Stop directory drilling, and start saving faster and smarter

You may have to save Word and Excel documents to several different common directories in Microsoft Office. Sure, you can make a default directory, but what do you do if there are four different directories that you commonly save files to? Here's a way to find that correct directory without drilling down in the Save As.

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You may have to save Word and Excel documents to several different common directories in Microsoft Office. Sure you can make a default directory, but what do you do if there are four different directories that you commonly save files to?

Don't you get tired of drilling down in the Save As to find that correct directory?

Next time, when you start up Word or Excel and create your document, choose Save As and find the directory you commonly use. Now, under the same Save As window, choose the Tools Button (top right) and click Add to My Places. (Your My Places profile is the profile on the left-hand pane where you see My Computer, My Documents, My Network Places, etc.)

To find the directory you just added to it, click on the little arrow pointing down on the bottom of the left pane. You'll now see the folder you just added to My Places. To make your folder more convenient, right-click on it and choose Move Up. Continue to do so until it is at the top or at the desired level of ease to reach.

For all admins out there: Once you create a new My Places directory, review the registry keys at:
HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftOffice10.0ComonOpen FindUserDefinedPlaces.
There will be a Place0, Place1, Place2, etc for each additional My Place that is added. Once you open one of those keys, you will see a DWord named Index with a number beside it. The number represents the order that the custom My Place will be in the hierarchy in the left Save As pane.

Now that you know where the registry keys are for "My Places," it will be easy to add to your logon script so the entire department gets specific My Places already added. Employees can spend more time working and less time drilling down in the Save As location. Good luck!

Rating this tip below will let us know how useful it was to you. And if you have a Windows tip, timesaver or workaround to share, submit it to our tip contest. You could win the monthly prize.

This was first published in January 2007
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