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: Using Header Information as the Filename.

Using Header Information as the Filename

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 20, 2017)

When a Word document is first saved, it uses the first few words of the document as a default filename. Paul would like to have Word use the header information as the default filename instead.

Unfortunately there is no way to instruct Word to use header information by default, but there may be a workaround you can attempt. First, though, a clarification: Word doesn't actually default to using the first few words of the document as the filename. The first choice for Word is actually whatever title you've specified in the Properties for the file. Only if no title is specified will Word fall back to using the wording from the first paragraph.

The fact that Word uses the title in the file properties raises a very interesting possibility, which is the basis for a potential workaround. If you can make sure the user specifies a title, you can use that title as the filename and you can also use the same title (through the use of a field) in the header. Thus, your title, your header, and your filename all could easily be the same, just by setting the title property before you actually save the file.

If you are unsure of a user's ability to remember to specify a title property, you could always create a macro that would set the property for them. The macro could run when the document is first created (if it is stored in the template on which the document is based) and could prompt the user for a title. The title is then stored in the properties where it kicks into play when the document is subsequently saved. The macro could also set the header for the document based on the user input, or it could include a TITLE field to dynamically include the title property in the header.

Another approach using a macro is to create one that is run just before saving the document. If this is the first time it is being saved, the macro would extract the existing information from the header and use it for the suggested filename. You could even name the macro FileSaveAs, which means it would replace the existing Save As command.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10584) 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: Using Header Information as the Filename.

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

Jumping Around Folders

If you need to move between two different folders quite regularly in the Open dialog box, you'll find the technique ...

Discover More

Understanding Default Tab Stops

Ever wonder how Word determines the default setting for each tab stop in your document? This article should satisfy any ...

Discover More

Different CSV Formats

Excel provides different CSV formats you can use to export your workbook data for use with other programs. What are those ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Complex Searches for Documents

When working with lots of documents, you may have need from time to time to discover which of those documents contain ...

Discover More

Document Size Changes

When you last upgraded Word, did you notice a change in the size of your document files?

Discover More

Creating Two Versions of the Same Document

You may often need to create two versions of the same document, one with everything and the other with a subset of what ...

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 3 - 3?

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.

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.