Make Taskbar Always Show All Open Files


Q. When I have several Excel files open, only the first one shows in my taskbar. However, when I open several Word files, they all show. What’s going on here

A. Windows works in mysterious ways. When I started to examine your question, I, too, was baffled for a few minutes. Of course you can control whether multiple files display in the taskbar: All you do is click on Tools , Options and the View tab and then place a check in the Windows in Taskbar box.

But I did not realize that setting the option in one Microsoft application does not also trigger it in all of them. So if you want all Excel files to show, run the same procedure in Excel.

When a reader asked how to create a group of custom views of a spreadsheet ( Technology Q&A , JofA , Jul.04, page 96), I suggested he give each section of the worksheet a unique name, which can be recalled by selecting it from the Name Box drop-down list. But Joey Brannon, CPA, of Bradenton, Florida, reminded me of a better solution.

By using Custom Views ( View , Custom Views ) you can create many custom snapshots and also temporarily customize a section of a spreadsheet, give that view a name, show or print it and then return the format to its original state.

For example, start with this section of a spreadsheet:

First I want to show and print the results of all four quarters and the fiscal year; then I want to show and print only the third and fourth quarters and the fiscal year. Begin by highlighting the section that displays all four quarters and click on View , Custom Views , evoking this screen:

Click on Add , and in the space below Views type a name for it: Full year .

Now hide the first- and second-quarter results (using Data, Group and Outline, Hide Detail ) and highlight the newly formatted image. Again click on View , Custom Views and Add . Give it a name: 3rd & 4th Q, as shown below.

Continue to add views until you’ve covered all the possible presentation scenarios you require.

Recalling a custom view is a few mouse clicks away. Each time you want to display or print one of the scenarios, bring up Custom Views and click on its name.

A few years ago Microsoft quietly introduced—but never promoted—a Windows utility designed to make the text on a computer screen appear clearer ( Technology Q&A , JofA , Oct.03, page 88). What Microsoft didn’t say was that the utility, ClearType, was really designed for liquid crystal displays (LCDs)—those newly popular flat screens. While the utility worked on conventional CRT (cathode ray tube) screens, the improvement was marginal. Now that more users have adopted flat screens, Microsoft has improved the utility and renamed it ClearType Tuner Powertoy.

To download it, go to .

Once loaded, it will appear as an icon (see screenshot below) in the Control Panel . To bring up the Control Panel , click on Start, Settings, Control Panel .

When you click on the icon to launch it, a wizard steps you through the setup, giving you a choice of several samples of type (see screenshot below); picking the clearest triggers an automatic fine-tuning of your screen display. The one on the left is slightly clearer.

Excel: A quick way to move from one worksheet to another in a file with many worksheets: Press Ctrl+Page Up to move to the left or Page Down to move to the right.

Excel: If you want more than one line of text in a single cell, force a line return by pressing Alt+Enter.

Excel and Word: A fast way to copy formatting or styles to multiple parts of a document or worksheet: Click on the word or number whose formatting you want to duplicate, click twice on the Format Painter , which looks like a paintbrush, then just click on any numbers or text you want similarly formatted. But don’t forget to disengage it by pressing Esc or it will continue to reformat everything you click on. For a one-time copy, click once on the Format Painter .

Google: If you know only part of a URL, you can still find what you want by typing allinurl : and then the fragment in the search box. Typing allinurl : CPA , for example, will bring up the CPA exam website, , and all other web addresses that include “CPA.”


STANLEY ZAROWIN, a former JofA senior editor, is now a contributing editor to the magazine. His e-mail address is .

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to contributing editor Stanley Zarowin via e-mail at or regular mail at the Journal of Accountancy , 201 Plaza Three, Harborside Financial Center, Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881.

Because of the volume of mail, we regret we cannot individually answer submitted questions. However, if a reader’s question has broad interest, we will answer it in a Technology Q&A column.

On occasion you may find you cannot implement a function I describe in this column. More often than not it’s because not all functions work in every operating system or application. I try to test everything in the 2000 and XP editions of Windows and Office. It’s virtually impossible to test them in all editions and it’s equally difficult to find out which editions are incompatible with a function. I apologize for the inconvenience.


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