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: Sorting Files.

Sorting Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 29, 2020)

When you choose to open a workbook in Excel, you are presented with a fairly standard Open dialog box. This dialog box is the same as those used in many other Windows programs. One of the neat features you can do, however, is to control how the files are sorted in the dialog box. To accomplish this, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Open from the File menu, or click on the Open tool on the Standard toolbar. Excel displays the Open dialog box.
  2. Click on the down-arrow at the right side of the View tool on the toolbar in the Open dialog box. Excel displays a drop-down menu.
  3. Choose Arrange Icons from the drop-down menu. Excel displays some choices on how the files in the Open dialog box can be sorted.
  4. Select the order in which you want the files sorted. The files are reordered right away.

On some combinations of Excel and Windows, these steps won't work because there is no Arrange Icons option on the drop-down menu. In this case, right-click in the file area of the Open dialog box. On the resulting Context menu you should see the Arrange Icons option or a Sort By option.

When you are done using the Open dialog box, Excel remembers the setting you specified for arranging files. This means that the next time you display the Open dialog box, the files displayed will still be sorted according to your specifications.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2240) 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: Sorting Files.

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

Negatives in Pie Charts

Pie charts are a great way to graphically display some types of data. Displaying negative values is not so great in pie ...

Discover More

Determining a Paragraph's Style in VBA

When processing a document via a macro, it is often helpful to understand what style has been applied to a paragraph. You ...

Discover More

Understanding Computer Names

Every Windows computer on your network has a name. This name typically provides some identifying information about the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Importing Many Files Into Excel

Importing a single file is easy. Importing a whole slew of files can be much more of a challenge.

Discover More

Closing Multiple Files

When working with multiple workbooks open, you may want a way to close them all with a single command. Here's the secret.

Discover More

Specifying a Delimiter when Saving a CSV File in a Macro

You can, within a macro, save a workbook in several different file formats that are understood by Excel. However, you may ...

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 one more than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.