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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 29, 2015)
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:
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.
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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.