Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Getting a File Name.

Getting a File Name

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 2, 2022)

If you are writing a VBA macro in Excel, you may have a need to allow the user to specify a file they want from the disk. Fortunately, you can access the standard Open dialog box from within VBA and use it to return just a file name. The following example subroutine shows how this is done:

Sub GetFName()
    Dim FName As Variant
    Dim Msg As String

    FName = Application.GetOpenFilename()
    If FName <> False Then
        Msg = "You chose " & FName
        MsgBox Msg
    Else
        'Cancel was pressed
    End If
End Sub

When you run this macro, you will see the standard Open dialog box used in Excel. The user can select a file, and when they click on Open, the file name (including the full path) is assigned to the variable FName. If the user clicks on the Cancel button, then FName is set equal to False. (Thus the test for that in the code.)

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11635) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Getting a File 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Putting Spreadsheet Names in Headers or Footers

One of the things you can add to your page header or footer is the name of your workbook file name. Here's how to make ...

Discover More

Creating an E-mail Message from the Current Document

In some earlier versions of Word, you could type an e-mail in your document and then have Word e-mail it, as a message, ...

Discover More

Indexing a Range of Pages

After you get your document ready for indexing by inserting index fields throughout it, you may want to index only a ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Generating Unique Numbers for Worksheets

You may need to automatically generate unique numbers when you create new worksheets in a workbook. Here are a couple of ...

Discover More

Selectively Importing Records

Want to easily control which records get imported from a text file into Excel? It's easy to do when you write the macro ...

Discover More

Enforcing Moving Cells Up

When you design your worksheets, you probably want users to interact with those worksheets in specific ways. What ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 less than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.