Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Understanding MRU Files.

Understanding MRU Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 17, 2013)

MRU is an acronym for most recently used. It describes a feature of Word that allows you to quickly open your most recently used documents. These file names are displayed by Word when you click on the Office button (Word 2007) or the File tab of the ribbon (Word 2010).

Actually, Word 2007 and Word 2010 each handle MRU files differently—drastically differently. When you click the Office button in Word 2007, you are shown a list of the MRU files. That is simple and straightforward. You can change the number of documents in the MRU list in this manner:

  1. Click the Office button and then click Word Options. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Scroll through the list of available options until you see the Display section. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Show This Number of Recent Documents option is set to a value between 1 and 50. This signifies how many MRU files should be remembered by Word.
  6. Click the OK button.

You can also perform the above steps in Word 2010, with the one small variance being how you get to the Word Options dialog box. (Click the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.) What this setting controls, however, is what you see on the File tab of the ribbon when you click Recent at the left side of the screen.

Word 2010 also has a "quick list" of MRU files that it displays in the pane at the left side of the File tab screen. This quick list appears just below the Close command and above the Info item. You control how many MRU files appear in this quick list by first making sure that Recent is selected and then using the control at the very bottom of the screen. The control is titled "Quickly Access This Number of Recent Documents." You can turn off this feature using the supplied check box, but if it is turned on you can specify how many of the MRU documents should appear in the quick list. (You can select from 1 up to the number of documents you specified to be maintained in the MRU list.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7355) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding MRU Files.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Moving Text Using the Mouse

Many people use the keyboard to do their primary editing tasks. Word doesn't limit you to the keyboard, however. You can also ...

Discover More

Strip Trailing Spaces

If you get tired of documents that always seem to have extra spaces at the end of lines, here's a quick way to get rid of ...

Discover More

Shortcut to Merge Cells

Need to merge a bunch of cells together on a regular basis? You'll love the two macros in this tip which can make short work ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Formatting Text Files with VBA

Got a bunch of text that you've imported from a text file? Need to make it look better? You can take a stab at it with this ...

Discover More

Renaming a Document

Want to rename a document that is already on your hard drive? You can, of course, do it in Windows, but you can also do it in ...

Discover More

Keeping the Flash Drive Occupied

Working on a document stored on a flash drive can have some unintended consequences. Here's some help in understanding how ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.