Create a Suitable Shortcut for a Startup Switch
Depending on the version of Word and how it was set up, you may not be able to use the Word shortcut that appears on the Start menu--some of these shortcuts don't let you edit the command used to start Word. To check, right-click the Word shortcut and choose Properties, then look at the Shortcut tab. If the Target text box is grayed out, you need to create a new shortcut.
To do so, locate WINWORD.EXE (usually in a folder named some variation of "Office" in the Program Files folder, which you can access by choosing Start -> Run, typing %programfiles%, and pressing Enter), and create a shortcut to it wherever you find most convenient. For example, right-drag WINWORD.EXE within its parent folder and choose "Create shortcuts here," rename the shortcut from "Shortcut to WINWORD.EXE" to a snappier name, and then drag the shortcut to your Start menu, if that's where you want it.
Then right-click the new shortcut, choose Properties, and then click the Shortcut tab. The next sections discuss the switches you can use. Enter the switches on the Target line of the Shortcut tab after the double quotation marks--for example:
"D:\Program Files\Office 2003\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE" /n
Prevent Word from Creating a Blank Document
If all you want is to prevent Word from creating the blank document at startup, add the /n switch to the shortcut that starts Word.
Open a Document Based on Your Preferred Template
If you want to open a document based on a template other than the Normal template, use the /t switch and specify the template name:
"D:\Program Files\Office 2000\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE" /tMagazine.dot
If the template name contains spaces, put it in double quotation marks. You may need to include the full path.
Open a Document on the Most Recently Used List
To make Word always open one or more of the documents on its most recently used list (the list that appears at the foot of the File menu), use the /m switch, the word file, and the file number. For example, /mfile1 opens the document at the number one position on the list.
Open a Specific Document
Opening a recent document can be useful, but it'll often stick you with a document you don't need to work with. What's usually more useful is to open one or more specific documents when you start Word. To do so, enter the full path and file name of each file after the program file, with a space between each name, and all in the same line:
"D:\Program Files\Office 2000\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE" "c:\Docs\Book1.doc" "c:\Info\Notes.doc"
5. Choose Between Having One and Multiple Word Buttons on the Taskbar
The Annoyance: Having multiple Word windows and multiple Word taskbar buttons bugs me to distraction. Why can't Word behave the same way as Excel and keep all the documents in the same window?
The Fix: There's good news on this front unless you're using Word 2000: Word 2003 and Word XP let you choose whether to keep each open Word document in its own window (and with its own taskbar button) or keep all open Word documents in a single window (with a single taskbar button for the active document).
To make the switch, choose Tools -> Options and click the View tab if it's not already displayed. Uncheck the "Windows in Taskbar" box if you want to show all open documents in a single Word window that has one Taskbar button. If you check this box (the default setting), you will see a separate window for each open document, each of which has its own Taskbar button.