Several months ago I wrote about one of my quick tricks: adding a Close All icon to the Microsoft Word toolbar. It's a quick way to close all the open documents in one swell foop, as I like to put it. As some of you discovered (and told me in your email messages), this process isn't quite as efficient as it seems if you've made unsaved changes to any of the documents. Word asks, "Do you want to save your changes?" for each document in that state, before closing the document. (I have a compulsive habit of pressing Ctrl-S every time I press the Enter key so I rarely see that message when I'm closing a document.)

What's needed, of course, is a "Save All" before you implement Close All. Luckily, Word 2003 and earlier has a Save All command. Hold down the Shift key while you go to the File menu, where you'll see the Save command has been replaced with the Save All command. (If you use Word 2007, don't worry, you're not left out, read on.)

It's even more convenient to add an icon for the Save All command to your toolbar.
In Word 2003 and earlier, use the following steps:

1. Choose Tools, Customize and move to the Commands tab.
2. Select the File menu in the left pane.
3. Select the Save All command in the right pane, and drag it to the Toolbar.

(If your toolbar is getting crowded, you can instead drag the command to the File menu, which automatically expands, and then drag to the place on the menu you want to insert this command.)

In Word 2007, follow these steps:

1. Click the Office button in the upper left corner of the window.
2. Click the Word Options button at the bottom of the window that opens.
3. In the Word Options window, click Customize in the left pane.
4. In the Customize window, select Commands Not in the Ribbon from the drop-down list at the top of the window.
5. Select the check box for Show Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon, if it's not already selected (I couldn't operate in Word 2007 without this toolbar, because I can hardly ever find the commands I need).
6. Select Save All in the left pane, and click Add, then OK, to add the command to the Quick Access Toolbar list in the right pane.