Excel: Set up Excel Icons to Open a Specific File on Startup

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Problem: I routinely use the same five files in my job. I want a series of five icons on my Desktop so I can easily open these five files.

Strategy: You can use a startup switch in the shortcut. Excel offers startup switches to open a specific file, to open a file as read-only, to suppress the startup screen, or to specify an alternate default file location. Follow these steps.

  1. Open Windows Explorer using Win+M.
  2. Browse to %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\Office15\
  3. If Windows Explorer is in full-screen mode, click the Restore Down button so you can see the desktop.
  4. Scroll down to the Excel.exe entry. Right-click and drag it to the Desktop.
  5. Choose Create Shortcuts Here from the menu that appears when you release the right mouse button.
  6. On the Desktop, right-click the new Shortcut to Excel icon and choose Properties.
  7. In the Properties dialog, choose the General tab.
  8. Change the name in the top text box to something meaningful. If this icon will be used to open the Sales file, for example, a short name like Sales would work.
  9. On the Shortcut tab, locate the Target field. As you can see below, this field contains the complete path and file name to EXCEL.EXE, with the path and file name enclosed in quotation marks. (The Target field is not big enough to display the entire path, so you must click in the field and press the End key in order to see the end of the entry.)

  1. Use the End key to move to the end of the field.
    1. After the final quote in the Target field, type a space and the path and file name.

    You can now click that icon to open the particular Excel file.