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In Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, a task pane is a window that attaches itself to the edge of the app window you're working in. The Format Picture pane is one example:

The Format Picture pane, docked on the right side of the window in Word

Resize a task pane

You can widen or narrow the pane by pointing your mouse at the inside margin of the pane until the pointer becomes a two-headed arrow, then clicking and dragging to resize.

You can change the width of a docked task pane

Dock or undock a task pane

By default a task pane is "docked" to the side edge of the app window.

You can undock the pane and make it a free-floating window that you can place anywhere on your screen:

  1. On the title bar of the pane until, click the downward pointing arrow , and then select Move.

    The pointer becomes a four-headed arrow.

  2. Click and drag to move the pane where you want it.

    The Format Picture pane in an undocked state: a free-floating window
  3. Release the mouse when the window is positioned satisfactorily.

When you close a pane, Office remembers its last size and position, and the next time it opens the pane in that same size and position.

Re-dock a task pane

To re-dock a floating task pane, simply double-click the title bar. The pane returns to its default docked position.

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