The dialog boxes will be similar as they are using the same Windows API to present the information. But the application can choose what values it uses to initialize that dialog, in particular the default path. You can certaily change this default in Office - have a look at this article. It may be possible to do similar things with other apps.
The process described in the article above is supposed to establish what default folder opens. But somehow it doesn't seem to always function that way -- I find my Word save-as dialogue box seems to revert to the folder linked to the last-saved (or opened?) file.
What I seek is this: in that same save-as dialogue box there are several icons to the left of the 'Save in' 'File name' and 'Save as type' drop-downs.
One of them, for instance, is 'My Documents.' I'd like to change that icon (which always appears there in the same way) to direct to a folder of my choosing. It does not seem easy to accomplish this!
BTW, I'm using Word 2002. The instructions in the above-referenced article are for Word 2007, but one can follow them by substituting the first two steps with:
1. Click the Office button [for Word 2002, select ‘tools’ then ‘options’]
Ijack misunderstood the question. I use Word 2000. You're talking about the folder view with common folders listed at the left, which is a Windows function and can't be changed.
You can save into any folder by dropping down the menu at the top of the navigation box, which is a "picture" of your filing tree. There's a tiny triangular arrow there to click. Then drill down to save in whatever folder you want. You don't have to use the list at the left at all. I've never used it in 15 years of computing.
But Word does remember the last one used, and that you can't fix. Just choose whatever folder or subfolder you want each time.
You might be able to find a registry tweak at KellysKorner or another Windows site, but I've never looked.
If there's a folder you use most of the time, you can just change the "Save as" location in the Word menu bar. Tools>Options>File locations. But that's Word 2000, not 2002. (I thought the next version was 2003. )