How to Have Multiple Windows Open on One Monitor

It is not uncommon to have several windows open at once when you're working on a project, reading emails or browsing the Internet. When you have multiple windows open, it can be overwhelming and hard to find the specific document or program window. Windows 7, Mac OS X and Windows XP offer several ways to manage your multiple open windows to help you quickly jump to the window you want or read all at once.

close-up of a person using a computer
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Windows 7

Step

Press the "Tab" key on your keyboard while simultaneously pressing the Windows logo key. All open windows on your monitor will stack together in a series of icons, starting in the top left of the screen.

Step

Click the "Tab" key again to rotate through the icons until you're at the window that you want to view. Release the "Tab" and Windows logo key to display the window in full view. Alternatively, use your mouse to click on a specific window in the stack.

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Jump to a specific window as an alternative to stacking all open windows. Press and hold the "Alt" key and the "Tab" key on your keyboard. All open windows will shrink into a line of icons.

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Hit the "Tab" key to scroll through the windows until you're at the one that you want to view. Release the keys on your keyboard and the window will jump to the front of the screen in full size.

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View windows side-by-side instead of cascading or jumping through the windows. This is ideal if you only want to view two or three windows simultaneously. Hold down the "Ctrl" button on your keyboard and select the appropriate windows in your taskbar. This highlights all the windows. Right-click on any of them and select "Show Windows Side by Side."

Mac OS X

Step

Turn on Expose, the Mac operating system's windows management feature. Click the apple-shaped logo in the top left corner of the screen.

Step

Select "System Preferences" from the drop-down menu. A new window will appear. Click "Expose." Assign a key on your keyboard for each of the Expose options. For the purpose of this article, set the "F9" key for "All windows," "F10" for "Application windows" and "F11" for "Show Desktop."

Step

Close the window.

Step

Press the appropriate key on your keyboard to view all of the multiple windows on your Mac. For example, press "F9" to view every single open window simultaneously as miniature icons. Use your mouse and click one of the icons to bring that window to the front of the screen in full size.

Windows XP

Step

Press and hold the "Ctrl" button on your keyboard.

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Click each of the buttons in your taskbar for each of the open windows while still holding down the "Ctrl" button.

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Right-click on any of the selected buttons. Click "Cascade," "Tile Horizontally" or "Tile Vertically." All of the open windows will cascade in an overlapping manner, or shrink to fit side-by-side in a vertical or horizontal manner.