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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    Unwanted Additional Desktops

    My system has two monitors, and I never intentionally open a second desktop.

    From time to time I won't be able to find a file that I know is open. If I think of it, I click the taskbar icon that looks like two superimposed rectangles, and it shows me that the file is in a window on another desktop. Sometimes there are several additional desktops that contain various windows. This most often happens in Excel, where I frequently have several files open at once. I usually just close the file in the unwanted window and open it again from my main (and only wanted) desktop.

    What is going on here, and how can I stop it from happening?
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    USA

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    I have two monitors. When I click the two superimposed rectangles all the windows reduce so I can see them and there's a plus sign to add a new desktop. I can't believe you're clicking on both one after the other inadvertently. Does the same thing as mine happen before you get the extra desktops?

    BTW I often have two spreadsheets open, occasionally three but have never seen this behaviour. Can you specify exactly what you have and how you opened each file - maybe we can then try and replicate the behaviour and see what happens?
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    I'm aware of the plus sign, etc., but never use it. These extra desktops just appear by themselves.

    So far, I don't know why or when it happens. I'll keep checking.
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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    WINkey+Ctrl+D also adds a new desktop.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info! I don't think I've ever done that by accident, but it's surely a possibility. I'm monitoring my desktop situation from time to time, for clues on when and why the extra ones come about.
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    I'm still pretty sure about the unwanted desktops, but I've learned something about Excel that may have contributed to my confusion:

    When there are two or more Excel files open, only one of them appears in miniature when you mouse over the Excel icon on the taskbar. (It seems to be the one you are viewing, or if all are minimized, the one you viewed last.) Excel works very differently from Word, Notepad, and many/most other programs, which show you mini-views of all their open files when you mouse over the taskbar icon.

    To see all of the Excel files, you need to click the Task View icon on the taskbar (that's the name for the one with two superimposed rectangles). That gives you a big picture of everything that is open, including medium-sized screen images. Clicking any of these images opens it on your screen. That's a good way to switch between open Excel files.

    You can also switch between them by using the Switch Windows icon on the View tab of the ribbon.

    At least that's how it works on my own system.
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    That looks like you've worked out what's happening. However, when I have two spreadsheets open, hovering over the Excel badge on the taskbar shows me miniature versions of both. There's probably a setting somewhere to change this behaviour....
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    Maybe I've worked it out, but I'm still pretty sure I've seen two or three desktops (though less sure than I was). Time will tell.
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  9. #9
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Perhaps a screenshot of what you're seeing when you think you have more than one desktop will enable us to see if it's really multiple desktops or not. Sometimes (often) pictures say more than a thousand words! If you use the Windows snipping tool, you can obliterate any sensitive info in the screenshot.
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    when I have two spreadsheets open, hovering over the Excel badge on the taskbar shows me miniature versions of both. There's probably a setting somewhere to change this behaviour....
    Same here since at least Win7 & Office 2007, and I never recall seeing such a setting in Office. There is however a taskbar setting to group like open programs, or not, or only when taskbar fills--I've never messed with that, so dunno if it might be part of the problem here.

    Lou, what version of Win and Office are you on?
    What happens when you open multiple files in other Office programs? Other non-Office progs?
    [assume Win10] Try right-clicking the taskbar and unticking the 'show Task View'--does that change anything?
    Lugh.
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  11. #11
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    access-mdb: I will certainly do that. In the meantime, I've got an eye out for the beavior I reported. It certainly might just be the two Excel files showing up in Task View mode.

    Lugh: I'm using Windows 10 and Office 2010.

    Under Taskbar Settings, the setting you speak of seems to be Combine all taskbar buttons. It works that way for me for all programs except Excel. "That way" means when I have several files open under Word, for example, mousing over the taskbar icon for Word shows me mini views of all those files.
    Last edited by Lou Sander; 2016-10-02 at 18:07. Reason: Add Lugh
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  12. #12
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    When there are two or more Excel files open, only one of them appears in miniature when you mouse over the Excel icon on the taskbar.
    Under Taskbar Settings, the setting you speak of seems to be Combine all taskbar buttons. It works that way for me for all programs except Excel.
    For Excel, the taskbar's aero-peek behavior is determined by two settings.

    One setting is in Taskbar Properties, which you've already found, and which combines (or not) similar taskbar icons from any program.

    The other setting is within Excel itself, and determines whether Excel will place multiple icons on the taskbar (to be combined or not, per taskbar properties) or only a single icon. For Office 2010 you'll find that setting under File, Options, Advanced, Display, "Show all windows in the Taskbar". I suspect your option is unticked.

  13. #13
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    I thought we had the solution, but I was wrong.

    That option was checked. I experimented with unchecking it, rechecking it, etc., and I never got more than one file displayed when I mouse over the taskbar icon. Nuts!

    I even tried opening files directly, or from the Open Recent File icon. I also removed the Open Recent File icon from the Quick Access toolbar. None of these changed the existing behavior.

    Here's a good clue...

    I have Excel 2010 on another computer. The taskbar display of multiple files works fine over there!
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  14. #14
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    I've accepted that there are NOT extra desktops, but that my copy of Excel, for some reason, only shows one open file when mousing over the taskbar icon.

    I'll close this thread and post another one about my misbehaving taskbar, which has another problem in addition to this one.

    Thanks to all for their wise advice.
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    USA

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