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: A Shortcut for Switching Focus.

A Shortcut for Switching Focus

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 20, 2017)

You probably already know that you can use the Alt+Tab shortcut to switch from one open application in Windows to another, right? What if you don't want to switch between applications, but simply want to switch to the desktop, then back to your application again? If you are using the mouse, you can click on the Show Desktop icon available in the Quick Launch toolbar, just to the right of the Start menu. (This depends on your version of Windows, obviously.)

Using the keyboard to switch focus in this manner is a bit different, however. Assuming you have an enhanced Windows keyboard—the one with the Windows key next to the Alt keys—then the answer is easy. In fact, there are two shortcuts you can use.

  • Press Windows+M to minimize all the open windows and change focus to the desktop. To return focus to where you were last working, using Shift+Windows+M.
  • Press Windows+D to minimize all the open windows and change focus to the desktop. Press Windows+D again, and focus is returned to the window in which you were previously working.

While this is not technically a Word tip (it is a Windows tip), it is a tip that can come in handy for those Word users who only want (or need) to use the keyboard.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1624) 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: A Shortcut for Switching Focus.

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

Selective Headers and Footers

Want to print different headers or footers on different parts of your worksheet? Excel has no inherent way to do this, but a ...

Discover More

Printer Won't Print Envelope Font

The default font used for envelopes is called Callibri. What do you do if you cannot print that font on your printer? Here ...

Discover More

Improper Index References

When indexing a document, you may get some funny results once in a while. If you get single index entries when you were ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Getting Rid of the Task Pane on Startup

Tired of the task pane appearing every time you start Word? Here's how to get rid of it.

Discover More

Automatically Opening a Document at a Specific Zoom Setting

Do you prefer to have your documents open at a specific zoom magnification? You can get whatever magnification you desire by ...

Discover More

Removing Errant Buttons

Got some toolbar buttons that are rather stubborn? Getting rid of buttons that are installed by an external program can be ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 eight minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.