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 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:

  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

Moving Section Breaks

Section breaks are used to divide a document into two or more sections that can be independently formatting. If you want ...

Discover More

Filtering to a Date Range in the Past

If you have a large number of data records, each with an associated date, you might want to filter that data so you see ...

Discover More

Finding the Date Associated with a Negative Value

When working with data taken from the real world, you often have to determine which certain conditions were met, such as ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Adding a File Path and Filename

If you need to stuff the current workbook's filename and path into a cell or a header or footer, you'll appreciate the ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of "Copy of"

When you save a read-only workbook file under a new name, Excel automatically adds "copy of" to the beginning of that ...

Discover More

Stopping Date Parsing when Opening a CSV File

Excel tries to make sense out of any data that you import from a non-Excel file. Sometimes this can have unwanted ...

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?

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.