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: Controlling Names of Backup Files.

Controlling Names of Backup Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 4, 2014)

If you choose the option to "always save backup copy" (Tools | Options | Save) Word names the resulting backup file like this: "Backup of Accounting Policies.wbk", where the original file was called "Accounting Policies.doc". You may wonder if there is a way to place backups in a different folder, use a different filename extension, or avoid pre-pending the "Backup of" wording at the beginning of the filename.

Some of these things can be changed in Word; others cannot. If you want to change the filename extension for backups, you can use the Registry Options macro, a part of the Support.dot template. (The template has various names, depending on your version of Word.) You can find information about the template here:

Word 2000: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/237356
Word 2002: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318796
Word 2003: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/820917

You cannot change the pre-pending of the "Backup of" wording, and you cannot change the location of the backup files (they are placed in the same directory as the file being backed up). As has been detailed in other issues of WordTips, you can work around both of these issues by simply creating a macro that always saves a second copy of your document every time you save.

Sub FileSave()
    Dim docName As Boolean
    Dim templateFullName As String

    docName = ActiveDocument.name Like "Document#*"
    templateFullName = ActiveDocument.FullName
    If docName = True Then
        Dialogs(wdDialogFileSaveAs).Show
    Else
        ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:="C:\Backups\" _
          + ActiveDocument.name, AddToRecentFiles:=False
        ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=templateFullName
    End If
End Sub

This macro is meant to be a replacement for the Save command. It saves a copy of the document in the C:\backups\ folder, as well as saving in the current location. The file name for the backup is the same as the original; it does not use the .wbk filename extension.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11753) 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: Controlling Names of Backup Files.

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

Positioning a Column on the Screen

If you have static columns and dynamic columns on the screen, you may want the dynamic columns to always show a particular ...

Discover More

Importing Huge Data Files

Sometimes, when importing data created by other programs, you may find that there is too much for Excel to handle. Here's how ...

Discover More

Accurate Font Sizes

Need to use some bizarre font size in your worksheet? Not a problem, provided it is a full or half point size.

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)

Saving Document Versions

Documents often go through several versions during development. For this reason, Word provides a feature that allows you to ...

Discover More

Too Many Temporary Files

Word, as it operates, creates lots of temporary files on your system. Here are some ideas for dealing with that plethora of ...

Discover More

Cannot Convert a Document File to a Readable Document

Open a Word document file, and you can start to make edits and changes to your heart's content. But what happens if the file ...

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. 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 6 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.