Word document trick: Shortening the AutoRecover interval time

Most of us are pretty good at using Microsoft Word. We’ve become accustomed to writing with Word, and it is a great tool. However, most of us are also pretty good at forgetting to name a file and save it before we get too involved in writing. And to continue this train of thought, most of us forget to click that little “Save” icon or use the shortcut (Control S) several times during our writing. And I would venture to guess that most of you have experienced what is sometimes called the ohnosecond when Word suddenly goes into a locked state or shuts down. It’s not a very nice feeling. (:

Here are some helpful hints that might help you avoid this problem.

First of all, before you start writing, name your file and save it to a meaningful location (File>Save As). That way, you will know what your file is named if you need to locate it.

Second, hit the Control S shortcut for the Save command and use it as often as possible. However, sometimes we forget to do this, especially if we are writing with lightening speed and we just can’t stop our train of thought. To its credit, Word has an AutoRecover feature that automatically saves your work from time to time since your last save. If Word goes down, you can use the AutoRecover data to help you recover some or maybe (fingers crossed here) all of your data.

The default interval that Word uses to save the AutoRecover data is 10 minutes–quite a long time for those who write very quickly. Heck, you could have several pages written in 10 minutes, right? So, to fix this problem, you need to shorten this time interval. Here’s how you do this:

(These instructions are written for Word 2007, sorry . . .)

To work with AutoRecover, choose Office, Word Options to open the Word Option dialog box, click Save, and then use the Save AutoRecover Information every X Minutes spin box to set the interval you prefer. If you want to turn off AutoRecover, deactivate the Save AutoRecover Information check box. Click OK to put the new setting into effect.

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