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Solution: Microsoft Word always stays on top of all other windows (which I didn't want)

Office preferencesAt work I use a Windows PC. For some reason Microsoft Word windows were always staying on top of every other window. This was tolerable for a little bit, but very quickly became a real problem. I wasn't able to use a different application and view a Word document at the same time and the only way I could switch to another window was by minimizing the Word window. I finally figured out (serendipitously) how to get things to behave properly...

Here are the relevant specs for this problem:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional OS
  • Microsoft Office 2003

I noticed that Outlook email messages also had this same problem. Whenever I was editing an email, that edit window was always on top of every other window. At first I thought it was an Office problem but I then figured out that Outlook was configured to use Word to edit e-mail messages.

So to fix at least the email window always on top problem, I disabled the option (by unchecking it) to use Word to edit messages. The surprising thing was that after clicking OK all other Word windows started behaving properly.

Office preferences

I suppose I could have tried closing Outlook all together to see if Word still misbehaved on its own but I don't remember if I had tried that. The funny thing is, that I'm not able to recreate the issue by re-checking the option. Gotta love that. I couldn't find a solution to this via a Google search, so I thought I'd post something else for people to try.

I had the same problem, but

I had the same problem, but running 64 bit Win 7 and Word 2003. I found that there were instances of both OUTLOOK.EXE and WINWORD.EXE running, despite closing out of both programs. I would just restart the program the next day and the problem would be there again with the "pinned" windows. I closed out of both programs and ended both of the seemingly duplicate processes in task manager. That solved the issue. Not sure how it started though, as I've been running this rig for almost a year now without ever noticing it.