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Moving and Resizing Task Panes

Task panes, introduced in Office 2002, are help windows that provide quick access to commands associated with specific topics. You summon a task pane by selecting a command from the Menu bar (or by pressing F1 to summon the Help task pane), and it normally appears on the right side of your screen, tiled with the program window.

If you'd rather have your task panes in some other part of your screen, no problem: You can "untile" a task pane and move it to any part of the screen you like. If you untile a task pane and let it float free on your screen, you can also resize it, just for good measure.

Here's how you can move or resize a task pane by using your keyboard:

  1. Press ALT to select the menu bar.
  2. Press CTRL+TAB repeatedly to select the task pane you want.
  3. In the task pane, press CTRL+SPACE to display a menu of additional commands.
  4. Do one of the following:

Move a task pane

  1. Use the DOWN ARROW key to select the Move command, and then press ENTER.
  2. Use the arrow keys to position the task pane. Use CTRL+the arrow keys to move one pixel at a time.

Resize a task pane

  1. Use the DOWN ARROW key to select the Size command, and then press ENTER.
  2. Use the arrow keys to resize the task pane. Use CTRL+the arrow keys to resize by one pixel at a time.

When you're finished moving or resizing, press ESC.

Note: With some task panes, if you move them up into the toolbars or down into the status bar, the pane attaches itself to the bars and orients itself horizontally. To return the task pane to its vertical orientation, use the arrow keys to move it away from the bars.

(Posted 12/24/2004)