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: Jumping Around Folders.

Jumping Around Folders

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 18, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


If you work with multiple documents in Word, you know that traversing folder (directory) paths in the Open dialog box can be tedious at times. For instance, let's assume you have a document on which you are working. You open a second document, 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 document. When you display the Open dialog box, Word assumes you want to start from where you opened the previous document (document 2). What if you want to actually open it from the same directory in which the first document 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 document.
  2. Press F12. Word displays the Save As dialog box, starting from the directory in which the file was originally loaded. (This is the directory you want.)
  3. Close the Save As dialog box by immediately pressing Esc or clicking on Cancel.
  4. Now when you use the Open dialog box, it starts in the folder you were last in, which was the one displayed in step 2.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (560) 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: 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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