Autohotkey: Change Open Dialog to Details view

1 min read

One of the pains with using Microsoft Office is that when you go to open or save a file, the dialog box often does not show the files the way you want to see them. Saving a default folder view in Windows does nothing to fix this.

I typically find the file open dialog opens in List view whereas I prefer details view.

On solution is to install something like File-Ex which is NOT freeware and requires you to install something with a lot of functionality when all you want is to change the dialog default view.

My imperfect hack is to use autohotkey. If you don’t already use autohotkey then this is not really the solution for you and you should check out File-Ex.

This simple code should be tweaked depending on the dialog box you are using and operating system.

This will change the view for the MS Office dialogue box on XP to Details view:

Send !l
Sleep, 300
Send {Left}
Sleep, 300
Send d

How it works:
The View menu options are not accessible directly so first we access Tools then move left to select Details view.

The sleep in between each step is because I found the command wouldn’t work unless you gave the dialog a bit of time to “react”.

This doesn’t change the default view but saves a few clicks in getting to where you want.