Saving Documents Faster

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 6, 2015)

2

Word supports a unique method of saving your document. This method is referred to as fast saving, and can cut the time necessary to save your file to disk. This is especially true if you are working with very large files—for instance, ones that contain a lot of graphic images. Fast saving results in your file being saved normally the first time it is put on the disk, and then subsequent saves simply append your changes to the end of the original file. Every so often, Word rewrites the whole file to start with a clean copy.

To enable fast saving, follow these steps if you are using a version of Word prior to Word 2007 (fast saving is not available in Word 2007):

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. You will see the Options dialog box.
  2. Click on the Save tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Save tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Allow Fast Saves check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

Fast saving sounds great, right? Not so fast—there is a downside. Long-time users of Word will tell you that there are, in fact, many reasons not to use Word's FastSave feature.

  • Other word processors may not be able to open Word documents saved with the FastSave feature enabled. For instance, WordPerfect says it can open Word documents, yet some versions of WordPerfect cannot open FastSaved Word documents.
  • Third-party software designed to work with Word documents (such as some grammar checkers, document management programs, and desktop publishing software) will not work correctly with FastSaved Word documents.
  • Find File (either in Word or in Windows) may not work correctly with FastSaved Word documents.
  • FastSave results in more complex files being saved on disk. Any time you increase complexity, you run the risk of corrupting the files easier.
  • FastSaved files take up more disk space.

The list could go on and on, but you get the idea. In short, unless you have a specific need to use FastSave (such as if you are only creating simple documents using Word on a slow machine), it is probably a good idea to make sure it is turned off.

As a side note, there are several circumstances under which a FastSave is not done by Word, even if you have enabled the feature. These circumstances include the following:

  • When you save a document for the first time. (This makes sense, right?) This includes when you choose Save As to save under a new name or in a new location.
  • When your document is saved on a network server or remote drive. (Word only performs a FastSave to a local drive.)
  • When Word reaches the limit of how much information it can save using the FastSave option. In this case Word does a normal save, and then again starts using FastSave for future saves.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1889) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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

Getting Rid of All Hyperlinks

Need to get rid of all the hyperlinks in a worksheet? It's easy when you use this single-line macro.

Discover More

Endnotes in a Separate Document

When you add endnotes to a document they are normally positioned (as one would expect) at the end of the document. You may ...

Discover More

Increasing Undo Levels

Excel maintains a record of most of the commands you execute so that you can later "undo" those commands, if desired. It is ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Getting Input from a Text File

VBA includes some commands that you can use to read information from text files (non-Word documents). These commands can come ...

Discover More

Files Opening Slowly If Many Files Exist

Managing large numbers of documents in Word can lead to some interesting challenges. One potential challenge is that your ...

Discover More

Embedding TrueType Fonts by Default

If you use TrueType fonts frequently, you might want to set Word to embed those fonts by default. Here's how to do it.

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 two more than 4?

2017-06-29 07:43:52

Meredyth Sawyer

I am confused. I have Windows 10 & 2010 Word. I've been using Word since it was Word Perfect. I don't understand why when I burn to a disc, I get different windows on the screen. Sometimes the data copies to (hard drive I think) then notification says the files are waiting to be burned then you select Burn to disc to burn them. Other times it just copies straight to the disc. What is the difference? What am I doing different. Sometimes above the documents on the disc, it says they're on the disc and other times it doesn't have a heading above the documents on the disc, just the heading that follows 'This PC.' I also want to know how to save a document I'm working on, to the same document on the disc, to keep them the same. I used to be able to go into Save As & there'd be the option of the disc drive. Now it's not there. Can I go into 'This PC' from the document, select what I want to save over then save? If I can, that would be something but it would take longer than the old way.


2016-11-03 21:10:45

Tom

So what do you do if you have Word 2007? Why does Bill Gates have to make everything more complex for normal users?


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.