Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Counting Open Document Windows.

Counting Open Document Windows

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 29, 2017)


Christine is writing a macro and needs to figure out how many document windows are open. The traditional means of doing this is to use the Windows.Count property, in the following manner:

iNumWindows = Application.Windows.Count

When executed, iNumWindows will contain the number of open document windows in Word. The problem is that it returns a count of any window that Word may consider a document, even those that contain e-mails.

As far as we can determine, there is no way around this inclusive behavior of Word. If a person is using Word as their e-mail editor, and they open an e-mail or two, those windows are considered document windows by the program. Granted, they are not documents destined for a disk file or for the printer, but they are documents nonetheless.

In addition, there is no other flag that we could locate that would allow one to differentiate between a regular document window and an e-mail message window. If such a flag were available, then someone could easily check the windows and produce their own count of documents vs. e-mail messages.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (442) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Counting Open Document Windows.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is four less than 8?

2017-08-23 09:16:58

Tom Bates

I tried this in Office 2003 - the only version prior to 2007 I have access to. The window count does not seem to include emails being read, only emails being composed. Those windows always seem to have "- Message" at the end of the caption.

I'm not sure how reliable this is, but it might be enough in some cases.

Option Explicit

Private Sub test()

Dim i As Integer, aw As Integer, x As String, p As String

aw = Application.Windows.Count
Debug.Print "Application.Windows.Count = " & aw

For i = 1 To aw
x = Application.Windows(i).Caption
If Right(x, 10) = " - Message" Then p = " Outlook" Else p = " Word "
Debug.Print i & p & " '" & x & "'"
Next i

Debug.Print ""

End Sub

While investigating this topic, I discovered something interesting: Application.Windows.Count is not always the same as Windows.Count. This must be a bug because it's not consistent.

Allan, thanks for the challenge! :-)


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