by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 6, 2015)
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):
Figure 1. The Save tab of the Options dialog box.
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.
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:
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.
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