Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Changing the Default File Name.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 8, 2015)
When you save a Word document for the first time, Word typically uses the first paragraph of the document as the suggested file name in the Save As dialog box. In reality, this choice for a default file name is the second choice for Word. It will use your document title as the default file name, provided you have set one.
You can use this information to your benefit by setting the document title in the templates you use to create your documents. For instance, let's say you use a template to create your letters. When you normally save a new letter, Word picks up the default file name from the first paragraph, which may be your letterhead or the date.
If you change the document title in the template to something such as Personal Letter, then Word will use Personal Letter.doc as the suggested file name. This is obviously much closer to how you want the saved file named than if Word had suggested the letterhead or the date. All you need to do is quickly customize the name (to something such as Personal Letter to Bill.docx) in the Save As dialog box.
To set a document title in a template, you use the Properties dialog box for the template. How you display the dialog box depends on the version of Word you are using:
Make sure you do the above steps, depending on your version, after opening the template file. Regardless of which version of Word you are using, make sure the Summary tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. The Summary tab of the Properties dialog box.
Next, change the contents of the Title field to the default file name you want to use. You do not need to include the .Docx portion of the file name. When done, click OK and then save and close the template.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5920) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing the Default File Name.
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