Customizing How Excel Saves files and Save settings - KING OF EXCEL

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Customizing How Excel Saves files and Save settings

Saving is probably the first thing user learns in any application software. Same was the case with me when I stumbled on a software that has mysterious boxes that made no sense to me at that time. And still the very first shortcut I learnt in Excel was Ctrl+S. And from novice to Excel Pro everyone use this shortcut and feature every few minutes during their Excel use. Imagine if your efforts are not saved then no matter how good you can be at Excel you just cannot do anything worthwhile.

From Saving to AutoSaving

One of the biggest advancement in this aspect came in the shape of Autosave when office suite’s applications including excel were able to save files automatically even if user is not pressing save button or hitting Ctrl+S. Auto save helps users in a way that if computer shuts down unexpectedly then work is not lost.

From AutoSaving to AutoRecover

Until recent versions Excel and several other software in Office Suite started offering an advanced feature in this regard named AutoRecover. This took saving to another level. With this feature or technology or enhancement software saves a shadow file (cached file) as well at a different place other then the location used for original file. This way even if somehow original file is corrupt or deleted or lost for whatever reason, you can recover your data through auto recover file.

Now a days autosave saves the autorecover information. Actual file is saved when user saves the file with save button or shortcut.

Customizing Save settings

To access Save settings click file button>Options. From the window that opens, at the left from the list click Save and you are now inside Excel’s save settings.

excel save options

Once there you see four sections:

  1. save workbooks – this is going to be our main area of customization
  2. Autorecover exceptions for
  3. Offline editing options
  4. Preserve visual appearance

Save workbooks

Save file in this format: from the drop down you can select in which file format you want to save the file by default. As default excel saves file in .xslx format which succeeded .xsl file format. If you want to save file in .xsl format as first option in save dialogue box then select Excel 97-2003 workbook.

Save AutoRecover information: This option can be turned On and Off. If turned off excel will not generate autorecover file and will not do autosave as well. If turned on excel will maintain a cache or autorecover file which will be saved automatically every 10 minutes by default. You can delay it to maximum 120 minutes interval but at least 1 minute interval is to be selected.

With shorter autosave interval computer will be busy most of the time working with autorecover file at the backend and this might slow down your workstation if RAM is not big enough.

With too big the time it might render useless. 120 minutes mean 2 hours. Movie 2012 runs for 158 minutes at max 😀 Make your choice wisely!

Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving: you can turn on and off. If turned on and user closes excel program suppose via task manager or due to any reason file was not saved by the user. Next time when Excel program is opened user has the option to retrieve the data from autosaved file.

Autorecover file location: this is the location on hard drive where shadow file is saved.

Default file location: this is the hard drive location that is offered by default when you save the file of excel for the first time.

Autorecover exceptions for

from the drop down you can select the workbook for which you do not want excel to save autorecover information. Possible reasons are data is of confidential nature and you cannot afford data to be saved anywhere other then you intended. Once you select the file from drop down you have to select “Disable autorecover for this workbook only”

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