Saving Data using an Office Suite

Robert Ramstetter By Robert Ramstetter, 26th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Technology>Computer Software

When it Comes to Saving and Protecting Your Documents, Your Worst Enemy is Often YOU.

Do you know where your data is?

You have just completed a document that has taken hours of your time. You save it, close the program, and then remember something that you have to add. You go to open it again, but it is not there. You panic. Sound familiar?
If you have ever lost data, you will probably want to read this article. In my line of work, I have spent countless hours retrieving documents for people. Sometimes, I have to break the news that their work is simply not there. Hours of work, research, or whatever, are gone with the electronic wind.
My advice is to, first and foremost, save your document in a desired location before you even start working on it. Then, close the document. Navigate to your newly saved document and open it. This will ensure that, not only is it properly saved, but that you know where it is located. One common mistake that people make is to work on a document from an unknown location.

Consider this scenario: Randy is collaborating on a project with a coworker. The co worker completes part of her side of the project and emails her work to him. Randy received the email, clicks on the attachment from directly within the email, and it opens in Word. He then goes to work, adding his part and making revisions as he sees fit. Also, as per his training, he hits the "Save" button often. After working on it for the entire morning, Randy takes a break and checks the basketball scores online. He also buys a couple of concert tickets something for his wife for their anniversary.
He is now ready to get back to work, but occurs to him that his employer frowns on using the computer for anything that is not work-related. Wishing to avoid trouble with the boss, he goes to the internet properties and clears the history and temp files. Now he is ready to get back to work. He opens Word and clicks on his document from the "recent files" section. The little search flashlight swings back and forth a few times before displaying a message that the document cannot be found. Randy panics and calls tech support, but it will do no good. The file is gone. What happened?
Randy's first mistake was opening and working on the file without knowing where it was stored. His second mistake was that he deleted it. When he opened the document directly from within his email, a copy was stored in a temp folder. This folder stores temporary files, such as cookies, internet history, and even copies of files that were opened through a web browser or email, such as the file in Randy's case. The problem was that he never actually downloaded the file, so it was stored solely in the temp folder. Upon deleting the temp files, he also inadvertently deleted the document.
His second mistake was opening and repeatedly saving a file without knowing its location. In this case, it was saved in a temporary folder that can be easily cleared and its contents deleted. Other folders can be just as elusive, though. I have has just as many people lose their documents by not knowing where they are stored, or what the exact name of the document is. They will continually open it from the recent documents list, until that list is replaced with other, more current documents.

So, to safely protect your documents, follow these steps:
1. Whether it is a new document or a downloaded one, save it to a location that is familiar to you. Then, close the document. Go to the location where you just saved it and reopen it. This will ensure that you are working of your intended document.
2. Once you have your document open and begin working or editing, save often. For a word document, I recommend saving after each paragraph.
3. Save one final time before printing. If your print job causes an error for some reason, it may hang, causing you to lose any unsaved information.

Following all of these steps will help to ensure the safety of your data and eliminate panicked calls to the support desk and possible loss of data.


Microsoft Office, Open Office, Saving Data Loss, Word

Meet the author

author avatar Robert Ramstetter
Robert Ramstetter is a world traveler and writer of short stories, full length novels, and a vast array of technical articles.

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author avatar Ptrikha
1st Nov 2014 (#)

Great article. I download the document and then work on it using Ctrl+S often.

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author avatar brendamarie
21st Jun 2015 (#)

Great article, I think this has happen to just about everyone at least once. Great tips to remember.

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author avatar Robert Ramstetter
23rd Jun 2015 (#)

Thanks. I hope people find this article useful.

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