Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Finding the Parent Folder.

Finding the Parent Folder

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 16, 2018)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


3

Lawrence asked if there was a way to devise a formula that would return the name of the parent folder for the current workbook file. He wanted this to return just the folder name, and he wanted it to be derived using a regular Excel formula, not a macro or user-defined function.

The answer is, yes, it is possible to figure out the parent folder using a formula, but the formula is rather long and complicated. There were several examples of formulas submitted by readers; the following formula is the most concise:

=MID(CELL("filename"), FIND(CHAR(1), SUBSTITUTE(CELL("filename"),
"\", CHAR(1), LEN(CELL("filename")) - LEN(SUBSTITUTE(CELL("filename"),
"\", "")) - 1)) + 1, FIND("[", CELL("filename")) – 2 - FIND(CHAR(1),
SUBSTITUTE(CELL("filename"), "\", CHAR(1), LEN(CELL("filename")) -
LEN(SUBSTITUTE(CELL("filename"), "\", "")) - 1)))

Please note that this is a real formula; it must appear on a single line in a cell.

The formula works by using the number of backslashes in the complete file path, and then replacing the second to the last slash with an ASCII value of 1. This value is then used as a "positioning aid" to help extract the parent folder's name.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2226) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Finding the Parent Folder.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Formatting Line Numbers

Legal documents often use automatic line numbering for their documents. If you want to format those line numbers, you can ...

Discover More

Customizing a Toolbar

Toolbars make it easy to quickly access your most common commands. Excel allows you to customize your toolbars so that ...

Discover More

Comparing Document Versions

Do you need to compare two versions of a document to each other? Word provides a tool that can make this easy, as ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Determining If a File Exists

Before you have your macro open and read a file from disk, you'll want to check to make sure it is really there. Here's ...

Discover More

Use Filenames That Sort Properly

When storing your Excel workbook, you need to specify a file name to be used for the workbook. Take a moment to consider ...

Discover More

Setting the AutoRecover Directory

Excel, by default, periodically writes information to AutoRecover files that can help protect your data in case Excel is ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 0?

2018-06-19 08:10:07

John A. Smith

@Henk

Thank you!


2018-06-18 04:10:26

Henk

@John:
Replace the hyphen with a minus and it will work fine.


2018-06-16 11:44:27

John A. Smith

The formula as typed doesn't work....


This Site

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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.