Screen Flip Flop with VBA

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 9, 2015)

2

There are many, many times when I work with two files at a time in Word. For instance, I may be reading one document and comparing it to another (and I don't want to use the Compare Documents feature). I always try to keep the document I am modifying in the top part of my screen, and the other document in the bottom part. Call it a personality quirk, but I find it easier to use the windows this way.

It can be a pain to repeatedly adjust the position of the windows and make sure that the proper file is at the top of the screen. Therefore, I developed a macro to handle this situation. You can use this handy little macro to switch which window is "on top" if you have two windows displayed on the screen. You will probably want to assign this to a toolbar button or a shortcut key, as it will be of little use if you need to keep calling it from the macro list. The following will work in Word 97:

Sub FlipFlop()
    If Windows.Count = 2 Then
        WordBasic.NextWindow
        WindowArrangeAll
    End If
End Sub

If you are using a later version of Word, then macro needs to changed just slightly:


Sub FlipFlop()
If Windows.Count = 2 Then
    WordBasic.NextWindow
    Windows.Arrange
End If
End Sub

Notice that these macros only work if (and only if) there are two windows on the screen. If there is more or less, then the macro does nothing at all.

There are undoubtedly VBA experts reading this tip who will notice right away that the command WordBasic.NextWindow could have been replaced with ActiveWindow.Next.Activate. (The VBA help indicates this is the VBA equivalent of the NextWindow command in WordBasic.) An interesting thing happens when you do this, however—the macro does not work. You can try this yourself by following these steps:

  1. Create two document windows on the screen. (Open two Word documents, and only two.)
  2. Choose Arrange All from the Window menu.
  3. Now start recording a macro; you can give it any name you want.
  4. Press Ctrl+F6, which makes the next window active.
  5. Choose Arrange All from the Window menu.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for two more iterations.
  7. Stop the macro recorder.
  8. Run the macro you just created.

When you do these steps, you will notice that the macro (the one that Word just created for you) bombs out on one of the ActiveWindow.Next.Activate commands. Probably a good bug item for Redmond, but the way around it is to use the WordBasic.NextWindow command instead.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (972) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Specifying Date Formats in Headers

Don't like the default date format used by Excel when you place the date in a header or footer? You can use a macro to ...

Discover More

Adding a ScreenTip

If you want people to know something about a hyperlink you added to your worksheet, one way to help them is to use ...

Discover More

Microsoft Excel VBA Guidebook (Special Offer)

Microsoft Excel VBA Guidebook can show you how to create and understand macros. Another way to increase your ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Printing the Active Document from a Macro

When you process a document in a macro, you may also want to print that document from within the same macro. Here's how ...

Discover More

Determining the Current Page Number

While your macro is processing the text in your document, you may need a way to determine the current page number where ...

Discover More

Determining the Size of a File

When processing a document using a macro, you may need to know the precise size of a particular file. The way you figure ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven less than 9?

2015-07-20 09:49:27

Alana

Wow and thanks Allen; very much appreciated! I’m new to VBA in Word and Excel, and this was perfect in Word! Haven’t done macros in over 2 decades and needed to jump back on it.


2015-06-02 13:43:59

Tom Bates

Good find!


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.