I spend a large part of my day working in Word and PowerPoint. I can say that my greatest pet peeve — and possibly yours — has to be clicking through various folders when I save a new file. The default location for saving a new document in Word is the My Documents folder, which is a folder that I never use. Fortunately, there a few different options for getting around this. For example, within any Office application, you can change the default file location. Another option is to customize the My Places bar.
Neither option is difficult, and either one is better than the knee jerk reaction that many have to just save everything to the desktop! If you disagree (and many of you will in spite of my warnings), go ahead and follow this quick but certain path to clutter if you don’t mind the eyesore of a messy desktop — but what would your mother say? The virtual world can be just as susceptible to disorganization as the real one, and just as difficult to remedy once you’ve allowed it to stray into hodgepodge territory. Really, though: use one of the options below now to ensure clutter-free happiness later.
To change the default file location in Word 2007
Within Word, click the Microsoft Office button. Select the Word Options button. From the list on the right, click Save. Click the Browse button beside Default file location and select the folder location that you want to use as the default. Click OK.
Changing the default file location works well if you save most of your files in the same folder. However, if you save to a variety of folders, it really doesn’t solve anything.
If you tend to save in a few specific folders, option two may work better for you, which is to customize the My Places bar to add additional folder locations.
To add a new folder location to the My Places bar in Word 2007
Within Word, click the Microsoft Office button. Click one of the following options: Save, Save As, or Open. Locate and select the folder that you want to add to the My Places bar. Right-click the My Places bar and click Add Folder, where folder is the name of the folder you selected in step three.
The folder will now appear on the My Places bar when you open or save a file.
Another option — and my preferred way of getting around the default folder location — is to create shortcuts to your favorite folders within My Documents. This option works well if you save files to a number of different folders. When My Documents opens, double clicking any of the shortcuts will take you right to the appropriate folder.
To add a shortcut to the My Documents folder
Open Windows Explorer and browse to the appropriate folder. Right click the folder and select Create Shortcut. A shortcut will appear in the current folder. Right click the shortcut, point to Send to, and click My Documents. Repeat these steps for each additional shortcut you want to add to My Documents.