Modify the Recent Document list in Office 2010 to not include file directories


Is there a way to modify the Recent Workbook list in Excel (2010) so that only the filename is displayed (ie not the directory) for each file?

The following four screenshots are from Google images and, I think, correctly display the Recent Workbook list (File > Recent or File > Open) as it appeared in the Excel version listed:

Excel 2007
Excel 2010
Excel 2013
Excel 2016
As shown above, the Recent Document list (for version 2007 and earlier) displayed as a single line for each file and did not include a second line showing the directory as became the format beginning with Office 2010.

I suspect this change came about, like many others, as part of Microsoft's efforts to make their application interfaces more compatible with touchscreens. However, in addition to being superfluous (since a file's directory can easily be seen by mousing over the filename), it was not a positive change (imo) for mouse users because it lessens the efficient utilization of screen space.

Is there a way, using VBA or some other means (eg AutoHotkey), to eliminate the directory lines and display a more compact list of recent files as in the past?

By the way, I continue to use Office 2010 (for several reasons similar to the above) so that is the version I am particularly interested in.

Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Fabrice LambertFabrice LambertCommented:
I don't think it is doable, as the list is managed by Excel, and VBA have no means to interact with it.
Wayne Taylor (webtubbs)Commented:
I think the change is a positive one as you can see at a glace, without having to move the mouse, which file is which when there are 2 files with the same name.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Steve,
I'm not aware of any way to remove the directory line in the sections that you highlighted, even with my beloved AutoHotkey. :)  But it is possible to display a different Recent list that has just one line per file — with only the file name. In 2010, you do this by ticking the checkbox pointed to by the red arrow in the screenshot below, which then activates the one-line Recent list enclosed in the red box in the screenshot below:

excel 2010 quickly access
In 2010, it is limited to 25 entries.

In 2013 and 2016, the checkbox is not there. Instead, you enable it via:

Scroll to the Display section and you'll see the "Quickly access this number of Recent Workbooks" checkbox (un-ticked by default). In 2013 and 2016, the limit has been raised from 25 to 50 entries.

I know this is not exactly what you're looking for, but I hope it helps. Regards, Joe

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
WeThotUWasAToadAuthor Commented:
Thanks Joe, that's a great workaround.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome, Steve. I'm glad that's an acceptable workaround for you. Regards, Joe
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Office

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.