Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Saving Everything.

Saving Everything

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 28, 2022)

Judith was having a problem with users who would fail to save their work, and even upon exiting the program would still not save. This resulted in frustrated users and an even more frustrated support department.

Of course, one response to the problem is to simply point out that it is silly not to save and the users should suffer for their own oversight. After all, Word asks you if you want to save before tossing out your document when exiting.

That being said, there is a way that saving everything can be approached, and that approach is fundamentally different than the way Word works by default. The new approach would involve securing a file name when a document is created. Thus, if you choose to create a document, Word asks for a file name and immediately saves the empty file using that name. Then, whenever you exit the program or close the document, Word automatically saves the current condition of the file—it can do this because it has already secured the file name.

In order to implement such a system, there are two special macros you would need to set up: AutoNew and AutoClose. The first macro, AutoNew, comes into play whenever a new document is created. The purpose of this macro is to prompt the user for a filename, and then save the document using that name. The following is an example of a macro that will do just that:

Sub AutoNew()
    Dim sMyFile As String

    On Error Resume Next
    sMyFile = InputBox("File Name", " Save File ")

    With Dialogs(wdDialogFileSummaryInfo)
        .Title = sMyFile
        .Execute
    End With

    Dialogs(wdDialogFileSaveAs).Show
End Sub

If you place this AutoNew macro in the Normal template, then anytime the user creates a new document it springs into action. (The only exception is when Word first starts, and a new document is displayed.)

The second macro, AutoClose, is extremely simple. All it does is save the document, no questions asked:

Sub AutoClose()
    ActiveDocument.Save
End Sub

Now, whenever you exit, your changes are saved. If, for some reason, the document has not been named (for instance, the user started typing in the default document first displayed when Word starts), then the SaveAs dialog box is displayed and the user can provide a file name.

While it is possible to not save a document when using these macros, it is a much more cumbersome process. The result is that almost nothing is lost. This, of course, presents some interesting management challenges. For instance, disk space could soon become a very rare commodity. This means that you may need some policies on saving multiple document versions or on naming documents. This is but the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, as there are lots of other management issues relating to this approach.

Which brings up a whole different question: Which is worse—dealing with users who can't save a document on their own or dealing with users that are forced to save all documents? The answer, of course, will vary from company to company.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (315) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Saving Everything.

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

Entering Dates in Excel

When you type information into a cell, Excel tries to figure out what type of information you are entering. If Excel can ...

Discover More

Printing Reports

The Report Manager allows you to create specialized reports that can be easily printed from your worksheet data. This tip ...

Discover More

Pasting Pictures into a Comment

Excel allows you to use a picture as a background on a cell comment. This tip looks at how you can paste pictures into a ...

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 (ribbon)

Read-Only Documents without a Password

Want to protect your document so it cannot be changed? There are a couple of ways you can do it, and not all of them ...

Discover More

Opening Multiple Documents at Once

Word's Open dialog box provides many of the same file management functions as Windows Explorer does. One of the functions ...

Discover More

Determining if a Document is Corrupt

Think you might have a corrupt document? There is no easy way to tell if this is the case, but there are some things you ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 less than 7?

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 ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
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.