OfficeTabs: add tabs to Excel, PowerPoint, and Word

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OfficeTabs adds tabs to MS Office applications Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, allowing for tabbed navigation across several open documents in the manner familiarized by Firefox or Chrome, etc (see screenshot above)

The free version allows for personal, non commercial use, and provides a number of options such as the ability to place tabs on top, bottom, and even left or right of the main display area, clicking on the empty space next to a tab to start a new document, customizing the style and color of displayed tabs, and a few other options.

Tabs are so ubiquitous (and so useful) that it’s a mystery to me why Microsoft doesn’t feature them as navigational tools in MS Office by default, or in Windows explorer, for that matter. This software adds tabs to MS Office and does it so well. 

OfficeTabs Screenshot3

Here are some PROs and a Wish list:

PROS:

  • OfficeTabs Screenshot4Can place tabs on any of the 4 corners of the screen. Actually a very nice implementation of tabs on the side (see screenshot to the right).
  • Tabs look good, and are highly customizable, can be moved around via drag and drop
  • Compatible with all versions of MS Office (2003, 2007, 2010)
  • Adds keyboard shortcuts to scroll through/select tabs.

CONS:

  • Adds a few more seconds to your Excel/Word/PowerPoint startup time (invariably)
  • Right clicking a tab displays options that are only available in the paid version. Which is ok, except that I wish there was a way to remove these and to NOT have to always see the functions that are not available in the free version.

Differences between free and paid versions: the free version is for personal non commercial use. Also, the paid version has a few options available on tab right click, including locking a workbook, opening workbook path folder, etc… none of which are particularly worth having in my opinion.

The verdict: this is the second free software that I’ve seen that adds tabs to MS Office (both programs having the same name), although the program reviewed here has the better looking tabs by far. So, while the concept is not entirely new, it nonetheless holds a certain attraction and can be quite useful; check it out for yourself.

[Thanks go to reader Brockman for letting me know about this program].

Note on installing the right version: when choosing whether to download and install the 32 bit or 64 bit version of this software, your decision should be based on whether you have the 32bit or 64bit version of MS Office, and not your Windows operating system.

Version Tested: 6.51

Compatibility: Requires MS Office 2003, 2007, or 2010; 32bit or 64bit.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 2.91 megs).