Create documents

Open, view, and close documents

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Sometimes you only need to open and read a document. Word makes it distraction-free when you use Read Mode.

Open a document

  • Every time you start Word, you’ll see a list of your most recently used documents. Select a document from the list to get started.

    A list of the most recently used documents is shown.

  • If the document you’re looking for isn’t there, select Open Other Documents.
    Or, if you’re already in Word, select File > Open. Then browse to the file’s location, and select the file you want.

View a document

  1. Select View > Read Mode.

  2. To move from page to page in a document:

    • Use the arrows on the left and right sides of a page.

    • Press Page Down or Page Up, press Spacebar or Backspace, or press the arrow keys on the keyboard.

    • Use the scroll wheel on your mouse.

    • Swipe left or right with your finger on a touch device.

      Read mode

Close a document

  1. Select File > Close.

  2. If you haven't saved the document, you will be prompted to do so.

Note: To close Word, select X in the upper-right corner of the app.

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Read documents in Word

Go directly to the File tab, click Open, select Browse.
That allows us to go browsing all locations whether they be online or locally on our hard drive.

Select it and click Open.

So this document opens up. And as we scroll down, you can use your wheel mouse or the scrollbar. You can see it's multiple pages. And in fact, if we look at the bottom left-hand corner, seven pages in all.

So we can continue to view the document, scrolling this way, getting a feel for the layout of the document, the formatting, etc.

If you're more interested in just reading the document, you can switch modes.

Let's start by going to the View tab.

You'll notice up here in the Views section, we have a number of different options like Read Mode. Give that a click.

Now in Read Mode, you're not actually editing your document.

You're just looking at it, and you're probably looking at it in a different way.

There's no scrollbar to scroll up and down. Instead, we're going to be moving left to right so we have a button on the left for navigating and a button on the right.

You'll also notice the number of pages has jumped.

As we click that navigation button, we're going to move from left to right through the content.

You could go up to the View menu.

Notice there's no ribbon across the top.

But from the View menu, we can go down to Layout and see that we're actually using something called Column Layout.

Better suited for reading, but we can switch to Paper Layout if you prefer that traditional view and using a scrollbar to scroll vertically through the document.

So it's very similar to Print Layout except that we can't go in here and start editing.

If you want to, you would go back to the View menu and choose Edit Document.

That switches you back to Print Layout.

Or, if you prefer, go down to the bottom right-hand corner and you'll see that Print Layout mode can be selected from here as well. Give it a click.

Alright, let's go up to File.

To close a document, we simply select Close from backstage view.

If you have made changes to your document, you'll be prompted to save them.

If you didn't, like we didn't, it simply closes up the file, takes you to any other open files where you left off, in this case our new blank document.

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