Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. 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: Finding the Directory Name.

Finding the Directory Name

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 19, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


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If you have a need to find out the directory in which your workbook is saved, you may be tempted to use a macro to figure out the answer. While this is a valid approach (and relatively easy), some people are intimidated by macros or don't want to use them within the workbooks. The following worksheet formula will return the directory in which the workbook is stored:

=LEFT(CELL("Filename",$A$1),FIND("[",CELL("Filename",$A$1))-1)

If you use this formula in a workbook that is brand new—one that has yet to be saved—then it will return a #VALUE! error. This happens because the filename has not yet been set, and the LEFT function cannot return a portion of something that is not there. To avoid the error, simply encase the formula in the IFERROR function, as follows:

=IFERROR(LEFT(CELL("Filename",$A$1),FIND("[",CELL("Filename",$A$1))-1),"")

In this variation the CELL function is used to extract and return the directory name, but only if it has been set. If it has not been set, then an error occurs and IFERROR returns an empty string.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9455) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Finding the Directory Name.

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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What is nine less than 9?

2019-03-25 04:33:38

Gerhard Seljehammer

Why not use the INFO function?


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