Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book

You can retrieve and open any saved document by clicking the Open button on the Standard toolbar, using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+O, or choosing File, Open. Each of these steps opens the Open dialog box, shown in Figure 3.16.

Figure 3.16Figure 3.16 You can retrieve any file from the Open dialog box.

After the dialog box is open, browse the drives and folders as you've already learned how to do. Select the file you want to open and click Open.


In particular, keep in mind that you can click the My Recent Documents icon to view a list of all the files you've worked on, in chronological order, starting with the most recent. The My Recent Documents folder stores shortcuts to the files. If you've worked on the same file several times, the shortcut takes you to the latest version.


The My Recent Documents folder may be a security risk; other users can explore it to see which files you've worked on. The My Recent Documents folder even records the names of encrypted files you've worked on (though a password is still required to open those files).

To empty the contents of the My Recent Documents folder, click My Recent Documents in the Open dialog box to display its contents; then choose Tools, Clear Document History.

By default, Word's Open dialog box displays only files Word is designed to edit. In Word 2003, these include .doc files, .dot (document template) files, .htm and .html Web pages, .mht and .mhtml Web archive files, .xml XML files, .url files (links to Internet addresses), .rtf (Rich Text Format) files, and .txt (text only) files.

If you can't find a file where you expect it to be, it may be there but have a different extension. To find out, click in the Files of Type drop-down box and select All Files (*.*). Word now displays all files in the current folder.

If you know the extension of the file you want to open, you can choose to display only files of a specific type. If the file uses an extension Word recognizes, such as .wps for Microsoft Works files, you can select the extension from the Files of Type drop-down box. Otherwise, enter the extension in the File Name drop-down box, using the * wildcard. For example, to display all files with the extension .rpt, enter *.rpt.

You can open many files at the same time. Display the Open dialog box and browse to the folder you want. Press and hold Ctrl while you click each file you want to open. When your files are all selected, click Open.

If you want to open several files listed consecutively in the same folder, press and hold Shift; then choose the first and last files you want. Word automatically selects all the files in between as well.


Increasingly, the files you want may be found on the World Wide Web. Using Microsoft Internet Explorer, you can look for a file on the Web from inside the Open dialog box.

Click the Search the Web button; Internet Explorer opens. If you are already connected to the Internet, Internet Explorer displays a Microsoft-owned Web page where you can specify a search and the search engine you want to use. If you are not already connected, and must connect via dial-up, the Dial-Up Networking window appears; you can use it to connect. After you're connected, Internet Explorer displays Microsoft's search page.

Next, click Search, and the Web search engine you've chosen returns a list of pages containing the information you want.

Using the Most Recently Used File List

Sometimes, you don't have to go anywhere near the Open dialog box; there are faster ways to find what you need.

If you've used the file recently, it may appear on the most recently used file list that appears at the bottom of the File menu. The same list appears at the bottom of the Getting Started task pane.

By default, Word keeps track of the last four files you use; you can reopen one of these files by selecting it from the File menu.

You might want Word to keep track of more than four files (Word can track up to nine). To change the number of files Word tracks, choose Tools, Options and click the General tab. In the Recently Used File List scroll box, select the number of files you want to track, from 0 to 9. Click OK. Word begins tracking the new number of files. (Of course, Word doesn't immediately display additional files you opened earlier; it hasn't been tracking them.)

Using the Windows Recent Documents List

Windows keeps track of the last 15 documents you've used. This includes all files you may have used: Excel worksheets, compressed Zip files, text files, or anything else. If you primarily use Word, you may find that all the Word files you've worked with for the past few days are automatically being tracked by your operating system. To open one, click Start on the taskbar; then click Documents (or My Recent Documents, in Windows XP). The list of files appears. Click the one you want to open.

Opening a File as Read-Only or as a Copy

Normally, when you find the file you want, you simply click Open to open and work in it. However, Word gives you some additional one-click options. To see these choices in the Open dialog box, right-click on the down arrow next to the Open button (see Figure 3.17).

Figure 3.17Figure 3.17 Choosing how you want to open a file.

  • Open Read-Only. Word opens the file but prevents you from making changes to it.

  • Open as Copy. Word creates a new copy of the file and opens the copy. Word starts the filename with the words Copy of. (In other words, if the original file was called STONE.DOC, the copy is named Copy of STONE.DOC.) Open as Copy does not work with Web pages.

  • Open in Browser. This option works only if you've selected an HTML or HTM file. Choosing Open in Browser displays the file in Internet Explorer (or whatever browser you've registered as your primary browser) instead of in Word. If you're using Internet Explorer, you can later edit the document in Word by clicking the arrow next to the Edit button on the Internet Explorer Standard Buttons toolbar and choosing Edit with Microsoft Word from the drop-down box.

  • Open with Transform. This option works only if you've selected an XML file. Choosing Open with Transform opens the Choose an XML Transform dialog box; here, you can select an XSL or XSLT file that will apply appropriate formatting to your XML file.

  • Open and Repair. Word attempts to open a damaged file and make repairs.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020