When you save a file in an Office 2010 application, you can change where the file is saved. (The default Save location in Office 2010 is the Documents folder.)

Files are organized into folders, and you can have folders inside folders. For example, you might have a folder called Retirement with a folder inside it called Finances, and an Excel file called BankAccounts.xlsx inside of that folder.

The path for such a file would be C:\Retirement\Finances\BankAccounts.xlsx. The C at the beginning is the drive letter. The main hard disk on a computer is called C. The backslashes (\) are separators between folder levels.

At the top of the Save As dialog box, the parts of a path are separated by right-pointing triangles rather than by slashes. You can click any of the triangles to open a drop-down list containing all the subfolders and then click one of those folders to quickly switch to it.


If the Save As dialog box doesn’t show any folders or locations, click the Browse Folders button. Conversely, if you want to hide the folders/locations (for example, if you always save in the default location), click the Hide Folders button.

Paths are also shown as the collapsible/expandable Navigation pane at the left side of the dialog box. You can double-click a folder to hide or show its contents. In Windows 7, there is a single large Navigation pane with several top-level collapsible categories: Favorites, Libraries, Homegroup, Computer, and Network. The default save location in most Office apps is the Documents folder, under Libraries. Double-click Documents to go back to that default folder at any point.


In Windows Vista, there are two separate panes for

  • Favorite Links (equivalent to Favorites in Windows 7)

  • Folders (equivalent to Computer in Windows 7)

You can hide the Folders pane entirely, giving more room to the Favorite Links pane, by clicking the downward-pointing arrow on the Folders heading.


You have several ways to navigate between folders:

  • Click a shortcut in the Favorites (or Favorite Links) list to jump to a certain folder. (If the Favorites list is collapsed, double-click Favorites to open it.)

  • Click Computer in the Navigation pane (or the Favorite Links list, if using Windows Vista) to display a list of all the drives on your PC. From there, double-click to move through the levels of folders to the area you want.

  • If you’re using Windows Vista, display the Folders list if it doesn’t already appear. Collapse or expand folders as needed to find the folder you want and then double-click it.

  • From the Address bar at the top of the dialog box, open the list for the folder level you want to see the subfolders of and then click the one you want.

  • Click in the Address bar. This changes its display to a traditional path (like C:\Foldername); you can manually type in a path and then press Enter.

You can create a new folder in which to save files. Just click the New Folder button in the Open dialog box, type a name for the new folder, and then press Enter.

If you find yourself changing the save location frequently, you can set a different location to be the default. In Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, choose File→Options. Click the Save category, enter a different path in the Default File Location box, and click OK.