When was the last time your computer system crashed
while you were working on an important document or project? Have you ever
been working on your computer and had a power failure? Have there been
instances when the program you were working on hangs up and shuts down
before you have saved your work? These instances can cause you to loose
your data and be a real headache.
Remember to save your work
It is very frustrating to lose a document that you have
been working on and forgotten to save originally or regularly. It is always
a good habit to remember to periodically save your work. Some of the ways
you can save your files are:
By clicking on File on the Menu Bar
File Save As
Clicking on the little diskette icon on the menu bar
Clicking on <Shift> + <F12>
(the hot key combination)
There is another way to ease your mind about losing
important data you are working on and possibly eliminate a lot of time
when you have to recreate a lost document. Use the Automatic Save feature
with the software program you are working with. Most programs have an
auto save feature.
How does AutoSave work?
Software manufacturers recognize that power outages
are inevitable and unpredictable and most office applications incorporate
what is known as autosave features. AutoSave automatically and temporarily
saves your document in a file it creates. At set intervals, the documents
you have open are saved to a cached file. They remain in that cached
state and should be accessible once your power is restored. You cant
actually access these files yourself because they are set to work with
the auto recovery feature which is part of each individual software
programs operating system.
Why is an automated save system important to you?
Saves you time. When you lose a document you can spend more time
just trying to recreate it.
Eases your mind. You have comfort in knowing that there are processes
set up to help save part of your data should a problem occur.
Back-ups are automatic. Continuous backups are done on the files
you are working on. This can help you from loosing your valuable data.
AutoSave saves your work periodically every so many minutes.
Ease-of-Use. You don't need expensive tape drives or complex software
programs. Most programs contain their own AutoSave feature.
AutoSave goes to work backing up your files once you
turn on your computer and open the software program to the moment you
shut down the program.
AutoSave is not a computer feature or a Windows feature.
It is an application feature. MS Word has a type of AutoSave, MS Access
has another type, WordPerfect, yet another and MS Excel has an add-in
feature. Generalizations cannot be made about "AutoSave."
Each will operate differently based on the problem that caused the application
To access AutoSave for Microsoft Word:
From the Menu Bar
Click on Tools
From the drop down menu
Click the Save tab.
Make sure the field called "Save AutoRecover info every"
is checked in the minutes box.
Enter an interval for how often you want Word to save documents.
When you are finished, click OK to save it.
The more frequently you set AutoSave to save
your documents, the more information you'll be able to recover in the
event of a power failure or similar problem. When you select the "Save
AutoRecover info every" check box, the changes you make to a document
will be saved into a recovery file. Automatic Save does not save
your file to the disk, but creates a temporary copy of the file.
The recovery file is deleted when you save or close a document. The
only part of your document that can be recovered is that which was collected
on the last AutoSave. If a power failure occurs, or you need to restart
your computer before you have saved or closed your document, the recovery
file still exists. Once you restart your software application, recovery
files will be opened so that you can save them. If you choose not to
save the recovery file, it is deleted.
Save yourself time, trouble and headaches by first
remembering to save your documents frequently. Secondly, be sure to
use the AutoSave function for added protection. Should there be a power
failure or system problem and you lose your document using AutoSave
can help you recover your work and eliminate some technology headaches
for you and your program.
Mary Lou McNatt has many years
of experience working with volunteer programs, advancing our profession
and has a passion for introducing the advantages of technology to volunteer
programs. She was instrumental in obtaining Ivan Scheiers body of
work on volunteerism and putting it online. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.