MS Word is driving me #@!*$* NUTS!!

Can someone PLEASE help?

Everytime I organize a folder filled with, say, a few dozen documents, I later return to this folder to find every single document rearranged alphabetically. I’ve tried to go into the control panel and figure out how to stop this madness from happening, but can’t figure out how to do it.

My goal is to have the documents within a folder organized in a way that some are clustered together–without it resetting every time I logoff on my PC.

Please rescue me.


As far as I know, there’s no way to get Windows to remember the order that you left things in, the order that files appear on the screen is not related to the order in which they are filed on the disk.

If you want to group similar documents together, create subfolders.

It’s not Word, it’s Windows, and Mangetout is correct – Windows always rearranges your files if you display them as a list.

If you view them as icons, you can arrange them how you like. To do so, open the window, open the “view” menu, and select “view as small icons.” This will permit your dozens of files to be displayed using a minimum of space, and still have everything where you want it.

If you must have your items listed with information, the only way to do what you want is to use subfolders, as Mangetout suggested, or rename all of your files so that they alphabetize in the order you want – i.e., to add a letter to the front of each filename (“a” for the first group, “b” for the second, etc.)

Not a Word problem - it’s just how Windows works. There is no way to organize files in the way you describe. As Mangetout says, the order that files appear on the screen has no relation to how they’re on the disk. Chances are, the files in question are scattered all over your hard disk. Only the file system knows where they physically are.

Either create subfolders, or rename them alphabetically. You can’t just drag and drop and expect them to stay in that order.

You could re-sort based on file type and/or date created as well, and they usually stay in that order every time you go back to that folder, until you reboot the computer.

Okay, there are a couple of ways to go about this. To start with if your view is set for “file by name” when you open that folder, it will be alphabetically arranged. But the view can be changed and sorted a number of ways. I fyour files were updated as a cluster on a certian day, just click view details and arrange by date, then you will see all the files that you updated a certain day. But the easiest thing to do, would be to make new folders to organize those clusters of files. You can do many folders within folders - as many as you wish. If you need to view a file from moe than one folder, you can make copies to more than one folder.

At work we have a large database that everyone accesses. It has literally thousands of files but they are all organized in folders so that there is a logical way to look for what you need.

If you don’t understand how to do this post and I will explain further.

Thanks. Let me explain a bit more.

The folder is already set to display the “large” icons.

The problem is that sometimes I move the documents inside a folder.

After doing so, I right click, and then hit “Line up icons.”

And after doing THAT, I right click again and hit “refresh.”

That’s when everything goes to alphabetical hell. Is hitting refresh a no-no? (Frankly, I have no idea why I am hitting refresh.)

Related to this, my “favorites” in Internet Explorer always reset to alphabetical after I sign off on the PC. Drives me nuts.

The “folders” idea is worthless, because all those folders get alphabetized too.

My solution is to prefix a two- or three-digit number before the name, leaving gaps for future files.

How about setting up an html page with links to the files? You would have to edit it every time you added a file, but it would allow you to list things however you pleased.

No, the “line up icons” button is your mistake. Why are you doing that?

Okay, maybe I am not getting this but why is the folders idea worthless. Isn’t the idea to be able to organize and retrieve the files? Who cares what pattern they form on the explorer option as long as y ou can retrieve the folders.

Lets say you have several docuemtns 1, 2 , 3 , & 4

and you want to put them in to folders ABCD but not in that order, you want to be able to put 1 in C 2 in B 4 in A and 3 in D. Asw long as you know how to find, does it matter than when you look again that they come up in the order ABCD? As long as there is some logic in the way you name the folders, you don’t have to cluster them in a certain position at all. I believe that is what microsoft had in mind when comeing up with the scheme for the program. “clustering” is pointless as long as you logically name the folders - then MS Word won’t drive you nuts, you will be able to use it as it was designed.

No no, ‘line up icons’ only puts the icons into the nearest icon “square”, i.e., they won’t be scattered, but lined up. It does not, however, alphabitize them at all, ‘refresh’ and ‘arrange icons’ do that.

I do what Keeve suggested. The way I’ve gotten around the alpabetism thing is to number my word documents in the title itself. ie, If I had documents called Yaks, Windmills, and The Wonderful World of Ytterbium, but I wanted them displayed in, say, reverse order, I’d go:

0001 The Wonderful World of Ytterbium, 0002 Windmills and 0003 Yaks.

Not the most technologically advanced thing in the world, but it gets the job done, so long as you don’t mind the numeration.

  1. Open the folder.
  2. Click #2 mouse button.
  3. Scroll to Arrange Icons
  4. Is Auto Arrange checked? Is it checked on all folders?
    Then you have all folders set to be alike with Auto Arrange.
    Go to View/Folder Options and change it.

Yes, you can retrieve the folders in any sequence, but its not necessarily easy. I find it can be much simpler if they are in a logical order rather than an alphabetical one. For example, a lot of my stuff is Bible-related, and I have a separate folder for each book of the Bible.

Some people might find it easy to use them in alphabetical order:

Chronicles 1
Chronicles 2
and so on…

But we’re talking about a couple of dozen folders, and I am much more used to finding them in the same sequence as is in my Bible, so I prefix numbers to their names:

01 Genesis
02 Exodus
03 Leviticus
04 Numbers
05 Deuteronomy
06 Joshua
and so on…

To each his/her own. I’m simply illustrating why the number-prefix seems to be the best solution for me.