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: Viewing Files of a Certain Type.

Viewing Files of a Certain Type

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 9, 2015)

3

When you want to open a document, you normally use the Open dialog box. (The easiest way to display it is to just press Ctrl+O.) This is a standard dialog box in Word, used to list the files that you can open in the program. At the bottom of the dialog box you can use a drop-down list to limit what Word displays in the file list.

What if you want to display files that have a non-standard filename extension, however? For instance, what if you want to display only the files that you saved using a filename extension of .LET? If you want to do this, Word makes it easy: simply enter *.let in the File Name box and press Enter. Word dutifully displays all the files ending in .LET.

What if you want to display only the files that begin with W and end in .DOCX? All you need to do is enter w*.docx in the File Name box and again press Enter.

For those who have been around computers for a while, you may recognize a pattern here. The pattern is simple—you can use the old DOS wildcards (asterisk and question mark) to specify a pattern for the files you want Word to 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 (10311) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Viewing Files of a Certain Type.

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

Understanding Variables

Variables are used quite frequently in programming, and VBA programming is no exception. Each variable can have a data type ...

Discover More

Combining Numbers and Text in a Cell

There are times when it can be beneficial to combine both numbers and text in the same cell. This can be easily done using a ...

Discover More

Copying the Quick Access Toolbar

Customization of Word is done, largely, through what you add to or remove from the Quick Access Toolbar. When you have the ...

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)

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

Understanding MRU Files

Don't you love all the acronyms used in computer terminology? One such acronym—pertinent to Word users—is MRU. ...

Discover More

Saving Documents Using the Same Filename

When working on a document, you most often want to save your edits using the existing name of the document. If Word thinks ...

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 6Mpixels. 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 4 - 2?

2015-05-10 20:11:40

Fred Farkash

I left windows when vista came on the scene. I went to mac os x.
I took a collage course on office 2013 on windows 8.1 platform. I hate the ribbon but really like all the improvements to each of the products. As I said to start with I have been using OS X since vista broke the camels back. As you probably know Microsoft has finally come out with office 2013 for Mac OS X called Office 2016. My question is, will you be publishing WordTips for Word 2016 as well? The question also goes for Exceltips 2013 and Exceltips 2016.
Thank you for your attention
Fred


2015-05-09 19:53:53

Neil Fitzjames

Reza, I too have Word 2013 .
I have set my "File Open " to * All Files.

I go File Open , Computer, Browse and that is where I have the *All Files setting.
Most of the time I know the folder where the file is located.
If you are uncertain then use Windows Explorer with *,let or whatever extension you want to find.
Neil



2015-05-09 07:15:01

Reza

Hi,
I use office 2013 but in dialog box I have not drop-down list.
I wish word tips could come with graphics.
Thank you for all great tips, they are really helpful.


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.