How To Add Tabs To Microsoft Office & Improve Your Document Management

Saikat Basu 24-06-2011

add tabs officeWe have got so used to tabs that we routinely miss them in the other applications we use. One of our more oft used applications happens to be the Microsoft Office suite. Tabs are something which the guys at Redmond woke up late to. So far, it has escaped an introduction in MS Office; a feature I am sure many of you out there would want as a default. At least I am sure that power users around the world are hankering  for it.


Microsoft Office plug-in Office Tab (ver.7.00) heeds it and adds tabbed document support to Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Office Tab is a 2.9 MB download and it comes in commercial and free editions. The free edition is for personal use and is feature limited. As we will see, the limitations of some features do not detract from the usefulness of this plug-in when it comes to managing multiple documents.

Install and First Look

Office Tab is compatible with Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit), Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 & 64 bit), and Windows XP. It fits in with Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, 2010 (32/64).

Office Tab frees up the Windows taskbar by enabling you to work with Office documents within a single window. Windows 7 has a much improved taskbar with a preview, but Office Tab is much more efficient when it comes to working with multiple documents alongside each other. Here’s how the MS Word interface looks after the install:

add tabs office

As you will notice, all documents can now be opened within the same Office window, and switching makes working with multiple documents much easier.


A Few More Handy Features

Though it is a feature limited edition, Office Tab gives you a few more useful (and customizable) options to work with. You can click anywhere on the tab bar to quickly open a new document. You can alternatively right click on the tab bar to select New or Open to bring up another document. You can also Close or Save a document from here. (The features marked with an asterisk are only available in the commercial version of the app).

tabs microsoft office

Each program that Office Tab supports (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in the free version) has a Settings panel where you can play around with a few more options. The Settings can be individualized for each application. The Settings panel is also displayed during the installation. The options that are grayed out are only reserved for the commercial version of the plug-in.

tabs microsoft office


Some of the options available change the appearance of the tabs and the way they are displayed. For instance, you can fiddle with the position of the tabs around the workspace (Select Tab Bar Position). You can go for a change in the Style and Color of the tabs by choosing any one from the eleven styles available. Go crazy with colors if you like to put some on your tabs (only Excel and PowerPoint).

add tabs office

Power-users should definitely settle on the shortcut keys that help to select and switch tabs. You can also drag ‘n drop tabs, an immense help to organize multiple documents within the same window.

The commercial version has a few more important features like Quick Rename and Save-All in one click. But I don’t think you will miss them because even with the basic features, Office Tab does make for a productive experience. Try out Office Tab and let us know what you think of this useful Microsoft Office Add-in.


Related topics: Digital Document, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word.

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  1. Stuart Aitchison
    March 29, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    You state that the downscaled version is "freeware," and yet when I go to their web site the standard "Office Tab" package very definitley ha s currently a $29.00 price tag attached to it.

    I note that you origianlly posted your article in 2011. This is now 2017. Please check this and update and advise.


    Stuart Aitchison

    • Saikat Basu
      April 9, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Thanks Stuart. Yes, they were originally freeware. It's time for an update.

  2. Michael Beijer
    January 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Malwarebytes anti-exploit is blocking so-called "file-format exploits" whenever I try to use Office Tabs. Is there a virus in it these days?


    • yaswanth
      January 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      same problem.Any solution??

  3. Excel Addict
    July 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Been Using it for a long time since its one of the earliest versions and is a great fan of it. I have to work on lots of excel sheets simultaneously and it creates a Google Chrome like interface in MS Excel and thus saves me from a huge clutter. I heartily thank the developer for creating this wonderful app and moreover providing a free version.