Thursday, November 03, 2005

Customizing the Office "Save As..." Dialog ... Or Otherwise known as "My Places"

As you can probably tell from the lack of posts, Billy-G has been putting us to the grind these days. I'm in the middle of writting specs, updating specs, reviewing specs, reading specs, etc. Basically my life consists of specs, specs, specs. And what comes with specs? The over use of a unknown little program called Microsoft Office. :o)

I was saving a particular spec today, about a BAZILLION times, and it occured to me, I haddn't posted this little tip on how to have fun with the Office "Save As..." dialog.

So here is my customized "Save As..." dialog, notice anything different?

I'll give you a hint, take a look at what is selected. CompanyWeb! How cool is that, you can put links to any folder in here. SharePoint folders, or UNC/SMB paths. I bet your just itching to know how.

It's easy:

  1. Open Word, or Excel, and choose File, Save As...

  2. Browse to the folder you want on the quick bar, for me I typed in http://companyweb and hit enter

  3. In the top right hand courner of the dialog, drop down the Tools menu and choose Add to "My Places"

  4. Now the folder is added to the bottom of the list, but it's inconvenient because it's off the bottom of the dialog

  5. Simply right-click the item and choose Move Up, and shift all of the items around to your liking

Now if that's not a time saver, I don't know what is. You know what else? You could even add this to your employee's computer to promote the use of SharePoint, you know make it easy!.

I use this non-stop when I'm writing specs, I'm sure once you do it, you'll find it handy too.

Keep in mind that this only works for Office Applications, if you're ambitious and want to change it for programs like MSPAINT or NOTEPAD (two of my favourite applications btw), you'll have to get the Tweak UI Power Toy and change it there. Keep in mind in Tweak UI, it's called "The Places Bar". (dang naming conventions, or lack there of will get you every time!)

Now that's some low level customization, but if you're in the same spot all the time opening or saving, these tips might save you, or your customers some time!


Anonymous said...

Is there a group policy option for this??

Anonymous said...

That was gonna be MY question!

Sean, you've teased us with a GREAT tip that we're sure to pass along.

That said -- as an example: it would be great to give everyone in the Sales Department a "Save As" button for their department's files.

So while we appreciate the Chocolate Soufflé you made for us -- How can we make a zillion of them? :-)

Sean Daniel said...

Great question, and why not right? It should be there, In fact, you'd think SharePoint would install such a GPO to promote it's use!

Unfortunately, after confering with a few of my Group Policy Guru's (including the Group Policy Program Manager), this functionality is not yet there. I've requested it for future versions, but since I don't work in that group, obviously can't promise anything. :(

Anonymous said...

Well Sean, I showed this little trick to my client -- they loved it and "unfortunately" they have to hire me to go to all of their 600+ computers and do it! :-)

Actually, we're going to take this opportunity to do a great deal of other work -- so THANKS FOR THE WORK! Do I owe you beer, wine or sake?

Sean Daniel said...

hehehe, it better not be SBS you're running with 600 clients joined to it. ;o)

No wories on the help, happy to do it. Next time you see me, just say hello, that's all I ask. :)

Anonymous said...

This is a silly and off-topic question, but what theme are you running for Windows... I like the shiny titlebar.

Anonymous said...

Sean, we have a custom SQL database we use all day long, and would like to be able to "Open" and see the same customized "my places" added links to various network folder just like we have in Office 2003 apps. I tried your suggestion to use Tweak UI but it doesn't allow adding the open/my places folder views in the SQL database GUI, it just allows you to change what you see in Office apps. Any way to do that??

Sean Daniel said...

I believe this is a feature that SharePoint provides as part of being hosted through IIS and their ISAPI filter. I do not believe this is a SQL feature, so thus SQL alone wouldn't be able to do this.

I of course am not 100% sure, but I believe this is the case.


Anonymous said...

In case anyone isn't aware, this is available through GPO here:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer > Common Open File Dialog

Source was

Anonymous said...

Having tried to do this for a while, it has become apparent that Office (2003 at least) does not use the common open file dialog.

Great! :(