Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Use Filenames That Sort Properly.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 25, 2017)
It is not uncommon to work on projects that require several documents. For instance, you may be working on a manual that has several parts. When you are naming files for this project, you should use names that will later sort properly when you use various functions of Word.
For instance, when you choose to open a document, you see the standard Open dialog box that shows the files in the current directory. If your files are named properly, they will always appear in order on the list. I ensure this by starting all files related to a project with two digits that represent the order in which the document appears in the project. For instance, if the project entails an introduction, three sections, and an appendix, then the files may be named as follows:
01 Introduction.docx 02 Section 01.docx 03 Section 02.docx 04 Section 03.docx 05 Appendix.docx
Without the leading two digits, of course, the files would be displayed in the dialog box in an entirely different order. For me, the above approach ensures that the files are always in the logical order I need. The only drawback is that if I need to add a new section (such as Section 04), then I need to change the number of the 05 Appendix.docx file to 06 Appendix.docx so that the new section can become 05 Section 04.docx. This renaming is a small price to pay to keep my files in the desired order. One way around having to change the number of the Appendix.docx file each time a new section is added is to initially replace the leading zero with 1 as the first of the assigned two digits. This assures the Appendix.docx file always follows the sections.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10840) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Use Filenames That Sort Properly.
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