Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Sorting Files.

Sorting Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 18, 2015)

1

When you choose to open a workbook in Excel, you are presented with a fairly standard Open dialog box. This dialog box is the same as those used in many other Windows programs. One of the neat features you can do, however, is to control how the files are sorted in the dialog box. To accomplish this, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Open dialog box. (If you are using Excel 2007, click the Office button and then click on Open. If you are using Excel 2010, click the File tab of the ribbon and then click Open. If you are using Excel 2013, click the File tab of the ribbon, click Open, then click Computer, and finally click Browse.) Excel displays the standard Open dialog box.
  2. Click on the down-arrow at the right side of the View tool on the toolbar in the Open dialog box. Excel displays a drop-down menu.
  3. Choose Arrange Icons from the drop-down menu. Excel displays some choices on how the files in the Open dialog box can be sorted.
  4. Select the order in which you want the files sorted. The files are reordered right away.

On some combinations of Excel and Windows, these steps won't work because there is no Arrange Icons option on the drop-down menu. In this case, right-click in the file area of the Open dialog box. On the resulting Context menu you should see the Arrange Icons option or a Sort By option.

When you are done using the Open dialog box, Excel remembers the setting you specified for arranging files. This means that the next time you display the Open dialog box, the files displayed will still be sorted according to your specifications.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6136) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Sorting Files.

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. ...

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Comments for this tip:

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. 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 seven minus 6?

2015-04-23 13:01:32

Rich Greves

I have the 'Arrange by' list in the file open box, but all of the entries are grayed out. I've also tried the right-click method, but to no avail. I can sort the lists, however, by clicking on the title bar (Name/Date Modified/Type/Size)


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