Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.
With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.
Learn more about Allen...
If you have Excel configured to display it, the MRU file list at the bottom of the File menu can be a great help in quickly locating and opening the files you recently worked on. As hard drives get larger, and the number of folders on those hard drives increase, it can be quite easy to generate very long file names. Often, the entire path and file name is not visible in the MRU list.
There is no way to make the File menu wider than what it is; that is handled automatically by Excel and Windows. What should happen, however, is that if a full path name and file name (together) are too wide to completely fit in the MRU list, then Excel displays the first folder level, the file name, and separates the two by an ellipsis. For instance, consider the following as a full path and file name:
This is too long to fit within the MRU list, so Excel shortens it as follows:
If you need to know the full path name of the file, there is no way to discover it using the MRU list. For instance, hovering the mouse pointer over the MRU entry will not display the full path and file name. In fact, the best way I have seen to discover the full path of a deep-path file is to follow these steps:
Now you can see the full path to where the file is located. When you are done with the Save As dialog box, simply click on Cancel.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2229) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!