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tabHeadI got a hot tip today on a piece of Chinese software that will make my life MUCH easier by adding Microsoft Office tabs to your installed MS applications. Have you heard of OfficeTab?

Well if you are not into finding the latest and greatest software you have probably never heard of it. But I am here to show you what it is, how it works and how to grab it. Interested?

Good, I thought that would spark some interest!

Feel free to download OfficeTab from this link. BUT WAIT – the catch is that the site is NOT in English.

So the direct download link lives here which, if you scroll down to the bottom of the product page, is the only link there. So no need for Google Translations today. The actual application IS multilingual so there are no issues there. Let’s take a look at how it works.

After downloading the application you have to install it. You will see a screen that looks like this after the initial start”¦


microsoft office tabs

Simply check the Microsoft Office Applications you want OfficeTab to add Microsoft Office tabs to. I left the only three that showed up checked. I guess you wouldn’t have a real need for it in Access or Outlook (or would you?) Finish your install and then check out the settings.

These are the Excel settings which start with the check box to enable the Microsoft Office Tabs inside Excel. I left the rest of the settings alone until I really get into using the application.

microsoft word tabs

The other tabs include WordTab and PowerPoint Tab – they are essentially identical. But peruse them and see if there is something that tickles your fancy like enabling custom colors, changing the hot key to switch labels and more. If you find a particularly helpful option, let us know in the comments.

Hit apply if you change anything and let’s see how it looks in Word:

tabs for microsoft word

Wow just like Firefox! Very cool and a lot handier than having to hit the task bar to switch between windows. All you need to do is open multiple files and they will each have their very own tab. Sweet!

Let’s see how it works in Excel:


It works the exact same way in Excel as it does in Word. And guess what? It works the same exact way in PowerPoint as well. It could not be easier and this really helps my work flow.

Now here is a little hint that you Firefoxers will love – you can open a new tab the same way you would in Firefox by simply double-clicking the area where the new tab would appear. Go ahead and try it – we will wait.

See I told you we would wait. Wasn’t that worth it? For me this is going on all my systems where I use Microsoft Office.

What do you think? Will this help you work faster? Do you know of other free MS Office plugins? We would love to give them a try. Go ahead and leave them in the comments – I dare you :)

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  1. ZERO
    November 22, 2009 at 11:03 am

    For those of you who can't see the tab bar in word 2007. you need to go to word options > trust centre. click on the button "trust centre settings" and then go to macro settings. check the option "enable all macros" and Okay it. close word and re-open it. the tab bar should now be visible. hope that helps.

  2. avax
    November 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Change Windows XP language setting (Start Menu/Control panel/Region and Language Options) to English will resolve the problem "Run-time error’13′: type mismatch;". It works for me :)

  3. Bates
    October 29, 2009 at 1:47 am


    Thanks for the suggestion, but the problem is the "Show all windows on the taskbar" option is disabled which means I cannot tick on the box.

    Is there anything else that I should be doing to get this sorted out?

    • PascalR
      October 29, 2009 at 2:02 am

      If you look at the Add-in is "WordTab" still appearing although you have uninstaller the software?
      Click on the office button (top left button), Word Options, Add-in, At teh bottom of teh window select COM Add-in and click Go, If WordTab appears you might want to try to remove it.
      No other idea on how to solve your problem...

      • Megs
        November 5, 2009 at 10:51 am

        I had the same problem of WordTab not disappearing even after uninstallation! I closed all Word (2003) windows and MS Outlook and deleted the file, which did the trick. However, after installing the app again, I am not seeing the WordTab in Tools menu and also no tab bar is appearing!

        Looks like all are eager to have the working WordTab! please fix the problem!

  4. Bates
    October 29, 2009 at 1:13 am

    I installed this application, it worked really fine. I did uninstall it, but now I am finding that instead of getting back to the normal mode, when I open three or four documents together I still find that all of them open in the same window(i.e) I just see one word window open, but not able to see the other inactive documents opened. Any suggestions on how I can go back to my normal mode of operation?????

    • PascalR
      October 29, 2009 at 1:38 am

      Click on the office button (top left button), Word Options, Advanced, Display, tick "Show all windows in the taskbar". Cheers

  5. Shamwow
    October 16, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I love this app, and I know it is only supposed to work on Office 2003 and 2007 but I am suing it on Office 2002. It works perfectly for Excel and Powerpoint but for Word, it does not show up at all - like it was never installed. Any idea how I can get it to function for Word or should I be thankful it works at all?

  6. PaulBKK
    October 6, 2009 at 5:10 am

    This is what am I looking for longtime, after using firefox and foxit (tab for pdf file, work great too). Good work Karl

  7. Pascal
    September 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Great little piece of software. Only problem: with Word this add-in is tampering with the normal.dotm (I use Word 2007). every time I close Word I am asked whether I want to save the changes made on normal.dotm. The problem disappears when I dis-activate the add-in (Office button / Word Options / Add-ins / Manage COM Add-ins + Go / untick WordTab v. 2.31). Any idea how this issue could be solved?

    • Victor
      September 3, 2009 at 5:36 am

      As you can see above, I've had the same problem and tried everything I could think of. The only solution so far was to uninstall the complete application and then re-install with just the Excel option. If you can find a way to get the Word option working without the error popup please post here, thanks.

  8. Ryan
    August 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Works well (in Excel 2003), except now whenever I add a new blank workbook, Excel stops responding and eventually shuts down. Has happened 3 times now. Anyone else experiencing this?

    • Karl Gechlik
      August 28, 2009 at 1:16 pm

      Nope I am using Excel 2003 as well - no issues as you can see by my screenshots.

  9. Downloader
    August 27, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Chinese FTW! lols

  10. Spikey
    August 27, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    damn shame it won't work with office 2000 as it will be a good few years before i can afford another office suite.

  11. Bill
    August 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Will it work with Open Office?

    • Karl L. Gechlik
      August 27, 2009 at 1:01 pm

      No it will not. Only MS OFfice 2003 or better.

      • WW
        September 2, 2009 at 3:25 am

        I have office 2003, but it only works for Excel. Word returns an error: Run-time error'13': type mismatch;
        In PP it just not there :(
        But it works in Excel, so it's always an improvement.

  12. Karl L. Gechlik
    August 26, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I am glad everyone likes it!

    • victor
      August 27, 2009 at 8:54 am

      Just a small concern. Ever since I installed this add-in I'm constantly getting the Word error message: "This file is in use by another application or user (Normal.dotm)".

      Can't seem to find how to rectify the situation.

      • Karl L. Gechlik
        August 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm

        I am not getting the error. Can you restart your machine and try it again. Post the full error message if it still occurs.

        • Victor
          August 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm

          I've rebooted and still get the error. After the error "This file is in use.....", I click ok which takes me to another dialogue window showing template files, including temp. files. When I click cancel I get another message that says, "Changes have been made that affect the global template, normal.dotm. Do you wish to save those changes." I can only answer no to this prompt. Then it takes me to a blank Word screen which I close. Everything's fine for about 30 minutes, then the first error message pops up again and I go through the whole thing all over again????

        • Gary
          August 28, 2009 at 8:23 am

          Try Shift + File menu -> Save All.

        • Victor
          August 28, 2009 at 9:06 am

          Thanks, but actually I've just deleted this normal.dotm file which may have been corrupted. So far the error has not appeared, but I won't rejoice until a few days have gone by.

        • Victor
          August 28, 2009 at 10:48 am

          My solution didn't work. The error is back. When it asks me to save the file, I try, but it says it's busy or a read only file. I'm still going through this stupid loop.

          Any other thoughts?

        • Karl Gechlik
          August 28, 2009 at 10:56 am

          Is this 2007?

          I don't use Word 2007 as I am still stuck on Word 2003, but I understand from the Microsoft link below that Normal.dotm is the equivalent of Word 2002's

          In your post you say you are working in "My Documents", so I assume you are opening files from there, and not from within Word. Things I would try;

          1] Open Word, navigate to your file from within Word and open. Save the document immediately, then use Word's Close program option to close Word down instead of the "X" top right. Do you still get the same message?

          2] If so, then I would delete Normal.dotm and let Word re-create it when you next open Word 2007. This will lose all formatting changes you have made up to this point. If you don't want to lose those changes, instead of deleting Normal.dotm, rename it to Normal.old, or anything similar. You can always name it back later if you wish. Then

          3] Open the document, and close it and Word down again. Any error messages, or has that cleared it?

        • Victor
          August 28, 2009 at 11:17 am

          This happens when Word is open and I have several documents open as well. It doesn't happen when I close a document at all, but after I've minimized Word, or go to another application. The error popup is sometimes elusive as well. As I minimize Word, it's only visible for a split second, then disappears. If I maximize, minimize again or show desktop a few times it will stay in the middle of the screen. I have only been opening documents from within Word itself, not using my documents.

          I've tried deleting normal.dotm while everything was closed, and that didn't work.

        • Victor
          August 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm

          Unfortunately I had to uninstall it. I just couldn't put up with the constant error messages. Too bad because it's an excellent add on. Maybe Microsoft will consider it their next office release.

        • Victor
          August 31, 2009 at 12:26 pm

          I have re-installed the app but just for Excel and it seems to work fine now. The problem must be just with the Word plugin.

  13. Mike
    August 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Best invention ever. Better than the phone, better than the computer itself. Just perfection in an installer.

  14. Victor Vasconcelos
    August 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Is it as awesome as it looks? Installing.

  15. Victor
    August 26, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    This is great! The only thing missing is the close button on each tab - then it would be perfect.

  16. chtrich
    August 26, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Awesome find. This works great and I'm loving it.

  17. Karl L. Gechlik
    August 26, 2009 at 9:51 am

    2003 and 2007.

  18. iampriteshdesai
    August 26, 2009 at 9:43 am

    does it work with Office 2007?

  19. Eamon
    August 26, 2009 at 7:51 am

    What version of Office does it work with?