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Fewer steps to open or save files in Office 2013

A forum user had this complaint about Office 2013:

To open an existing document from a program like Excel, I have to follow these steps:

1. Click 'Open' from the Quick Access toolbar or by clicking on 'File'
2. Click on 'Computer'
3. Click on 'Browse'
4. Select the file I want to open.

This is 4 steps! Previously, clicking on 'Open' would skip the middle two steps.

Yes, Office 2013 adds too many steps to open files. But you can cut at least one step when you open a file – clicking the Browse button. You can use a macro to open the Open Explorer dialog directly.

Open File, Options, Save. In Default file location, enter your most frequently used file path. (You'll need to set the file path in each Office application.)

Double click on Computer to open the file explorer to that folder. (The Browse button uses this path too.)

A recently used folder list displayed on the right when you click Computer. Pin the most used folders to the top of the list so you don't need to browse for these folders in the Explorer window. To use, click on folders in the list to open the File Explorer.

If you always want to bring up the Open or Save explorer window, select Don't show the Backstage when opening or saving files. This option will bring up the Open or Save explorer.

Use a simple macro

Still too many clicks and you want to keep the Backstage available at least some of the time?

You can use a macro to open the Open dialog directly. Add it to the QAT or ribbon for easy access. Like double clicking on Computer or clicking Browse, this macro opens the file explorer to the path set in File, Options, Save.

Excel's Open Explorer dialog:

 Sub ShowOpenDialog()
End Sub

Word's Open explorer:

Sub ShowOpenDialog()
End Sub

How to use macros

First: You will need macro security set to low during testing.

To check your macro security, go to File, Options, Trust Center and open Trust Center Settings, and change the Macro Settings.

After you test the macro and see that it works, you can either leave macro security set to low or sign the macro.

Open the VBA Editor by pressing Alt+F11 on your keyboard.

Excel: If you have a personal workbook (Personal.xlsb), paste it into a module. (Right-click, choose Insert > Module to insert a new module, if necessary.) If you need to create a personal workbook, record a macro, choosing "Personal Macro Workbook" from the Store Macro in list. Click Stop Recording after clicking Ok.

Word: Right-click on Normal, choose Insert > Module to insert a new module.

Copy and paste the macro into new module.

More information as well as screenshots are at How to use the VBA Editor

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