Hardware

Tips for navigating Windows 8 with your mouse

Navigating Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard will definitely take some getting used to, but Greg Shultz gives you some hints to get you started.

As I said in last week's post, even though Microsoft Windows 8 with its Metro user interface is primarily designed for use on a touch-screen tablet, Microsoft kept the mouse and keyboard user in mind when they reimagined the operating system. However, navigating Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard will definitely take some getting used to as the keystrokes and mouse movements are unfamiliar.

While I am now getting more and more comfortable with these new tricks, it took me a while and I constantly had to refer to my cheat sheet. I even went so far as writing some of the keyboard and mouse tricks on yellow post-it notes and sticking them on my monitor. Hey, it works!

Mousing Metro

When you are in Metro on a touch-screen device, you can access all the App Tiles spread out across the screen by swiping your fingers to the left or right. When you are in Metro and navigating with a mouse, as soon as you move your mouse pointer over a tile, you'll notice that a scroll bar appears at the bottom of the screen, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

When you move your mouse pointer over a tile, you'll notice that a scroll bar appears at the bottom of the screen.

While you may think that you have to use that scroll bar to navigate Metro with a mouse, that's not the case. All you have to do is move your mouse pointer to the middle of the right or left edges of the screen and Metro will automatically scroll in that direction. You can also scroll Metro by using the wheel on your mouse. And, if you really want to, you can use the Page Up and Page Down keys to scroll through the tiles on the Metro screen.

In addition, Windows 8's touch interface allows you to zoom in and out of Metro using a two-finger pinch-and-expand gesture. Microsoft is calling this the Semantic Zoom feature. You pinch, and Metro shrinks, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

The Semantic Zoom feature allows you to see all the tiles in Metro.

Now if you are using a mouse in Metro, you can achieve the same thing by positioning the mouse pointer to the bottom right corner of the screen. When you do, you'll see a tiny magnifying glass icon that, when clicked, will initiate the Semantic Zoom feature. Click again in the bottom right corner to return Metro to normal. Keep in mind that when you move the mouse to the bottom right corner, the Charms bar will appear with a transparent background; however, as long as you click in the very corner of the screen you'll activate the Semantic Zoom feature and not the Charms bar.

You can also activate the Semantic Zoom feature, by holding down the [Ctrl] key and using the wheel on your mouse.

Task switching with the mouse

Last week I showed you how to task switch with the Windows key, but there are also a couple ways that you can task switch with the mouse. First, move the mouse pointer to the bottom left corner of the screen and you'll see a thumbnail view of Metro. Click and you'll switch to Metro. Click in the bottom left corner again and you'll switch back to whatever app you were in previously.

For example, if you launch the Desktop and then move the mouse pointer to the bottom left corner you'll see a thumbnail view of Metro. Click and you'll switch to Metro. If you then move to the bottom left corner again, you'll see a thumbnail view of the Desktop. Click and you'll switch to Desktop. In other words, clicking in the bottom left corner will allow you to swiftly switch between two things -- Metro and whatever you accessed last.

Now, if you have more than two things running at the same time, move the mouse pointer to the top left corner. When you do, you'll see a thumbnail view of the next running app. If you click, Windows 8 will switch to that app and the next app running in the background will appear as a thumbnail. Continue to click and you will cycle through, or task switch between, all the running apps.

Rather than clicking to switch to the next app, you can drag that single thumbnail to the middle of the screen to make it the active app.

Now here's another trick. While the single thumbnail is visible in the top left, simply move your mouse pointer straight down along the left edge and you'll see a thumbnail view of all running apps (Figure C) that is very similar to the Live Taskbar Thumbnail feature in Windows 7, but it is anchored to the left edge of the screen.

Figure C

See all the running apps and pick the one you want with a mouse click.

Closing apps with the mouse

Last week, I told you that when you have the thumbnail view of all running tasks on the left side of the screen you can right-click on an app's thumbnail and click the Close button to close an app. Well, there's another way to close an app.

As I mentioned earlier, when you move the mouse pointer to the top left corner a single thumbnail appears. If you want to close that app, just drag the thumbnail to the bottom of the screen where it will disappear and the app will close.

Now, if the app is up and running on the screen, you can also close it with the mouse. Just move the mouse pointer to the top of the screen and when the pointer turns into a hand, just drag the window to the bottom of the screen and it will close the app.

Apps bar

I also told you last week that Pressing [Windows]+[Z] when you have a Metro App running brings up the App bar and that the options that appear on the Apps bar will depend on the app you are running. Well, you can also bring up the Apps bar with a mouse by right-clicking on an empty spot on the Metro screen.

The Windows Tools Menu

There is a special menu in Windows 8 that I am calling the Windows Tools menu because it contains all sorts of good old-fashioned Windows tools that you might need, such as the Command Prompt or the Run command. To access it, just right-click in the bottom left corner and it will appear, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

The Windows Tools menu contains some good old-fashioned Windows tools.

You can also bring up this Windows Tools Menu by using the [Windows]+[X] keyboard shortcut.

What's your take?

Getting used to navigating in Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard can be tricky. Fortunately, I've discovered several handy mouse tricks that will make navigating in Windows 8 a lot easier once you get used to using them. What do you think about using a mouse in Windows 8? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

82 comments
noisepoet
noisepoet

When I switch tasks using Alt+Tab, how do I disable the mouse pointer jumping to the middle of the screen?

seniors4me
seniors4me

I agree. Seniors have the largest problem with win8. They cannot handle having to remember where what is. The "grey nomads" will be the larger part of the population in years to come and ms needs to give them an option. I am constantly called out to help, fix and show them how to navigate thru win8 and many of them have stopped using their "new toy" which is now a burden. I can fully relate to phenricks comment. And also part of the problem are the sales guys in the shops, they "flog" and don't give the oldies a chance to choose. They are no better than bad used car sales or realestate persons. 

ilovewindows8
ilovewindows8

Is there a way to turn this scrolling feature on so I can use it whenever I want?

phenricks
phenricks

I have many older clients that are receiving their nice new Windows 8 computers from well meaning children only to find themselves using their new computers as paper weights. For these older clients the maddening need to put the mouse in the various corners to bring up needed icons for switching apps or changing settings or bring up the slightly familiar desktop, only to have them disappear before they can navigate to them is just too frustrating to continue using. I have already taken many calls from clients that just want to get into familiar territory where the computer acts the way they expect it to. Metro is just not that place. One thing MS wasn't banking on, was how verbal these folks can be to their gigantic friend networks in their adult communities and other gathering places. Demand for Windows 7 machines will surely be steady for a good while to come, because of the negative experience these folks are having. At the very least MS should be allowing all kinds of easily implemented work-arounds to make this new operating system friendly for baby boomers and their parents. This means giving it the look and feel of something familiar like Windows 7 or XP. Change is not always good. In the case of Windows 8, its worse than usual.

al
al

Why O Why do people slag things off before they actualy get into it When Vista came out and windows 7 you hear the same things moaning before they actualy get used to it as far as saying Windows 8 is worst than ME must be the worst comment made against Windows 8 I have been using Windows 8 preview for some time now and the ease of getting in shortcuts to do tasks is SIMPLE so please find out how to use systems before slagging them off Alan Davies

Lightning Joe
Lightning Joe

I didn't even read this article. I don't plan to. And I can tell you right now, that the day I need "tips" on how to use a mouse in Windows, is the day I opt for another OS. If MS has gotten so out-of-touch with who uses what kind of machine, that they think they must now customize their OS to the phone crowd exclusively, then there MUST be better options for me to use with my (yes) desktop and notebook.

Jaytmoon
Jaytmoon

Maybe an inexpensive touch mouse surface like the wacom bamboo? I use this unit on my win7 desktop and it gives me some of the touchpad like gestures that Win8 would requre. It's not a perfect solution by any stretch for an enterprise environment but for an individual or soho... For the big boys, I'd stay with WIn7 till MS comes to its senses and offers a less tablet centric UI.

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

I feel misled by Deb Shinder. Just sayin'.

da philster
da philster

If I want a video game, I'll buy one. Give me a desktop that I don't have to jump through hoops to get any work done. Are you listening, Microsoft?

Wolfchen
Wolfchen

Windows 8 is a good example of how to make simple tasks complex. It now requires multiple steps to accomplish what previously took a single click. So this is the best that the brains at Microsoft can design, after spending countless hours and money in pursuit of the "must have" operating system? Talk about the dumbing-down of expectations.

connerd
connerd

The interface is garbage. The no tech users are going to have a hard time getting around in this software. I have had a few no tech types tell me after using the new interface, they were very fustrated and would not consider going to Windows 8. The Metro desktop is way to cluttered.

microface
microface

All I get on my Windows 8 Preview is teh Switch back to the Metro Interface. Right Clicking Does Nothing

Singer
Singer

Haven't tried it yet on my desktop (32in monitor) but already hate it. Several items to consider: 1. Why would I want to involve gross motor skills, moving my arm and shoulder, when minor motor skills, hands and fingers, are all that is necessary now? You sit in front of my monitor all day and you won't need your health club membership any longer. 2. I don't want to learn an entirly new set of mouse and shortcut key skills that won't translate to the individual applications I plan to continue using. I'll concede the the need for a better tablet interface but for desktop use, the old gui is better than the compromise. The currently standard interface should be an easily accessed option. 3. I don't need Microsoft to decide which apps are important to me and which aren't. I want total control over the start menu, the desktop, the task bar, and the folder structure on any storage device. 4. And while we are on the subject of folder structure, it is time to air my pet peeve. System level virtual folders! Stupid, Stupid, Stupid! My desktop is used by my entire family, each of whom has their own documents, music, video, and pictures. I have to use third-party software to organize and play the media because windows' offerings won't easily differentiate among the various folders. I know I could set up different user accounts for each member of the family, but whom are they kidding?

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

"just right-click in the bottom left corner and it will appear" Ya-a, sure, you betcha. The only way I can do *anything* with W8 Preview, running as a Virtual Machine, is by positioning the mouse cursor in the *upper right* corner. Hardly satisfactory, so I rarely run it. All these other movements of the mouse sound intriguing in theory, but...

rennyg1
rennyg1

Can you say " Linux " LOL ;o)

touchdown_twc
touchdown_twc

I have had windows 8 from the beginning and find it confusing and cumbersome to use. I have 9 desktops and 4 laptops and not one has a touchscreen. My main computer has two screens and can barely reach them even if they were touchscreen capable it would be very difficult to use like that. I haven't given up on win8 but I find it frustrating to use, for instance every program I have installed has not shown up in the tiles like they are supposed to, unless of course they are Microsoft programs they show up. And say trying to use the calender app you have to login to windows mail but it wont let you cut and paste the info. It seems to me they are trying to look like an Apple device, why?

JP-470
JP-470

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mouse in the corner?? That is reminiscent of.... ancient times... something about screensavers. Anyway, what I've heard and read from the reviewer's does not inspire me either. I skipped over Vista and now am fully invested in Windows 7 which I readily & happily accepted first at home and then at work. I have the bare minimum number icons on my desktop because the office makes me (none on my home computers) . I do not mind tiles on my phone, they are readable, not on my desktop.

aqvarivs_msn.com
aqvarivs_msn.com

While I can understand a corporation wanting to amalgamate OS's across devices I should think that primarily there need be usage similarities. There is not really any working similarity between the desktop and small touch screen portables. The click click approach does not translate for the majority of the work done on a desktop. To say it's a matter of adaptation on the part of the user is ridiculous at this stage. Even if MS had the necessary apps in place, so much of the detail work done on desktops would still require customization or even more apps. MS to me has the cart before the horse with this OS. Apps shouldn't be driving OS development and use.

jcmolette
jcmolette

The last time I checked, I thought I was on Techrepublic. But to listen to the moaning and groaning going on here, you'd think this was a bunch of elementary kids during recess complaining about the pop quiz they were not prepared for. It's just a OS! If you poke around just a little bit, you'll have it figued out long before it actually goes on sale. Then again, you can just keep on using Windows 7 just like the millions of people that are still using Windows XP. Trust me, no one is forcing you to upgrade and no one is going to lose any sleep if you don't. Life goes on folks. Either learn to use the program or get over it. It's not a life threatening event. That is unless the newbies learn to love it, start demanding it in the workplace and you find yourself fighting to hang on to your job because you spent this time complaining! Just sayin'

cavehomme1
cavehomme1

I have not tried Win 8 and so cannot comment as to its faults or strengths, however, it seems that MS will be trying to get a wide adoption of the Metro interface on the desktop so that over time, it's familiarity will then help persuade users to choose a tablet or phone with a similar interface, hence universal adoption of MS across all devices. Given that 90% of desktops use Windows it could be a good strategy...assuming everyone does not get a fright and avoids it like the plague ?? la ME and Vista!

sarai1313
sarai1313

come on cant you folks play around with the program on your own.I do with every O.S. i have had to find out what work what does not. never had to have some one to show me how to walk around any of them.Now with free O.S.'s i try every thing i know that i have pick up in plus 40 years of working with computers .It's like it's free try to push it till it breaks . Then i reinstall it have done this for years .i Guess a lot of you folks are just to leary of breaking your computers well it is hard to do .if you have the full O.S. not some cut up version that comes loaded from the manufacture.

Hazydave
Hazydave

... there is absolutely no reason to use Windows 8 without a touchscreen tablet. Nice to have that cleared up for us at this point. The article makes it seem as if Windows were always a tablet OS, and some first year recruit was being tasked with adding rudimentary mouse support, just in case, as one might with iOS or Android. Only thing, Android actually works much better than this with a mouse. This someone seems totally unfamiliar with, say, a pop-up mouse menu -- the sort that's been used in various OSs even longer than Windows has existed... and might be just, oh I dunno -- a whole lot more efficient than constantly having to mouse off-screen. Have these new MS designers actually done any real work on a PC, other than the relatively mundane job of programming?

cybershooters
cybershooters

Oh dear, you all seem to have forgotten that us techie types are not supposed to be using the UI anymore, we're all supposed to be typing in powershell commands to do everything on Windows. In fact we're not even supposed to install the UI anymore, we're supposed to be using the "core" version. The reason it looks like a child's toy is because only the people stupid enough to not be able to memorize hundreds of powershell commands are supposed to use it.

LalaReads
LalaReads

I'm a power user and very adept at learning new technologies. I'm also a staunch keyboard user, finding that many of the mouse commands are inefficient compared to the keyboard as it is. It sounds like W8 has made mouse usage much more cumbersome and non-intuitive. It's bad enough how M$ lets other companies do the innovations and then steals their thunder, but now they are forcing regular computer users to go through a painful re-education to support a relatively new and still evolving technology. With a more cumbersome interface. Really? There is no one-size-fits-all solution here and I doubt there will be one any time soon. The fundamental physicality of each type of device alone *requires* different interface designs , as does how each type of device is used. Smaller devices and touchpad technology innovation will create enhancements to the desktop and laptop markets, but it should be in addition to and an option and not in place of, at least at this point.

newsletters
newsletters

I'm waiting for you to mention that if you cross your eyes and click 3 times in the center of the screen you'll see the list of Microsofties who are laughing their way to the bank.

arwinger
arwinger

I've been trying to embrace W8. I installed on a laptop that I've been using as my home computer, but after 4 weeks of using I'm still having problems navigating. I appreciate this article as it has helped fill in the gaps that I'm not able to figure out on my own. I'm an IT professional with an aptitude for figuring out software, and feel extremely frustrated that I can't figure out this OS without tutorials. I have no idea how an end-user is going to be able to bridge the gap. I'm not ready to throw in the towel on it yet, but I can't help but wonder if Windows 8 will be a transition version that prepares us for a truly great Windows 9.

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Windows 8 is a real laugh-----only the majority aren't chuckling. Microsoft has finally gone off the deep end. They've actually designed a version of Windows that is worse than Windows ME and Windows Vista combined. Like many, many of you I too have been through all the MS OSs beginning with the early days of MS-DOS. Microsoft has traditionally built their empire on the principle of productivity, not play toys. As another writer commented, corporate America is going to run away from this screaming at the top of their lungs. Software costs, training expense, and hardware upgrades are simply going to be overwhelming for business and the "bean counters" just aren't going to go there. Then there is the morale of the worker bees that will have to be addressed, which is a whole separate matter. All those in the SOHO market, who comprise the majority of my clients, are going to stick with XP till it dies or beyond or Windows 7 if I can get them upgraded in time. This is, in my opinion, the worst operating system that they have ever created. They found a new "low" in the bottom of the barrel. I have read quite a few of Deb Shinder's columns on Windows 8 and she is clearly an advocate for Windows 8. While I truly have the greatest respect for Deb, in my opinion she's wrong on this one. I know that this won't happen, but Microsoft needs to cut their loses while they can, admit they made a massive error, and go back to the drawing board. Their "one size fits all devices" policy just isn't going to work.

seniors4me
seniors4me

@al not really a well thought-thru answer. Younger generations comprehend faster as they have learned all at school. Older generations are self-taught and hat off to them, doing this all on their own. Consideration for others should be first and foremost as we all live in one world and help each other.

blarman
blarman

for those of us who have been supporting computers for years to see what the effect is going to be. I don't think anyone questions that the Metro GUI will probably work on a tablet. The criticism is that it isn't going to work on a desktop, because the two form-factors are COMPLETELY different market segments! They are different users - content consumers vs content creators, basic users vs power users, etc. and different form-factors - touchscreen + finger vs large/multiple screens and keyboard/mouse. The whole point of making a computer is to make it a configurable tool that can cater to different types of users and use cases. Microsoft is trying to ignore the cardinal purpose of the tool called the computer and change it from a Swiss-army knife into a screwdriver. And many of us want MORE than a screwdriver.

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

Try OS X (on a Mac.) I think you're in for a pleasant surprise.

rfolden
rfolden

...shell=somthing.exe I recommend shell=winfile.exe

sarai1313
sarai1313

take your mouse take it all the way to the right then move it up and down and menu will show up.

eye4bear
eye4bear

The point is that for the " average " user this is going to be a nightmare, not for us techies...

sarai1313
sarai1313

gee must have piss off a lot of fanboys to get bash like this ? dont cair your nothing more than a buch of groupes with a dead leader aka jobs.go back to your cult.An quit patting your selfs on the back

Hazydave
Hazydave

Had it running in a VM since the Consumer Preview (eg Alpha) release. So far, I have installed some real programs, tried to understand if there really is a point to it. In my experience, it just gets worse with use.

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

BRAVO! IMO you have put the dagger in the center of the target most accurately. Yes, there are a great many other choices available that work oh-so-much-better with a mouse than Windows 8. I do believe that corporate and retail America will seek those alternatives out and embrace them. As for wondering what the new MS designers do we have only to look at the fruit of their labor to determine the answer.

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

Thank you for that, lk! I too have the greatest respect for Deb, but reading what she writes about W8 has me feeling frustrated and almost guilty for having such a confusing "experience" with it (on my laptop.)

newsletters
newsletters

Couldn't agree more! This downward spiral of productivity started some time ago, with M$ removing the ability to easily operate multiple windows of the same program (ie Excel) at the same time. For some reason they have decided that corporate users only view one wondow of anything at a time ... which simply could not be farther fromt he truth!! Now they're trying to build it in to the OS as well!! If you are working with numbers, like many many corporate users are, you frequently need to have two or more documents open side by side to compare numbers, or copy data. It is simply not convenient or productive to be constantly flipping between full screen apps. I think perhaps that M$ has now got so big and bloated that they don't actually have any people in their organisation who actually use their own product ... and they certainly don't seem to give a rip about what the large masses of corporate users have been trying to tell them for years! They seem to be caught up in some weird race with their "competitors" to produce the most "visual" OS ... yet ironically, their competitor has managed to do this while still maintaining productivity, while M$ has not...

rfolden
rfolden

You've got 10.7 trying to get that launchpad think to look like an iPad. Sheesh. I like a big, fat computer that needs to be bolted to the floor. Just stop it!

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

I agree completely that many people would be happy with a Mac. Apple makes and develops an excellent platform. For those that can afford an iMac, which costs in most cases more than double that of a Windows unit, I wish them well. However, most of the clients that I work with are not in that income bracket nor am I. If I were to recommend a change to my clients away from Windows I would suggest Ubuntu Linux or perhaps Linux Mint due to cost constraints. However, this would need to be done only after thorough discussion and planning with my client. Have a good day, Happy Mac!

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

In theory, you are correct. However, for ease of use, peak productivity, and familiarity for the client there is, in my opinion, nothing that will take the place of the menu bar with it's drop down choices. If this were not the case then there would not be an endless trail of complaints from technicians and clients alike in regard to the ribbon concept that Microsoft seems to think is wonderful. This is but one of many issues that is an example of the fact that Microsoft has not been listening to their client base for quite some time and has given no indication that this trend will change in the future. It's the attitude that is displayed in saying that "you WILL go to the party and you WILL have fun" that is decreasing market share for MS and will continue to do so. Windows 8 is simply the latest installment of their policy of attitudinal indifference by Microsoft. For a corporation that has made so many major positive contributions to the IT industry to come to this level could best be summed up in saying that they has simply grown too big for their britches.

sarai1313
sarai1313

the younger generation will if you price the device right and i dont want to get into the enterprize part of win 8 in the feild.peace dude

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't see that as a reason to vote you down. I dropped a couple of '+' votes just to counteract the tide.

lon.feuerhelm
lon.feuerhelm

Simply open Excel without opening a file, any number of times each time you do you start a new instance of Excel, then open each individual file. I typically run 3 separate Excel sessions when I am doing my monthly summary reports. This is not as easy as just selecting files and opening them but it does allow you to run independent Excel sessions.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I can't remember specifically, but you can find it online. It is probably harder to do in Windows 7, I suspect you have to go through the registry to do it.

Realvdude
Realvdude

A small annoyance, but you can start another copy of Excel, then open the second spreadsheet, in order to have two completely independent windows. Otherwise there are various options in the View ribbon section, including synchronized scrolling.

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

Thank you for that sentiment. As for my "comments really aren't relevant" please see my reply to Palmetto_CharlieSpencer (and Lightning Joe.) Have a good day you too. I hope you figure out better than I can how to use the mouse in W8.

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

I didn't "not get" why people think Macs are expensive (they are,) what I said was that I'm amazed at how people think you *have to be rich* to own a Mac. I'm pretty sure there are others like me who *own* one but couldn't afford to get it new at retail prices. That said, why do you think I wanted (and went after) one in the first place... This was long before W8 and mousing problems appeared. My comment was in reply to Lightning Joe who "wanted" a better option.

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Rocketmouse, I'm happy for you that you had a benefactor that thought highly of you and donated your Mac units to you. You are, indeed, very fortunate. As for the rest of us, well, we have to pay for what we get no matter if its cars, houses, groceries, or Macs. So, Rocketmouse, with all due respect your comments really aren't relevant but I appreciate the thought. I hope that you have a good day.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

So you don't get why people think Macs are expensive, but you didn't pay full price for either of yours. If they hadn't been subsidized / free, would you have purchased either one new at retail prices?

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

I'm always amazed at how people think you have to be rich to own a Mac. I have two: My MacBook (13", original version, rather old by now) was 1/2 paid for by my employer and I was allowed to keep it when the company ceased to exist, and my MacBook Pro (15", no spring chicken either--from 2008) was a hand-me-down from a friend.

sarai1313
sarai1313

win is for enterprize to make your job not as hard.Oh i get it less work for you =less of you get a job.have you read the microsoft infomation and i am not talking about cnet.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

but most of us here are paid to worry about it. Helping users to stay productive on computers is how we make a living.

devand
devand

Not sure why all the negative votes on your post here, because this absolutely works with Office 2010 on XP and 7. As for Slayer's comment, that is typical of taskbar item grouping, which really can only be effectively disabled with Windows XP. And also, I have *never* encountered the issue you described where you close one and all of the rest close. Here's how I do it, I open one document, and if I want another instance I just hit the Run from the start menu and type "excel" to open a new instance, separate window. Operator error?

Slayer_
Slayer_

Close one and they all still close, they also all show under the same taskbar icon.

blarman
blarman

But nothing. Applications are for my productivity. If it's a hassle, it means that to the CUSTOMER (me), it's a bad idea. Thank goodness Open Office hasn't subscribed to either this nonsense or the Ribbon.