MS-Excel / Excel 2003

Modifying the Default File Location

If your Excel work habits are anything like mine, you tend to find yourself at certain times having to build several workbooks of the same type (time cards, financial statements, expense reports, and so on) that all need to be saved in the same folder. For those times, you can streamline this process and guard against saving the new workbook in the wrong location by changing the default file location. That way, when you first save the workbook, you don't have to bother with changing the folder, and you don't have to worry about saving the workbook in an unintended place.

To change the default file folder location to a folder that you've already created with Windows Explorer, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Tool → Options to open the Options dialog box.
  2. Select the General tab in the Options folder.
  3. In the Default File Location text box, enter the pathname to the folder you want as the default.
    This assumes that you've planned ahead and already used Windows Explorer to create such a folder.
    The pathname consists of the drive letter followed by a colon and the names of all subfolders separated by backslashes, as in C:\Accounting\Expenses.
  4. Click OK to close the Options dialog box.
    After changing the default file location in the Options dialog box, the next time you open the Save As dialog box to save a new workbook (by choosing File → Save, clicking the Save button on the Standard toolbar, or pressing Ctrl+S), the name of the folder at the end of the new pathname appears in the Save In drop-down list box. (If you want to check that the path to this folder is correct, select the Save In drop-down list to display it.) Then all you have to do to complete the save operation is to edit the temporary filename and click Save.

Don't forget to change the Default File Location on the General tab of the Options dialog box when you finish creating all the files that should be saved in that location. Otherwise, you'll end up saving files that don't belong there, defeating the purpose of modifying this location in the first place.

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