Customize the Places Bar in Office XP/2003

How can I customize the Places Bar in Office XP?

In Office 2000 you needed to either edit the registry or use a utility to change the places bar and could not do it on the fly. Also, the places bar was limited to no more than ten entries.
With Office XP, it’s easy to add new places right from the File | Open or File | Save dialog and you can have more than ten. You can easily access frequently used folders or even partitions.

  1. Open any Office XP application such as Word etc.
  2. Go to the File menu then select either Save or Open.
  3. Browse to the folder you want added to the Places Bar and select it.

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  1. Click on the Tools menu and choose Add to “My Places”.

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  1. The folder now appears in your places menu.
  2. You can now move it up or down as desired. Right-click the folder in the left pane and select Move Up until you get it to the desired position.

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  1. If you have more icons than will fit on the bar, a small arrow appears to indicate there are more icons and you can scroll up or down the list. If scrolling isn’t does sound so hot, you can resize the dialog window to show more, made easier if you switch to small icons.

You can also add removable ZIP drives, USB devices, Disk-on-key USB devices, Floppy drives and what not.
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  1. You can also add FTP sites and browse to folders within them. Simply add the FTP URL, such as to the Filename box, then click Save.

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A dialog window will pop-up asking for your logon name and password. Enter it (if you have one) or select Anonymous.
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  1. Now you can browse the FTP site as desired, select any folder within it and add it to the places bar.

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You can export the registry keys for my places bar and restore it quickly. This saves rebuilding all you custom locations if you need to reformat and reinstall. The registry key can be found at:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Common\Open Find\Places\UserDefinedPlaces

Removing places from the bar is just as easy, right click on the icon you want to remove and choose Remove. You can rename or switch between large and small icons using this menu also.
Note: Tip modified from an original tip written by Diane Poremsky.
Another cool way for modifying the Place Bar is by using OPiE 2.0 Office Places Editor – This is a great little productivity app for Microsoft Office. It allows you to change the Open/Save/Save As dialog box icons (better known as Office Places Bar) to anything you want up to 10 icons instead of what Microsoft gives you (just 5 icons) – The app also allows the user to cave multiple lists of 10 so the amount of Office Places is unlimited. It is totally Adware free and Spyware free.
You can download OPiE 2.0 from HERE or visit the author’s website at

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HOW TO: Customize the My Places Bar in the “Open” and “Save As” Dialog Boxes – 282087link out ico