Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: A Real AutoSave.

A Real AutoSave

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 14, 2020)

1

Word has a built-in AutoSave feature that offers a limited amount of protection for the documents on which you are working. If you have AutoSave turned on, Word periodically (you can define how often) saves a copy of the document on which you are working. These periodic saves are stored in special backup files that Word maintains; it does not store them in the same document as the one on which you are working.

For instance, let's say you are working on a document named Report.doc, and that you have AutoSave enabled and set for every ten minutes. When the ten-minute mark is reached, Word stores the document in a temporary file, not back in Report.doc. The only time that this happens is when you explicitly save the file. Then Report.doc is saved and the temporary file is deleted. When you first start Word, it checks to see if any of these temporary files are on your system. If they are, then it "recovers" those files and gives you the chance to save them, if you desire.

There may be times when you want a real AutoSave instead of one that uses temporary files. For instance, you might want Report.doc saved every ten minutes—automatically. To do this, you need to create your own macros that take care of it for you. The following series of three simple macros will accomplish the task:

Sub AutoOpen()
    WordSaver
End Sub
Sub WordSaver()
    Application.OnTime When:=Now + _
      TimeValue("00:10:00"), _
      Name:="Saver"
End Sub
Sub Saver()
    ActiveDocument.Save
    WordSaver
End Sub

If you save these macros with a document, then they will always provide an AutoSave for that document. The AutoOpen macro is run when the document is first opened, and it runs WordSaver. WordSaver does nothing but run the Saver macro after ten minutes has elapsed. When Saver runs, it saves the active document, and then runs WordSaver again, which starts the ten-minute cycle all over.

There are a couple of drawbacks to these macros. First of all, there is no way to undo what is saved. With the regular Word AutoSave, you can always close a document without saving any modifications. The second drawback is that these macros will save whichever document is currently active—including one you might not have intended to save. Finally, if you save these macros as part of a template, then when you open a document using that template, ten minutes later a Save As dialog box will appear since your new document is not yet named.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (157) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: A Real AutoSave.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Putting Your Index after Your Endnotes

Endnotes are supposed to be at the end of your document, right? Not necessarily. You may want something else at the end, ...

Discover More

Copying Print Areas when Copying Worksheets

Print areas are a great way to define what, exactly, you want to print from a worksheet. When you copy worksheets, the ...

Discover More

Moving Slides

Getting your slides into the order in which you need them is a big part of putting together a presentation. Here are the ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Importing a Text File and Inserting after a Bookmark

Word macros are a great way to automate some of the ways in which you create documents. If you have a need to insert the ...

Discover More

Turning Off HTML Conversions

Don't want Word to load up your HTML documents as formatted text? There are a couple of ways you can instruct Word to be ...

Discover More

Merging to Individual Files

The mail-merge feature in Word is a fast, easy way to create form letters addressed to many different people. Sometimes, ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 5?

2020-07-01 12:27:23

Gavin Schmidt

An even better version:


' begin macro document:
Dim myDoc As String ' Global variable to store opened document name

Sub AutoOpen()
myDoc = ActiveDocument.Name 'Store the opened documents name, when opened
WordSaver
End Sub

Sub WordSaver()
Application.OnTime When:=Now + _
TimeValue("00:02:00"), _
Name:="Saver"
End Sub

Sub Saver()
'
' Saver Macro
'
'
Documents(myDoc).Save 'Save only the document including the macro, not the active document
WordSaver
End Sub


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.