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: Renaming a Document.

Renaming a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 22, 2022)

5

There is no intrinsic command within Word that allows you to rename documents or files, as there is in some other programs. It is true that you can simply save a document out under a new name, but that results in two files on your drive instead of one. You can use the following steps to rename a document quickly and easily, all within Word:

  1. Make sure the document you want to rename is not loaded into Word. (Close it if it is loaded.)
  2. Click on the Open tool on the toolbar or choose Open from the File menu. You will see the Open dialog box.
  3. In the list of files contained in the dialog box, right-click on the one you want to rename. This displays a Context menu for the document.
  4. Choose Rename from the Context menu. The document name is highlighted, and you have the opportunity to change the name.
  5. Once the document name is changed, press Enter.
  6. Close the Open dialog box by clicking on Cancel.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1115) 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: Renaming a Document.

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

Limiting Entry of Names

When inputting information into a worksheet, you may need a way to limit what can be entered. This scenario is a prime ...

Discover More

Rounding Numbers

The primary method of rounding values is to use the ROUND function in your formulas. Here's an introduction to this ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Spaces in Cells

Importing data into Excel that was generated in other programs can have some interesting side effects. For instance, you ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Understanding Background Saving

Word has the capability to save your work, in the background, while you continue to edit your documents. This tip ...

Discover More

Error Message about WRS File

Error messages in Word can be frustrating. For instance, if you see a message that says something about WRS files, it can ...

Discover More

Importing a Text File and Inserting after a Bookmark

Word macros are a great way to automate some of the ways in which you create documents. If you have a need to insert the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, 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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 eight more than 8?

2018-02-06 07:57:12

Cindy C

There is no "rename" choice. Maybe 10.1 (+ whatever upgrade we're at now) is the problem. LOL - it usually is! Thanks anyway.


2017-10-26 11:37:47

Diane

I want to change the extension of all my Word documents from the 1997-2003 version (doc) to the newer version (docx). I know I can just resave under the new version, but that changes the last revision date. Is there any way to change to docx without changing the revision date? Thanks


2017-01-09 13:44:26

Tammy

Thanks but... when I get to your step 4, rename is not there as an option😳Only : open, open a copy, copy path to clipboard, pin to list, remove to list, and clear unpinned documents. Please please help me!
Thanks


2017-01-01 00:02:55

PFL

I think the whole point of this tip is to avoid the second "copy". Using the desktop still creates a second copy.


2016-12-31 13:37:21

Allan Poe

There is an easier way to change a document's name.
Put a copy of it on the desktop.
Change the name.
That's it.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, 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.