A better Side-by-Side document view for Windows and Mac

Office for Mere Mortals
Your beginners guide to the secrets of Microsoft Office
Invalid email address
Tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook from Microsoft Office experts.  Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office for Mere Mortals has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy

We highlighted Word 365’s Side to Side view but there’s another side-by-side viewing trick that works for any two windows on either Windows or Mac.

Side by Side or Split View is great for many situations.  No fussing about switching between windows or getting lost with all the open application.  For example, Word on one side and Excel on another, or Word and a web browser, two Word documents or PowerPoint and a PDF.

Windows 10

Windows 10 can display programs either side-by-side, top and bottom or even four windows with one in each corner.

a better side by side document view for windows and mac microsoft office 35323 - A better Side-by-Side document view for Windows and Mac

There are various ways to do it (see below) but the easiest & fastest is pressing the Windows key with one of the four arrow keys.  Win + <– (left arrow) sends the current window to the left side.  Win + –> to the right.

a better side by side document view for windows and mac microsoft office 35324 - A better Side-by-Side document view for Windows and Mac

Change the half n half proportions by dragging the vertical edge of one window, a bar with handle will appear. The other window will shrink.

There are other ways to get the ‘side-by-side’ look.

  • Drag a window (from the title bar) to the left or right of the screen. A discreet box will appear on that side, release the mouse and the window will snap to that side.
  • Thumbnails of the other windows will appear, click one to see that on the other side of the screen.
  • Right click on the taskbar and choose ‘Show windows side-by-side’. If you have many programs open, the result can be an unholy mess. Happily, you can right-click the taskbar again to click an Undo option.

Split into four windows

Windows can also show four windows, one in each corner.

a better side by side document view for windows and mac microsoft office 35325 - A better Side-by-Side document view for Windows and Mac

Drag a window to a corner (a discreet box appears in a quarter of the screen).  Release the mouse and the window will snap to that corner/quarter of the screen.

MacOS Split View

On the Mac it’s called Split View.

a better side by side document view for windows and mac microsoft office 35326 - A better Side-by-Side document view for Windows and Mac

To enter Split View, choose a window/app, click on the green ‘full screen’ icon, click & hold it to show a small menu.

a better side by side document view for windows and mac microsoft office 35327 - A better Side-by-Side document view for Windows and Mac

 

  • Enter Full Screen – the default for that button.
  • Tile Window to Left of Screen
  • Tile Window to Right of Screen

That’s in macOS Catalina.  In El Capitan, click and hold the green button, then drag the window to left or right.

In Split View the top menu bar disappears because it’s in Full Screen mode, move your mouse near the top of the screen and it’ll appear.

There’s a vertical line between the two windows, drag that bar left/right to adjust the window sizes.  See image above.

Side to Side – a touchy way to view Word documents

Inside the Office ‘all in one’ app for Apple and Android

Fixing Office confusion and other hassles on Windows Start menu

subs profile e1563205311409 - A better Side-by-Side document view for Windows and Mac
Latest news & secrets of Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office experts give you tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office Watch has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy
Invalid email address