Change the default open and save folder

Issue November 2010

By default, Microsoft Word tries to save new documents in your "My Documents" folder on your C drive. Using the same logic, when you click on "open" to open an existing document, it assumes the document is saved in the "My Documents" folder. Many people (if not the majority) want to save documents somewhere other than the "My Documents" folder on their C drive.

For example, if you save your documents to client folders in a drive other than C, here's how you can change the default location for documents to something such as G:\clients\documents. That way, the next time you click on "save as," the location will default to G:\clients\documents and all you have to choose is the individual client folder (depending upon how you've structured your directory.)

Here's how to do that in both Word 2003 and Word 2007:

In Word 2003:

  • Open a new Word document;
  • Choose Tools and then Options from the toolbar;
  • Click on the File Locations tab;
  • Click on Documents under File Types;
  • Click on the Modify button;
  • Use the Look in: box to browse to the folder you want to use from now on;
  • Click on the folder name, then click on OK to select that location; and
  • Click on OK again, and that's it.

In Word 2007:

  • Click on the Microsoft Office button (the graphic on the top far left);
  • Click Word Options (near the bottom of the box);
  • Click Save (on the left);
  • Under Save Documents, next to the Default File Location box, click Browse; and
  • Select the new default folder and click OK, and you're done.

Read LPM Tips every week in e-Journal. This tip is courtesy of Reba Nance at the Colorado Bar Association.