Multiple Document Directories for Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 21, 2008)

Word includes a setting in the Options dialog box that allows you to specify a default directory for your documents. This is handy, but there may be times you want to start Word using a different default directory. There is no inherent method to specify multiple directories, but you can create different shortcuts for Word that will start in different directories. If you are using Word 97, follow these steps:

  1. Create a temporary dummy directory on your hard drive, such as c:\dummy.
  2. Create a shortcut for Word on your desktop.
  3. Double-click on the icon to start Word.
  4. Choose Options form the Tools menu. This displays the Options dialog box.
  5. Make sure the File Locations tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The File Locations tab of the Options dialog box.

  7. Choose the Documents file type.
  8. Click on Modify. Word displays the Modify Location dialog box.
  9. Use the controls in the dialog box to select the directory you created in step 1.
  10. Click on OK to close the Modify Location dialog box.
  11. Click on Close to dismiss the Options dialog box.
  12. Exit Word.
  13. Delete the dummy directory you created in step 1.
  14. Right-click on the Word shortcut you created in step 2. This displays a Context menu.
  15. Choose Properties from the Context menu. This displays the Properties dialog box for the shortcut.
  16. Make sure the Shortcut tab is selected.
  17. Change the Start In setting to reflect the default document path you want Word to use.
  18. Click on OK to close the dialog box and save your changes.

Now, when you double-click on the shortcut, Word starts and cannot find the default document directory you specified. As a "fall back" it uses the directory specified in the shortcut. This means you can create additional shortcuts, each of which could point to a different default document directory.

These steps don't work in Word 2000 or Word 2002. While you can follow them, they will not give the desired results. Word 2000, if it cannot find the c:\dummy directory, will not fall back to what is set in the properties for the shortcut. Instead, it will default to the Desktop. Word 2002 is similar, except that it defaults to the My Documents folder.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1831) applies to Microsoft Word 97.

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

Opening the Document Map by Default

The Document Map can be a handy tool to use when navigating and working with a large document. If you want the Document ...

Discover More

Reversing Cell Contents

Macros are great at working with text. This tip presents an example that shows this versatility by reversing the contents ...

Discover More

Default Cell Movement when Deleting

Delete a cell or a range of cells, and Excel needs to figure out how to rearrange the void left by the deletion. You can ...

Discover More

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!

More WordTips (menu)

Viewing Multiple Pages

If you have a large monitor, you can view more than one page at a time in Word. This is very handy when you want to ...

Discover More

Removing Author Information

Word automatically stores lots of author-related information within a document. Because this data is stored in several ...

Discover More

Delay in Dialog Box Appearing

If your copy of Word seems to be slowing down a lot lately, it could be time to do some remedial work on your system. ...

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}] 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 six minus 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Newest Tips
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.