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Saving an Existing File in Its Current Location

Most of the time you'll just want to save your existing document in its existing location, and Word provides three quick ways to do so. You can click the Save button on the Standard toolbar, use the Ctrl+S or Shift+F12 keyboard shortcut, or choose File, Save.

Saving Files Using a Different Name, Format, or Location

Often, you want to make changes in the way you save a file. In particular, you may want to save a file to a different location on your computer or on your network. Or you may want to save it in a different file format so that people who run software other than Word can use it. In each case, you use the Save As dialog box (see Figure 3.7). To display it, choose File, Save As, or press F12.

Figure 3.7 The Save As dialog box enables you to save files to different locations or in different formats.


Because new documents require you to specify a name and location for the file Word also displays the Save As dialog box when you save a file for the first time. By default, Word expects you to save your file in the My Documents folder in Windows 98/Me or Windows 2000/XP; or your Personal folder in Windows NT 4.0. (In NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, these folders are stored as subfolders within the folders associated with your user profile.)

Word also inserts the first word or phrase of your document in the File Name text box, guessing that these words might be your document's title. If Word has made correct assumptions, all you need to do is click Save to store the file. Otherwise, type in a new before saving the file.


If you want to change the standard location Word uses for saving files, display Tools, Options; click the File Locations tab; select Documents from the File Types scroll box; and click Modify. Browse to a new location and click OK twice.

Saving to a Different Location

Word's Save As dialog box gives you extensive control over where you save your files. Save a copy of your file in a different folder or drive as follows:

  1. Click anywhere in the Save In drop-down box. A list of available drives and resources is displayed (see Figure 3.8).

  2. Figure 3.8 You can choose a folder, drive, network, or Internet FTP resource from the Save In drop-down box.

  3. Click the drive or resource where you want to store your file. A list of existing documents and folders already stored on that drive is displayed.

  4. If you want to store your file in one of the subfolders, double-click it; repeat the process until you arrive at the folder you want.

  5. Make sure that the filename and file format are correct and click Save.


If you are using Save As to save an existing file in a new location, Word leaves the earlier version where you originally stored it.

Sometimes the only change in file location you want to make when using the Save As dialog box is to go up one level in your folder structure. Or, you may want to move around on the same drive rather than choose a different drive. In this case, click the Up One Level toolbar button (or press Alt+2) to display the next higher level folder or drive. From there, browse the file and folder lists until you find where you want to save the file.

Occasionally, you may want to save a file in a folder that doesn't exist yet. To create a new folder within your current folder, click the Create New Folder button. The New Folder dialog box opens; enter the name of your new folder and click OK. The folder now appears within your current file and folder list. To save your file in the new folder, first double-click the new folder to open it and then click Save.

Saving Across a Network

Most Word users are now connected to a network. If your computer connects to a networked folder at startup and assigns that folder a drive name, this mapped network drive appears in the list of drives under My Computer in the Save In drop-down list box. Choose the mapped drive as you would any other drive, find the folder within that drive if necessary, and click Save to save the file.

If the network drive or folder where you want to save the file is not a mapped drive, but you have unrestricted access to it, you can reach it through Network Neighborhood (in Windows 98 or NT 4.0) or My Network Places (in Windows 2000):

  1. Click inside the Save In drop-down list box.

  2. Click Network Neighborhood or My Network Places. Word displays a list of computers and mapped drives accessible to you on the network.

  3. Double-click the computer or mapped drive where you want to store the file.

  4. After that computer's name appears in the Save In drop-down box, browse for the drive and folder where you want to store the file.

  5. Make sure that the filename and format are correct and click Save.

In certain instances, you may be asked to provide a password when you attempt to access a computer or drive. For example, if you are attempting to access a drive on Windows 2000 Server for the first time during a session, you may be asked for a password. Enter your password, or if you don't have one, speak to your network administrator about getting access.


If you don't have access to a computer on the network, it may not even appear on the list of computers in Network Neighborhood or My Network Places.

Saving in a Different Format

What if you want to save a file for use by someone who works with a different word processor or an older version of Word? Or what about saving it as text-only for transmission over an e-mail system that can't handle formatting or HTML? In each case, you need to save your file in a different format.

To choose a format other than Word, display the Save As dialog box and click in the Save as Type drop-down box. Scroll to the file type you want to use and click it. If the filename uses a different extension (as will be the case unless you are saving to an older version of Word for Windows or DOS, or to WordPerfect), Word automatically changes it accordingly in the File Name text box. Click Save to save the file.


In some cases, Word may prompt you to install a filter¡ªeither from your CD-ROM or the network installation you installed Office from¡ªbefore you can save to other formats.

Table 3.3 lists the file formats available in Word.

Table 3.3 File Formats Available As Save As Options



Web Page

Saves in HTML/XML format for use on Web or intranet pages (see the Bonus Word Chapter, "Using Word to Develop Web Content").

Web Page, Filtered

Saves a more stripped-down version of HTML that doesn't contain code intended to support Word-only features.

Web Archive

Saves a single Web archive file that contains any graphics included on your Web page (as opposed to saving the graphics in a separate new folder). Note that Web Archive files can only be read by Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Document Template

Saves files as Word templates for creating other similar files.

Rich Text Format (RTF)

Saves in a Microsoft standard file format for exchanging word processing data in text file format. RTF preserves most, but not all, Word formatting. Some software can import RTF files but not Word 2002 files; in addition, saving to RTF can sometimes fix a damaged Word file.

Plain Text

Eliminates all formatting; converts line, section, and page breaks to paragraph marks; uses the ANSI character set. Useful if you're uncertain about your file's ultimate destination.

MS-DOS Text with Layout

Attempts to mimic a formatted document through the use of additional spaces in place of indents, tab stops, tables, and other formatting elements.

Text with Layout

Similar to MS-DOS Text with Layout, except that it does not support DOS extended ASCII character set.

Word 2.x for Windows

Saves to Word 2.x for Windows format.

Word 4.0 for Macintosh

Saves to Word 4 for Macintosh format.

Word 5.0 for Macintosh

Saves to Word 5 for Macintosh format.

Word 5.1 for Macintosh

Saves to Word 5.1 for Macintosh format.

Word 6.0/95

Saves to create files that can be used with Word 6.0 on either Windows or the Macintosh; and can also be used by Word 95 running on Windows 95, 98, or NT.

Word 6.0/95 for Windows&Mac

Saves to Word 6.0/95 format that can be read accurately by Windows and Macintosh versions.

Word 97 format

Saves to Word 97 format.

Word 97-2002 & 6.0/95¡ªRTF

Saves to a version of Rich Text Format that can be read by Word 6, 95, 97, 2000, and XP.

WordPerfect 5.0 for DOS

Saves to WordPerfect 5.0 for DOS format.

WordPerfect 5.0 secondary file.

Creates a WordPerfect 5.0 Secondary File

WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS

Saves to WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS format.

WordPerfect 5.x for Windows

Saves to WordPerfect 5.x for Windows format.

WordPerfect 5.1 or 5.2 secondary file.

Creates a WordPerfect 5.1 or Secondary File

Microsoft Works 2000 for Windows format.

Saves to MS Works 2000 for Windows

Microsoft Works 4.0 for Windows format.

Saves to MS Works 4.0 for Windows

It's unlikely, but you might need a file converter that isn't on this list. In this case, you have several options. In some cases, the converter you need is available in the Microsoft Office XP Resource Kit, or free from Microsoft's Web site. If you have a Web connection, you can reach this site by choosing Help, Office on the Web. Converters available online or in the Office Resource Kit at http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/ include

  • Windows Write 3.0 or 3.1 (Write32.cnv)

  • RFT-DCA (Rftdca32.cnv)

  • Lotus Ami Pro 3.x (Ami332.cnv)

  • WordStar 3.3¨C7.0 for MS-DOS and WordStar for Windows 1.0¨C2.0 (import only)

  • WordStar 4.0 or 7.0 for MS-DOS (export only) (Wrdstr32.cnv)

  • Microsoft Works 3.0

  • Microsoft Word 4.x, 5.x, and 6.x for MS-DOS (Doswrd32.cnv)

If you need to convert a file that isn't on this list, you might need a third-party file converter such as Dataviz Conversions Plus or Inso ImageStream.

What if you need to view or work with a file someone else has sent? First, note that Word can open files in a few formats that it cannot use to save files, notably WordPerfect 6.x for Windows and Lotus 1-2-3.

If you need to merely view the contents of a file, and you're running Windows 98, try Quick View, which comes with Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000. (It's an optional component; you might have to run your Windows setup program to install it.) Keep in mind, though, that because Windows NT 4.0 was released before Office 97, 2000 and XP, file formatted using these Office packages are not generally viewable in those versions of Quick View.

A third-party product, Inso Quick View Plus, supports more than 200 file formats, most of which aren't included in Quick View. Unlike the free Quick View, Quick View Plus enables you to print files. If you want to use this, be sure to check with Inso to see whether an updated version that supports Office XP file formats is available.


Often, the easiest solution is to ask whoever sent you the file to resave it in a format you can read. For example, most current word processors¡ªsuch as Sun's widely used StarOffice Writer¡ªwill save in one of Microsoft Word's native formats.


What if you need the text from a file right now; you can't afford to wait for a third-party product to arrive, and you can live without the formatting? Or what if you have a file that you can't even identify? Try Word's Recover Text from Any File filter, available through the File, Open dialog box. You'll learn how to use File, Open and Word's document filters in the next section.

Finally, it's important to note that Word's built-in file conversions aren't always perfect. For example, Microsoft has posted a five-page report on the limitations of the Word filter for saving documents to WordPerfect 5.x (Knowledge Base Article Q157085). Many of these limitations are minor; for example, Word's decimal table cell alignments are converted to WordPerfect right-aligned paragraphs, and centering codes may have to be individually repositioned. Taken together, however, they mean you can't assume that what you see in Word is what you get in WordPerfect.

Worse, if you convert a file to WordPerfect and then reopen the WordPerfect file in Word to see what it looks like, you see apparent problems that don't actually appear when your recipient opens the file in WordPerfect.

Ideally, you should double-check the results of any file conversion in the program to which you've converted. In the real world, however, you may not have access to that program, so just do your best to give your file's recipient enough time to check it and make any necessary adjustments.

¡ú For more information about file conversions, see the Bonus Word Chapter titled "Managing Word More Effectively," at http://www.quehelp.com.

Taking a Closer Look at Word's New Save As and Open Dialog Boxes

In Word 2000 and 2002, Microsoft thoroughly revamped both the Save As and Open dialog boxes, making it easier to find the folders and files you need. If you are upgrading from an older version of Word, such as Word 6 or 97, take a few moments to look over these dialog boxes: it will pay off many times over in improved productivity.


For the first time, Word 2002 Save As and Open dialog boxes are resizable, so you can view longer or wider lists of documents. To resize one of these dialog boxes, drag on the triangle at the bottom right of the dialog box (refer to Figure 3.7).

The Places Bar: Quick Access to Key Folders

At the left side of the Open and Save As dialog boxes, you'll see a vertical bar displaying five folders Microsoft expects you to use heavily as you work with Word. These work like shortcuts: clicking on one displays the contents of the corresponding folder.

  • History¡ªThe History folder stores Windows shortcuts for every file you've used and lists them in date order, with the most recent first. The History folder stores shortcuts to the files. If you've worked on the same file several times, the shortcut takes you to the latest version. It's a great way to find a file you've used in the past few days but that may no longer be on Word's most recently used file list.

  • My Documents¡ªThis is Word's default document folder. It places all the new files you save here unless you've specified otherwise. In Windows NT, this is called the Personal folder.

  • Desktop¡ªThis is the top-level folder on your computer. Although you probably won't store files in the Desktop folder, clicking Desktop gives you a quick high-level view of your drives and network resources. From the desktop, you can browse to just about anywhere.

  • Favorites¡ªYou can use this folder to store files you expect to work on especially often.

  • My Network Places¡ªThis folder gives you a one-click connection to the folders on your network, Web, or FTP server¡ªincluding files you may have published on your intranet or Web site. (In Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0, this option is called Web Folders.)

Word users welcomed the Places Bar in Word 2000 but wished for an easy way to customize it. In Word 2002, that wish comes true. To add a folder to the Places Bar, select the folder in either the Open or Save As dialog box; then click the Tools button at the top of the dialog box and choose Add To "My Places." The folder now appears on the Places Bar in all major Microsoft Office XP applications. An arrow may also appear at the bottom of the Places Bar, if its contents are now too long to fit.

To reorganize the Places Bar, right-click on an item; then choose Remove, Move Up, Move Down, or Rename. You can also choose Small Icons to squeeze more icons onto the Places Bar (see Figure 3.9).

Figure 3.9 Displaying small icons to fit more locations on the Places Bar.

Controlling How You View Lists of Documents

Word can list your document in several different ways. You can choose a different view of your document list by clicking the down arrow next to the Views button on the Save As (or Open) toolbar (see Figure 3.10). A drop-down list appears, containing these choices:

Figure 3.10 Choosing how to view a list of documents.

  • Large Icons¡ªDisplays large icons representing each file and folder; Word files are displayed with a large Word icon.

  • Small Icons¡ªDisplays small icons representing each file and folder; Word files are displayed with a small Word icon.

  • List¡ªDisplays a list of your documents and folders, showing only their names.

  • Details¡ªDisplays the size, type, and last modification date of each file and folder. You can sort files by clicking on the heading you want to sort by, such as Name, Size, Type, or Modified.

  • Properties¡ªEnables you to select a file and get information about it (see Figure 3.11).

  • Preview¡ªDisplays the first page of the document.

  • Thumbnails¡ªDisplays thumbnail images of documents. Note, however, that in many cases Word cannot display a thumbnail and simply presents an icon.

Figure 3.11 The Properties view within the Save As dialog box.

Using Tools in the Save As (and Open) Dialog Boxes

For your convenience, Word brings together a series of file-related tools in the Tools menu of the Save As dialog box. To view these tools, click the Tools button (see Figure 3.12).


These tools are also available in the Open dialog box, as is another tool¡ªFind¡ªwhich you can use to search for documents. Find is covered later in this chapter.

Additionally, some of the tools described previously, as well as other options, are also available from shortcut menus that display when you right-click on a filename.

Figure 3.12 Choosing among the tools available in the Save As dialog box.

You can select a file, click Tools, and then Delete it, Rename it, or

  • Click Add to Favorites to add a shortcut to this file to your Favorites folder for quick access.

  • Click Properties to display the document's properties. (To learn more about using document properties, see the Bonus Word Chapter, "Managing Word More Effectively.")

If you select a networked drive, you can choose Map Network Drive to map that drive so that it appears as another drive letter on your local drive. If you select a folder or drive, you can choose Add to "My Places" to display the folder or drive as one of My Network Places.


Several additional options are available; these are covered elsewhere in the book. Save Options is covered in Chapter 27. Security Options is covered in Chapter 29, "Word Document Privacy and Security Options." Compress Pictures, which shrinks file sizes by compressing images within the files, is covered in Chapter 14, "Getting Images into Your Documents." Finally, Save Version is covered in Chapter 24, "Managing Document Collaboration and Revisions."


You can select multiple files in the Open dialog box and use the Tools menu to delete, print, or add them to the Favorites folder all at once.

Using MSN Web Communities to Store Content on the Web

Microsoft's MSN Web Communities offers 30 megabytes of storage space on the Web at no charge. You can use this space from within Office as

  • Supplemental file storage

  • An easy way to share large files with clients and business partners

  • An easy way to transfer files you'll need on a trip

In the following procedure, you'll walk through claiming and using your Web-based storage space.


The following procedure assumes that you have a Microsoft Passport user ID, which gives you access to all of Microsoft's services on the Web, including Hotmail. If you don't have one, you can get one at http://www.hotmail.com and a variety of other sites on the Web. As with any other free Web resource, before you sign up for Passport, carefully read Microsoft's posted privacy policies.

  1. Choose File, Open (or File, Save As).

  2. In the Open (or Save As) dialog box, choose My Network Places from the Places Bar.

  3. Double-click on My Web Sites on MSN. The Sign In with Microsoft Passport dialog box appears (see Figure 3.13).

  4. Figure 3.13 The Sign in With Microsoft Passport dialog box.

  5. Enter your sign-in name (typically your Hotmail e-mail address) and your password; then click OK.

  6. TIP

    If you're unconcerned about the security of your computer, and you don't want to be bothered with signing in to Passport every time you use your Web storage, check the Automatically Sign Me In On This Computer check box.

  7. Microsoft now provides you with a folder bearing your sign-in name (you cannot rename this folder). If you double-click this folder, you'll find a "files" folder and, within that, subfolders for My Music and My Pictures.

If you want to add a folder to the ones MSN gives you by default, double-click the files folder. Then, click the New Folder button in the Save As toolbar. The New Folder dialog box appears (see Figure 3.14). Enter a folder name in the name text box, and click OK. The folder now appears in your list of folders.

Figure 3.14 The New Folder dialog box.

Now that you have Web storage, you can browse to it, save files to it, and open files from it, just like any other drive you have access to. If you are accessing the drive for the first time in a session, you may be asked for your Microsoft Passport ID and password.

Creating Shortcuts to Files Stored on Network Servers

Finding content stored on network servers or the Internet can be complex; Word and Office make it easy by allowing you to create shortcuts to Network Places¡ªfolders on any network server, Web, or FTP site that you can use as if they were folders on your own drive. The Web drive you created in the previous section is an example of a Network Place; in this section, you'll walk through creating a Network Place on your own network.

To create a Network Place, you use the Add Network Place Wizard. You can start the wizard by choosing File, New to display the New Document side pane and clicking Add Network Place. You can also access the wizard from within the Open or Save As dialog box, by clicking Add Network Place in the Places Bar. Either way, the Add Network Place Wizard opens.

After you've displayed the Add Network Place Wizard, follow these steps to add a Network Place that points to a folder that already exists:

  1. Choose Create a Shortcut to an Existing Network Place and click Next. The Create Network Place Shortcut dialog box appears (see Figure 3.15).

  2. Figure 3.15 Identifying your Network Place's location and shortcut name.

  3. In the Location box, enter the complete Web location. If you're not sure of the location, click the Search the Web button to browse to the location and exit the browser when you get there; the Wizard appears with the location displayed.

  4. Press the Tab key; a default shortcut name appears in the Shortcut Name text box. If you want to edit it, do so.

  5. Click Finish.

If you need to create a new folder and make that folder a Network Place, display the Add Network Wizard and follow these steps:

  1. Choose Create a Shortcut to an Existing Network Place and click Next. The Network Place Location dialog box appears.

  2. In the Folder Location box, enter the complete Web location where you want to create the new folder.

  3. In the Folder Name text box, enter a name for the folder.

  4. Click Finish.

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Last Update: November 17, 2020