by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 12, 2019)
Sarah has a document that she needs to save in two different folders on her system. She wonders if there is a way to have any updates to one copy of the document be automatically reflected in the other copy of the document.
There are actually several ways you can approach this problem. One is to create a macro that actually saves the document into two locations. Here is an example of a macro that does that.
Sub DualSave() Dim FirstFolder As String Dim SecondFolder As String Dim DocName As String Dim objF As Object Dim retVal As Long SecondFolder = "c:\MyLocation\" With ActiveDocument If Not .Saved Then .Save FirstFolder = .Path & "\" DocName = .Name If FirstFolder = SecondFolder Then MsgBox "WARNING! Second folder is the same as first folder." Exit Sub End If Set objF = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") retVal = -1 On Error Resume Next retVal = objF.CopyFile(FirstFolder & DocName, _ SecondFolder & DocName, True) On Error GoTo 0 Set objF = Nothing If retVal <> 0 Then MsgBox "File could not be copied to folder " & SecondFolder End If End If End With End Sub
Such a macro is rather simplistic, in that it copies from where you are now to a second folder (specified in the SecondFolder variable). That means that if you open up the document in the second folder and then save it, the original document is not updated and running the DualSave macro will generate an error. (The error occurs because the first and second folder names will be the same.) For this reason, a macro approach such as this is more suitable if you want to copy to a second location as a way to make backups of your documents. An add-in created by Word MVP Graham Mayor does essentially the same thing:
Another approach (that doesn't require a macro) is to create your main document and then create the mirror document by using the "Paste Link" capabilities of Word. You simply select the entire first document and then use, within the mirror document, Paste Link to paste the information. The result is that the mirror document always reflects whatever is in the main document. (Additional information on how to link Word documents is presented in other WordTips.) The drawback is that you cannot make changes in the mirror document and have those reflected in the main document; the mirroring is only in one direction.
Perhaps the best solution, however, is to not rely on Word at all. Instead, save your main document and, in Windows, create a shortcut to that main document. Move the shortcut to the second folder, and you are ready. Now someone can open either the original document or the shortcut, and it will always refer to the same document. To create the shortcut, do the following:
Your shortcut is now in place. If you double-click it, Word opens the original document. You now essentially have a single document accessible through two different folders. The drawback to this approach, of course, is that the second folder only contains a shortcut to the original document, which means you should not consider the shortcut as a backup of the original document; it isn't. If you are actually looking for a way to make backup copies of documents, then use one of the other solutions discussed in this tip.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12633) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.
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