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

Making Spell Check Ignore Characters

The rules of professional editing often require that editorial changes in a quote be noted with brackets. These brackets, ...

Discover More

Turning Off Paragraph Hyphenation

Need to make sure that a particular paragraph never has any hyphenated words in it? You can make sure that Word won't ...

Discover More

Jumping to Tables

If your document contains quite a few tables, you may find it helpful to jump quickly from one table to another. There ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 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 ...

Discover More

Protecting Excel Files from Word

Office easily allows you to use Word to open an Excel document. Doing so, however, can quickly result in and unusable ...

Discover More

Determining the Length of a Text File

When processing plain text files in a macro, it is often helpful to know how much data the file contains. The normal way ...

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 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 eight minus 3?

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.