Word X: List of document windows in Window menu

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
March 4th, 2004 • 5:30 am

This is another one of these dumb things that Word X does for no apparent reason other than the fact that the code hasn’t been updated in 10 years.

If you have more than 9 document windows open at the same time in Word, Instead of listing them all in the “Window” menu, Word only lists the first 9 (in alphabetical order) and then adds a “More Windows…” command that forces you to go through an extra dialog box just to be able to access the other document windows that might be open:

Word's Window menu

Why does it do that? With 9 document windows open, the total length of the menu on my machine is a little over 400 pixels, and that’s because I’ve customized the menu and added a few commands.

The only reason that I can think of is that this goes back to the days when people didn’t have much screen real estate. But even then, the Mac convention was to add a down-pointing arrow at the bottom of the menu and make it scroll to reveal more menu items if needed.

Of course, Microsoft had to do things different, breaking the convention. And now, in 2004, we’re still stuck with this annoying behavior that just forces the user to use more mouse clicks and mouse movements than necessary.

(There is a similar problem with the non-standard Styles menu in Word’s toolbars, which cannot display more than 11 styles at a time, even though there is more than enough room to display twice or three times as many, even on a small screen. It’s just plain annoying.)

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