Finally! A Tabbed Interface for Microsoft Office

Last Updated May 20, 2011 11:38 AM EDT


It's a tab, tab, tab, tab world. Browsers use tabs. Countless popular programs use tabs. But Microsoft Office? Not so much with the tabs.

That's a shame, as I find it infinitely easier to hop back and forth between multiple documents by clicking tabs than by switching windows. (Freebie Office alternative Lotus Symphony offers this feature, and I love it.) Yet even in Office 2010, the option isn't there.

Office Tabs brings a tabbed workspace to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. With it you can manage multiple documents in the same window, just like nature intended. Best of all, Office Tabs is free.

This is a surprisingly versatile add-on, giving you lots of control over how tabs are managed and what color and font style they should have. You can apply different settings across the three programs, and even disable it for one or two of them if you want.

Beyond that, tabbed Office works just like regular Office -- but with tabs. And it's awesome. Like, early-write-in-for-Best-Software-of-2011 awesome.

Office Tabs works with Office 2003, 2007, and 2010, but doesn't currently support the 64-bit version of Office 2010. Note to the developers: please, please, please get cracking on that. Please?

If you're an Office user, I can't recommend this add-on highly enough. [via Lifehacker]

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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