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OpenWide - enlarge your open and save dialog boxes

Posted by ClifNotes, Dec 2005, Updated Aug 2007, permalink File Management


This week at work, a friend of mine called me up to say he was looking for ways to defeat the default settigns in the Windows Open/Save dialog. It's an old problem. When you are looking at files in and folders in Explorer, you can change the default view to list, details, thumbnails, icons etc. Windows will even remember the settings for you. You'd think Windows would be smart enough to remember those folder settings when you are viewing files from inside a program using the File Open and File Save menus. Windows is dumb this time because it always gives you the same view.


I gave my friend a list of a few programs I'd found that help change the default Open/Save dialog. He ended up using OpenWide.


Here is what my friend Allen said:

Thanks for the info, Clif. Of all the options, I liked OpenWide best. Installation and configuration was very simple. MS Office has its own controls for the open dialog and appears to ignore OpenWide (which is fine). I can change options on the fly without having to restart an application.


OpenWide is a tiny system tray tool that allows your to resize your open and save dialog boxes for most Windows programs. It fixes a long time annoyance that many people have complained about over the years. I found this cool little utility while I was browsing the latest review of Best Dialog Extenders at DonationCoder.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

This is a test release. Limited testing has shown it to work on a release of

Win2000 Professional and a release of ~WinXP Home.



Set position and size of Open & Save dialogs


Set initial keyboard focus


Set initial view style


Drag & drop folders onto the title bar of an Open/Save dialog box,

and the view will change to that folder!