Since time immemorial, opening a Microsoft Office file has had the side effect of restoring an already-open window in the same application before displaying the newly opened file's window. This was mildly annoying for multitaskers who minimized windows associated with tasks other than their current one, forcing them to re-minimize a window not relevant to the task at hand.
I suspect that this same behavior is now to blame for a truly maddening side effect when using Spaces with a different space for each task: Opening, say, a Word document still causes the most recently active Word document window to be brought to the front, so if that window is in a different space, Spaces switches to that space-- a context-blowing action.
For what it's worth, I'm using Office 2011 on Mountain Lion, though the behavior seems to be the same on Mavericks and previous versions. I've already unchecked the Mission Control options, "Automatically rearrange spaces based on most recent use" and "When switching to an application, switch to a space with open windows for that application." This seems to work for most apps-- e.g., opening a PDF file in Adobe Reader when another PDF file is already open in a different space doesn't trigger a switch to that space-- just not MS Office.
Does anyone know of an Office setting or hack that would prevent this?
This question is probably related to Microsoft Word Forcing “Spaces” Switching.