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It is common for applications to re-open all the files that were left open the last time the program was closed. Sometimes, this can be a bit disconcerting!

I've a shortcut on my desktop for several Word Perfect docs that I use frequently. I've encountered something weird and have no explanation why it would happen, so maybe you could tell me. When I click on the icon for one file, it opens two different files. Sometimes more. For example, I'm clicking on the icon for file X and Word Perfect opens up File X. However, if I go to a window in the menu and check, there are two files open that I can swap between. I think it's mostly Word Perfect documents, but I seem to remember Word doing it, too. I'm using Vista, SP2, 64-bit and Word Perfect 11. The second file looks to be the last one I had open, but that doesn't hold true for all the links, one just opens the file I'm actually clicking on.

In this excerpt from Answercast #48, I look at a case where multiple files seem to be opening in Word Perfect. It might be a simple setting in the program.

Multiple docs opened

I believe the clue is actually what you just described.

  • I do believe that the program is simply opening up the windows that it had opened when it was last closed.

Now, I'm not a Word Perfect expert, don't get me wrong. Don't consider this authoritative on Word Perfect behavior, but I do know of many programs that do exactly that.

Opening recent files

The scenario is simply this:

  • You open up files A, B, and C and then you close the program.

  • The next time you start the program, it automatically re-opens files A, B, and, C.

Now, if you have a shortcut to file D and you use that to open the program, my expectation is that:

  • It is then opening D;

  • And also the last windows it had opened as well (including A, B, and C.)

So, I think that this is simply the way the program is written, the way the program is designed to work. It's a little non-intuitive.

When only one file opens...

My guess is (and again this is just a guess) that the scenario you're seeing where you have a shortcut that opens up only one file:

  • It's very possible that you actually closed all of the other files the last time you used the program.

  • So that there was nothing for it to re-open automatically.

Like I said, that's a guess. It is behavior that I have seen in applications, certainly word processing applications.

I'm not sure again about Word Perfect specifically, but it is behavior that would in fact explain what you're seeing.

End of Answercast #48 Back to - Audio Segment

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Article C5756 - August 30, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
September 6, 2012 9:32 PM

Thanks for answering my question Leo. Just thought I'd let you know what else I found out. I believe your answer was on the right track. In WP there is an option to automatically save your "environment" and your environment is everything that you're doing at the time. When I changed the setting to never save the environment, the problem was solved. Thanks again for tackling this.

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