Word.Tips.Net WordTips (Menu Interface)

Changing the Default File Name

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Changing the Default File Name.

When you save a Word document for the first time, Word typically uses the first paragraph of the document as the suggested file name in the Save As dialog box. In reality, this choice for a default file name is the second choice for Word. It will use your document title as the default file name, provided you have set one.

You can use this information to your benefit by setting the document title in the templates you use to create your documents. For instance, let's say you use a template to create your letters. When you normally save a new letter, Word picks up the default file name from the first paragraph of your letter, which may be your letterhead or the date. If you change the document title in the template to something such as Personal Letter, then Word will use Personal Letter.doc as the suggested file name. This is obviously much closer to how you want the saved file named than if Word had suggested the letterhead or the date. All you need to do is quickly customize the name (to something such as Personal Letter to Bill.doc) in the Save As dialog box.

To set a document title in a template, follow these general steps:

  1. Open the template file (it has a .Dot extension).
  2. Choose the Properties option from the File menu. This displays the Properties dialog box for the template.
  3. Make sure the Summary tab is selected (it should be selected by default). (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Summary tab of the Properties dialog box.

  5. Change the contents of the Title field to the default file name you want to use. You do not need to include the .Doc portion of the file name.
  6. Click on OK to close the dialog box.
  7. Save and close the template.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (964) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Changing the Default File Name.

Related Tips:

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!


Leave your own comment:

  Notify me about new comments ONLY FOR THIS TIP
Notify me about new comments ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE
Hide my email address
*What is 5+3 (To prevent automated submissions and spam.)
           Commenting Terms

Comments for this tip:

Judith Taylor    27 Feb 2016, 22:09
in word 2003 save as automatically took the first line and made it the file name, would like to do same in 2007
Muhittin    08 Jan 2016, 08:21
I want to save my file (created from a template) with the following document name
V16-00xxx orderform (or V16.00xxx.orderform).

I have filled in this titel in File>info>properties

However during save as WORD changes the title to V16.docx.

What am I doing wrong?
Phil Rabichow    11 Aug 2015, 13:09
Oh, I forgot. When you start a new letter, you just press F11 to go from one field to the next.
Phil Rabichow    11 Aug 2015, 13:07
You can accomplish your purpose with an AutoNew macro & bookmarks. e.g. I want my letters to start with YYYYMODD (year, month, day). I do this for a letter template, which has the following:
my letterhead
a date field (which is bookmarked "Date", without quotes)
an infofield (which is a date field at the beginning of the first paragraph...so that Word picks it up by default; it's bookmarked "Infofield"
Then a macrobutton field to type the recipients name & address)
[the codes are "{ info title "{ DATE \@ "yyyyMMdd" }" }{MACROBUTTON NoMacro [Click here and type recipient’s address]}"]
Then an autotext list field saying "Dear whomever"
Then a formfield that's bookmarked as text1

Then have the following AutoNew macro:
Public Sub AutoNew()
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    ActiveDocument.Bookmarks("Date").Range.Fields.Locked = True
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

aasia    03 Apr 2015, 02:52
GeordieLad    10 Jul 2014, 13:51
I don't know if there's any elegant way to achieve Jack's object. For me, before going to Save AS, I simply highlight the opening phrase (or whatever) and then Copy and Paste into the Filename box to Save.

If there IS a more elegant way, please let me know.

Geordie Lad
RIchie    09 Jul 2014, 16:58
Please answer Jack's question. I too need a longer name than just the first word.
Jack    18 Dec 2013, 22:04
This works up to a point. I would like files saved as FileName_vx.x_YYYY-MM-DD.

If this is typed into the title field, Word will only use the text up to the first underscore i.e. FileName.docx.

Is there a way to get Word to accept text and other characters?
chris    22 Feb 2012, 01:33
How about having word selecting specific text from you document as the default file name?

I have a locked fillable form template. There are name and date fields that I would like to be the default file name.


Our Company

Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

About Tips.Net

Contact Us


Advertise with Us

Our Privacy Policy

Our Sites


Beauty and Style




DriveTips (Google Drive)

ExcelTips (Excel 97–2003)

ExcelTips (Excel 2007–2016)



Home Improvement

Money and Finances


Pests and Bugs

Pets and Animals

WindowsTips (Microsoft Windows)

WordTips (Word 97–2003)

WordTips (Word 2007–2016)

Our Products

Helpful E-books

Newsletter Archives


Excel Products

Word Products

Our Authors

Author Index

Write for Tips.Net

Copyright © 2017 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.