by Richard Stokes

In my world, the programs that I most frequently use and have open on my desktop are; Word, Excel, Outlook and then some flavor of a browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla or Chrome).  One of the things that is great but also frustrating about Windows 7 is that when you want to open up a 2nd document within, let’s say, Excel, Windows will open it within the application and as a tab behind the first document.

This is fine but the problem I have is I often want to look at both documents side by side through either a split screen option or on dual monitors, but I can’t separate them from within that instance of Excel.

So what I end up having to do is go to the start menu and open up another instance of the application altogether before I can open the 2nd document in order to compare them side by side.  You might say, “Well that’s really only a few mouse clicks away,” but I’m all about faster and more efficient.  So, here’s what I do:

Hold the shift key and then click on the icon of the application you have already launched and want to duplicate – (you’ll find the icon for the desired application located in the tray at the bottom of your screen) and Voila! – a 2nd instance of the program is launched and I’m on my way.


It’s the little things that make a difference.  So, I hope you find this one useful and perhaps save you a few moments in your day or, better yet, avoid a frustration or two.

Network 1 Consulting is a 14-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA.  We become – or augment – the IT department for professional services companies: law firms, medical practices and financial services firms.  Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value is the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firm.  This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly.  We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.

Leave a Comment