select AutoOpen, and click Delete.


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About Jody Gilbert

Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic and is now senior features editor for Tech Pro Research.

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