Open Quick Reference panel without losing current focus

I feel as if this ought to be possible, but can’t figure out how to do it, so I assume I’m missing something simple.

I write academic books, so lots of research in lots of documents. My standard writing procedure is to split the main screen so my draft chapter is on the left, with the current set of notes I’m using on the right. But now and again I want to quickly check something from another document (e.g. have I already used this quote in an earlier chapter?). I would like to open the earlier chapter in a Quick Reference window (or a copyholder; either would do), without changing the documents I already have open. But if I click (left or right mouse button) anywhere in the binder to select the document I want, the main editor window changes. Is there a way round this?

Tried Navigate → Editor → Lock in place (ALT + SHIFT + L) ? This might be what you want.

Thanks. That’s useful, but means I have to constantly lock and unlock as I open each document I’m consulting. Ideally, I would like to be able to just pop a document open in a floating window, consult it, close it and go back to my established layout.

That’s probably hard to implement in the Windows world as a right click on a tree item in the binder automatically means selecting this item. The solution L&L have found with the “Lock in place” mechanism is probably all they could do. Using the keyboard shortcut ALT + SHIFT + L is probably the only way to make that a viable option for your use case.

Try this from the menu: Navigate->Open Quick Reference->Path-To-Document-You-Want-In-QR-Window

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YES! Thanks so much; that does exactly what I wanted (I knew I was just being stupid…)

Much appreciated.

Another neat trick you can use for this, particularly if your have a lot of binder hierarchy and find the menu is a bit unwieldy, is to use the Quick Search feature for this:

  1. Use the Win+Ctrl+G shortcut (or click in the central toolbar search area), and type in a little of what you want to open.
  2. Once you’ve got it narrowed down enough you can use the arrow keys to select, and with it selected, press Shift+Return to open the result in a Quick Reference window.
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I’ve no idea how it works in Windows, but on the Mac I added the Quick Reference icon to the tool bar, and any time I want a QR open I just drag it from the binder and drop it on the icon. No change of focus, no fiddly shortcuts to remember.

Thanks Ahab; I have that setup too, and it works as you describe, but when you select anything in the binder (so that you can drag and drop it), the editor window changes to show the document you just clicked on (which is what I was trying to avoid). You can lock the editor (as others have pointed out), but AmberV’s suggestion works better for me. But thanks again for the suggestion.

I’m also partial to the quick search method, but just on this bit:

You should be able to drag an item from the binder to the Quick Reference toolbar button without selecting it and thus loading it in the main editor–in other words, don’t click-and-release and then click-and-drag, but just click and then drag with the mouse button down until you drop on the QR button. That should open the dragged item without affecting the binder or the editor.

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Thanks! That’s a very handy tip.