Save every time you breathe

To save a document, do one of the following:

  • Choose File →  Save.
  • Click the Save button. Save button
  • CTRL+S.

When something happens that destroys your work, it falls into one of two categories: a human error (a mistake you make) or a computer error (a crash of an application or system). The only way to recover from human error is to use the Undo command, and to have recently saved your document.

It's critical that you save frequently, because there may be times when things get really ugly, and you can’t undo your mistakes. In such an event, you can simply "abort ship."

To "abort ship:"

  1. Close the document.
  2. When prompted to save changes, click No.
  3. Re-open the recently saved version of the document.

In the event of a computer error, Microsoft Office may be able to recover your work. Word, and some other Microsoft Office applications, take steps to protect your work in the event of a crash by saving your work every few minutes. This feature is called AutoRecover.

To configure AutoRecover:

  1. Click the Tools menu
  2. Click the Options command.
  3. Click the Save tab.
  4. Configure the Save AutoRecover info every x minutes setting.
  5. Click OK.

Keep in mind:

  • If you are working with several documents, or with large documents, the process of saving AutoRecover information can interrupt your work. If you increase the frequency of AutoRecover saves, your work will be interrupted more frequently.
  • Even if AutoRecover is saving every 5 or 10 minutes, that is still a long interval. If a computer error occurs and AutoRecover executed 9 minutes ago, you have to recreate 9 minutes of work.
  • AutoRecover will only help out in the event of a computer error. If you make a mistake that you cannot undo, you cannot open the AutoRecover file.

So the bottom line is:

Save your work every time you breathe! Auto Recover is not your insurance policy! You cannot manually open the versions of your work that have been saved automatically by Auto Recover. Those files are helpful only in the event of a program or system crash.
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