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With docked, collapsed panels, only one is open at a time. For instance if the Pages panel is open:
And you open the Para Styles panel, the Pages panel closes.
Changing workspaces changes panel displays and groupings:
Also, you have panel controls under Preferences:
Finally, as an instructor, I routinely watch students undock panels and close them, unconsciously. They swear they didn't do it, but I watched and wait for the question about the missing panel. It happens All.The.Time!
Thanks for the advice! I wish there was a way to disable docking altogether; I like to keep my panels separated. They seem to be "sticky," so if you move one next to another, they automatically dock.