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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 2, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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. ...

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