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: Adding a File Path and Filename.

Adding a File Path and Filename

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 7, 2020)

Margo wants to insert a file path and filename in an Excel worksheet. She wants to be able to insert the information in either a cell or into the header/footer. This is rather easy to do in Excel.

To insert the file path and filename into a cell, you use the CELL worksheet function in the following manner:

=CELL("filename")

This formula returns the entire path, filename, and tab name of the current worksheet, like this:

E:\My Data\Excel\[Budget.xls]Sheet1

If you want to strip out the brackets and the sheet name, you can use the following variation on the formula:

=SUBSTITUTE(LEFT(CELL("filename"),FIND("]",CELL("filename"))-1),"[","")

The LEFT function gets rid of everything from the right bracket to the end of the string, while the SUBSTITUTE function gets rid of the left bracket.

Putting a path and filename into a header or footer is easy:

  1. Select the worksheet whose header or footer you want to change.
  2. Choose the Page Setup option from the File menu. Excel displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  3. Click on either the Custom Header or Custom Footer buttons, as desired. Word displays either the Header or Footer dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Header dialog box.

  5. Position the insertion point in the Left Section, Center Section, or Right Section boxes, as desired.
  6. Click on the File button. (It looks like a file folder with a piece of paper sticking out.) Excel inserts the following code at the insertion point:
  7.      &[Path]&[File]
    
  8. Click on OK two times to close both dialog boxes.

When you print the worksheet, Excel replaces the codes in step 5 with the path name and the file name of the workbook, respectively.

If you are using Excel 97 or Excel 2000, then the above steps won't work. Instead, you need to use a macro to insert the path and filename:

Sub DoFullPath()
    ActiveSheet.PageSetup.CenterFooter = _
      ActiveWorkbook.FullName
End Sub

This macro will also work in later versions of Excel. To specify a different place for the path and filename, simply change CenterFooter to another location (such as LeftFooter, RightFooter, LeftHeader, CenterHeader, or RightHeader). If you decide to use the macro approach, you will need to remember to run it every time that you change either the workbook's filename (you use Save As), or you change the place where the workbook is stored on your disk.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2875) 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: Adding a File Path and Filename.

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. ...

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