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: Jumping Around Folders.

Jumping Around Folders

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 11, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


If you work with multiple workbooks at the same time, you know that traversing folder (directory) paths in the Open dialog box can be tedious. For instance, let's assume you have a workbook you are working on. You open a second workbook, this one in a different directory. (You find it and open it after clicking your way to it in the Open dialog box.)

Now it comes time to open a third workbook. When you display the Open dialog box, Excel assumes you want to start from where you opened the previous workbook. What if you want to actually open it from the same directory in which the first workbook was located? Of course, you can again use the Open dialog box to traverse back to the original directory. An easier method may be to do the following:

  1. Display the first workbook.
  2. Press F12. Excel displays the Save As dialog box, starting from the directory in which the workbook was originally loaded. (This is the directory you want.)
  3. Close the Save As dialog box by immediately pressing Esc or clicking on Cancel.

Now when you use the Open dialog box, Excel starts in the folder you were last in, which was the one displayed in step 2—the one you want.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3252) 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: Jumping Around Folders.

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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