QuickBooks Guide- Using the Open Window List

QuickBooks has a huge number of options and features, so many that it is hard for anyone to know all of the ways that it can be used. One feature that is very easy to use an extremely helpful is the Open Window List. It always surprises me that there are so many people who don’t know about this useful feature. In this guide I will help you learn how the Open Window List can help to load your QuickBooks file quicker due to its convenient capabilities!

Lots of Open Windows

Let’s take a look at the display of a sample QuickBooks company

Here’s the home page, where many people start. Here you can click on the Create Invoices icon to add invoices, the Snapshots icon to see an analysis of the business, the Lists menu to find the list of form templates to manipulate, and so forth. Every time I select an option a new window opens.

Frequently I find that people don’t close these individual windows. If they want to perform a different task they click on the icon or menu option for that task without closing there current task. If you have your windows set to ‘always maximize’ then all you will see is the most recent window that you’ve worked with. If you work this way it’s hard to tell how many windows you have opened

One way to see this is to select the Window menu option, which gives you a list of SOME of the windows that you have open. It shows the most recently worked with windows – but not all of them.

A better option is to use the Open Window List feature. To do this select View and Open Window List. This opens a sidebar on the left side of QuickBooks that will list all of your open windows, starting with the most recent one.

One very helpful feature is that it allows you to switch back and forth between different windows easily by simply clicking on the selection in the list. If I have a feature that I’m using often, the window can be left open and I just click on it in the list.

It also helps me when working with reports. Note that I have two Profit & Loss windows open. Without the Open Windows List I created the report and selected a date range, then went to another window to look at some options. I then decided that I wanted to go back to the Profit & Loss report and selected it from the menu (or Report Center), and QuickBooks created another separate copy of the report rather than returning to the original report. With the Open Windows List I could see that the report is already open and just click on it rather than creating a new report. This can be a time saver if you have a report that takes a long time to create.

This Improves QuickBooks Efficiency

Many people have QuickBooks set to save the desktop when closing the company file. With this setting, the next time that you open this company file every window that you had open before will open again.

In some installations, depending on what windows you have open, this may take a very long time. Reports may take a long time to generate. Some windows, like the Report Center, Company Snapshot and Calendar can sometimes take a noticeable amount of time to open. If you don’t know what windows you have open you may find that QuickBooks is very slow to start up because the program is trying to open all of these windows.

One solution is to select the Don’t save the desktop option in your preferences. Personally, I don’t like that, I often want to come back to the same set of windows that I had been working with. This is one of the reasons why I like the Open Windows List – it lets me see the windows that I have open, and I can close the ones that I am no longer using.

There are a lot of options that can affect how you work with windows in QuickBooks, I like using the Open Windows List. Try it!

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