Seeing Full File Names in the Files Menu

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 14, 2013)

1

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:

D:/WfW Data/Newsletters/Excel/planning/future/ideas.xls

This is too long to fit within the MRU list, so Excel shortens it as follows:

D:/WfW Data/Newsletters/Ex.../ideas.xls

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:

  1. Using the MRU, load the file.
  2. Press F12. Excel displays the Save As dialog box.
  3. Display the full Save In drop-down list by clicking on the down-arrow to the right of the control.

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.

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

Understanding Justification

Paragraphs can be aligned in four different ways. This tip examines those alignment methods.

Discover More

Printing a Draft of a Worksheet

Do you want the absolute fastest print speed possible for a worksheet? Then you need to print a worksheet draft.

Discover More

Changing the Style Area Font

The style area, displayed at the left side of your document, can be helpful in understanding how styles are used in your ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Saving All Open Workbooks

Wouldn't it be nice to have a single command that would save each of you open workbooks, all at once? It's easy to do with ...

Discover More

Working with Lotus 1-2-3 Spreadsheets

If you've got some older data around your office that started in an old Lotus 1-2-3 system, you may want to open it in Excel. ...

Discover More

Displaying Path Names in the Menu Bar

Want a quick way to see the full path name associated with a workbook? You can add a tool to the menu bar that displays the ...

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. 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 5 + 0?

2014-01-24 04:10:18

sam63

Well, you can use Long Path Tool, for such issues as well, it works good.


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.