Word: Putting the file path in the document

July 19, 2010

Bill, a work colleague, asked:

How do I insert the file path and file name into a footer? It was easy in Word 2003 but I can’t find a way in Word 2007. This is just to remind me where the hell I put it!!

I walked Bill through the steps, and also got him to turn on field shading so he would always know when any apparent text was actually a field.

Here’s how to insert a file path and file name into your Word 2007 document:

  1. Place the cursor where you want to insert the file path/name (this might be the main body of the document, the header or the footer).
  2. Go to the Insert tab > Text group.
  3. Click the Quick Parts button, then click Field near the bottom of the drop-down list.
  4. On the Field window, scroll down the list of Field Names and select FileName, then select the Add path to filename check box. (Adding the file path to the file name is very useful for everyone, but especially for those who save their documents on large corporate networks.)
  5. Click OK.
  6. The field is inserted into your document. If it’s a new document that you haven’t saved yet, you’ll see DocumentX as the file path (where X is the document number):
  7. Save the document, then place your cursor anywhere in the field and press F9 to update the field (or right-click in the field and select Update field). The field updates with the correct file name and path.

If you want the file name/path field to update automatically, you’ll need to do any of these:

Update: You can add this footer to your footer ‘Quick Parts’ gallery so that you don’t have to go through these steps every time.

  1. Once you’ve done all the steps above, select the footer contents.
  2. Click the small drop-down arrow to the right of Footer in the Header and Footer group on the Design tab.
  3. At the bottom of the drop-down list, click Save Selection to Footer Gallery.
  4. Complete the details and click OK. (Hint: If you want your footer to show at the top of this list in future, add a space or underscore before the name.)
  5. When you next want to add this footer to a document, open the footer, then just choose it from the Footer list (step 2).

(Thanks to James’ comment on 1 June 2012 for these steps.)


  1. I’ve often received documents with the file path in the footer and wondered whether this poses any kind of security risk by giving hackers some knowledge of the organisation’s file structure?

  2. IN 2003 it was simplier – just Header&Footer, Insert Autotext, File and Path. Why did 2007 and 2010 make a gong show out of it?

  3. Many, many, thanks


  4. Thank you soooo much. Yours was about the fifth site I tried. The others were just words and I could follow for a while, then get confused. Your pictures were worth 1,000 words!!!

  5. Thanks – easy when you know how but your explanation whas easy to follow.

  6. My sentiments exactly.

  7. I wonder about MS sometimes. They give & take featues between their app’s on apparently a “how can we fork-over users the most?” sort of way.

    In Excel & others, there is the very useful fieldname “&PATH”. Easily added to Headers or Footers.

    But in WORD (only), there is “Filename/p”. Then you have to delete the filename portion to leave only the path showing.

    It would be so nice to have:
    1. Consistancy between the app’s.
    2. The ability to easily & quickly add a Footer to show the filename on 1 line and the path on another line

  8. word 2003 guys left or were fired and then some geek decided to redo the stuff as word 2007 and took away useful features at random. I wish WordPerfect came back.

  9. The &PATH seems to have died a quick death with 2007 & 2010.
    Shame on Microsoft.
    I agree that the “how to fork over the users the most” group definitely is in charge of feature development for Office these days. How easy would it be for the Excel / Word / PowerPoint / Visio dev teams to actually get together & talk about common features? I mean, come on folks! It’s not rocket science we’re talking about – just useability!

  10. While we’re at it:
    Why did Microsoft take away the fill-colour and line/grid tear-away floaty-thingies and make them 1-use only per click drop-downs?
    What a monumental time waster to have to keep going back & click several times for each and every thing you need to format.

    Oh, I forgot – the “how to fork over the users the most” crowd is in control of feature development. Silly me …

  11. thank you so much…………………varun prasad

  12. THANKS!!!! I wasted so much time trying to find the path in 2010 version!

  13. thanks a ton

  14. Thank you VERY much. Microsoft doesn’t seem to know/understand that if it ain’t broke, there’s no need to fix it. (Is it that they’re having too many trainers sitting idle these days?…) Switching from Office 2003 to Office 2010 is a big pain in the patootie, and that’s just to get back to whatever you were able to do before…

  15. Agree with most comments.

    1) Everything that was easy in older version, MS re-did it, moved or removed it.
    2) They added too many bells and whistles that most people do not use everyday; and put them up front.
    3) connecting to internet was not always needed to get answers to simple question.
    4) Microsoft’s arogance is evidence everywhere.

    UNRELATED subject. A problem with MS Office 2010.

    I recently got a another new computer. Initially I used their Starting verson of Office 2010. After a month or so, I purchase from them full MS Office 2010 and installed it.

    Problem: >>> It did not replace the old Starting version of Office with properly purchased full version. I don’t know what to do. There is no phone number to call to resolve this issue.


  16. Hi Dave

    At the very bottom of the main page of the Microsoft website is a link to their ‘Contact Us’ page: http://support.microsoft.com/contactus

    I’m in Australia, and when I open that page, I get the Australian contact details displayed on the right (phone #, Twitter tag, etc.), as well as big buttons for ‘Email us’ and ‘Contact us’ in the main body of the page.

    Go to that site and see if your country’s phone number is listed on the right. Alternatively, click the ‘Call us’ or ‘Email us’ icon to get taken to a page for different types of support available via phone and/or email.


  17. Like many others I easily inserted file/path name in older version but wasted a lot of time trying to discover how to do name in Word 2010.
    Thanks for your posting……….. in a minute I learned how to insert file name….. Many thanks Marion, from Beautiful Bermuda.

  18. Thank you! Such a basic and useful command to have buried so deep! Thank you for making it simplie. I realy miss the drop down’s where you could actually find what you need. :-(

  19. Oh – and heaven forbid you use a table in a footer to make the FILENAME, Page + NumPage, and Date easily formatted. This really messes up Word 2007 / 2010.

  20. Easiest instructions I came across thus far. Thanks a million!!!

  21. Thank you many times over. Clear, concise and it works! Beats other help files by a country mile.

  22. Excellent!

  23. you guys are missing a critical component of this fiasco MS has created…yet there is a fix for it. MOST people want the path footer in the header/footer section of the Insert Tab. I don’t much care to go the whole 6 clicks deep to perform what used to be a one-click function.

    here’s what you’ve missed—complete the tutorial above as illustrated. NOW:

    1. highlight the footer that got inserted in your document. you MUST highlight it, not just click on/inside the text.
    2. go to the footer pulldown and choose “Save selection to Footer Gallery”
    3. you could be done–but, you can additionally create a new category with a leading space (so that it sorts to the top alphabetically) and assign it to that category.

    i’d love to post screen shots, but the limitations of the reply box prohibit it. perhaps the OP can add this missing bit of info to his entry.

  24. James, thank you!

    But note that the new Footer shows in the group below Built-In, under General in the list.


  26. The author has a different interpretation of automatic than I do. If i have to print, or print preview, or hit key combinations each time I want Word to show the correct info -it’s not automatic. Excel updates these fields automatically. Change the filename and the path and filename in the header or footer also change at the same time -in Excel. I will follow the authors links to see if there is a macro that can make this automatic (probably the macro automatically tags print preview whenever you save!)

  27. This is EXCELLENT! Thank you – used to be so easy….and now it is again, but just additional steps.

  28. I would have found this information SO useful during my last contract uploading docs onto a very convoluted shared drive. I will be using this in the future, that’s for sure.

  29. Since Bill has left microsoft, his second in command has stepped up to the helm and duely made a utter Forking mess of it!

    Came back Bill, all is forgiven (almost).

  30. alleluiah – finally – someone who knows how to do something and actually can articulate how to do it. Thank you so much.

  31. how to insert file path in the backside of the paper? While put file path in the texture side its seems not good. Please share if there is any possible.

  32. Hi Arun

    You can insert the file path anywhere in the document, not just the footer (see step 1 above). If you want it on the back of the first page, either set up a new page section break or add a hard page break at the end of the first page text. Follow the steps above, but instead of the footer, put the file path on the second page.

    I hope I understood your question correctly.


  33. Thank you so much !! Really clear and helpful instructions.
    I agree with most of the other comments. 2003 was so easy to add file name and path. I seem to spend ages now trying to find how to do things in 2010 that were easy in 2003. I have loads of short cuts on my quick access toolbar

  34. just Insert your Details in Document using Quick Parts>>Field and then Press “Alt+F9” and save it to Word Template ……
    it’s Automatically updated all the details in Print Preview ….

  35. I also found it much easier to insert file name and path in headers/footers in the earlier versions. However I have managed to make templates including this features, but when I print the document the font size of the file name and path changes, even if I have chosen a very tiny size. How do I fix this?

  36. Hi Monica

    Open up the header/footer where the field is, right-click on the field, then select Edit Field. At the bottom right of the dialog box that opens, select the ‘Preserve formatting on updates’ checkbox. Click OK. Now, select the field and set the font size you want. Future updates should now keep it.


  37. Hi Rhonda,

    (Help me Rhonda would be more suitable here!)
    Thanks for your help! I actually did have that checkbox checked. But when I clicked OK, the font grew bigger and then I chose the right font size and saved the template and THEN IT WORKED!

    Thanks a lot! Now I will go through all my templates and fix them. This has irritated me for a long time.

  38. Yep. Resetting the font size after checking that box is the critical thing.


  39. brilliant thanks so much easier in word 2003 and sounds like you were have the same grrr moment as me

  40. SO grateful, have tried to find this function for months but your tips solved the mystery in seconds.

  41. Thank you. This was the first response about including the file path that was easy to follow.

  42. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! I now know one more thing than my kids!!

  43. Thank you so much …..Irfana Pathan

  44. Actually, all the above is true, but the moment I use the revised Normal Macro enabled template in Word 2007 to create a document and save it, then do a print preview, part of the filename suddenly goes to 11 point even though my document body is 12 point and my footer is all 8 point in the normal template being used! I have spent days on this, several times over the last few years. Would love a solution.

  45. Found the solution. I opened my Normal Template (macro enabled seems to be the necessary one), double-clicked the footer, right-clicked the filename (which had been changing fonts on Print Preview) and chose Edit Field. I then clicked Field Codes, then put my cursor to the right of the Field Code I already had in (which was \p) and added a new Field Code which was “\* charformat” (without the quotes). I clicked OK. I saved the revised Normal template, but this time was warned that I was changing the global template (note that I hadn’t been warned when I had changed it previously), said Yes, and the new template is working well.

  46. Thanks a lot

  47. How does one REMOVE the inserted file path from the text portion of my document, i.e. not contained in a header or a footer? This should be so simple—-even for a non-technie like me! Thanks in advance for your suggestion.

  48. Thanks you!!! great help!

  49. Thanks a lot

  50. It is usefull software for copy, delete, long path files.
    Please try “Long Path Tool” program.

  51. thank you very very much.really appreciate your work

  52. Thank you for your tips. Your way is very simple(if known) and useful.

  53. Thanks for your tips. Much appreciated

  54. Thanks

    someone asked me about inserting file path in the documents.


  55. Inserting the filename path used to be a simple as typing “filename” or “filename and path” then click the F3 key or look them up in auto text and insert. Now it requires a multi-step. How is that making Word more useful? And don’t get me started on the icon selections when adding shortcuts to the toolbar!!!

  56. Thanks !
    I don’t know how to put auto file path before. Helpful.

  57. This was easy to follow . I have been trying to do this intuitively however not possible…

  58. Most helpful – thank you.

  59. Very helpful. Thank You

  60. Full of gratitude.Whole heartily.

  61. Thanks for sharing this!

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