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: Finding the Directory Name.

Finding the Directory Name

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 11, 2019)

If you have a need to find out the directory in which your workbook is saved, you may be tempted to use a macro to figure out the answer. While this is a valid approach (and relatively easy), some people are intimidated by macros or don't want to use them within the workbooks. The following worksheet formula will return the directory in which the workbook is stored:

=LEFT(CELL("Filename",$A$1),FIND("[",CELL("Filename",$A$1))-1)

If you use this formula in a workbook that is brand new—one that has yet to be saved—then it will return a #VALUE! error. This happens because the filename has not yet been set, and the LEFT function cannot return a portion of something that is not there. To avoid the error, simply encase the formula in an IF function, as follows:

=IF(CELL("Filename",$A$1)>"",LEFT(CELL("Filename",$A$1),
FIND("[",CELL("Filename",$A$1))-1),"")

In this variation the CELL function is used to determine if the filename has been set. If it has, then the directory name is extracted and returned. If not, then an empty string is returned.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2571) 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: Finding the Directory Name.

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

Quicker Multiple Replace Operations

Need to replace a lot of the same characters very, very quickly? Here's a great way to do the replacement.

Discover More

Ignoring Other Applications

Do you want Excel to ignore other applications that may be running on your computer? You can configure the program to do ...

Discover More

Pulling Headers and Footers from Other Files

You may have some standard headers and footers you want to make available in your document templates. This tip describes ...

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)

Returning Zero when a Referenced Cell is Blank

Reference a cell in a macro, and if that cell is blank Excel normally equates that to a zero value. What if you don't ...

Discover More

Counting Groupings Below a Threshold

When analyzing data, you may need to distill groupings from that data. This tip examines how you can use formulas and ...

Discover More

Finding the Nth Occurrence of a Character

The FIND and SEARCH functions are great for finding the initial occurrence of a character in a text string, but what if ...

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 four 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.