Microsoft KB Archive/35554

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Autosave Feature


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Word for MS-DOS, versions 5.0, 5.5, 6.0


The following option was added to the Options menu in Microsoft Word version 5.00:

   autosave: mm            confirm: Yes No 

Note that mm is the save interval specified in minutes.

If the "autosave:" field is set to none or blank, autosave will not work. The default is none, and the option is saved in MW.INI. If confirm is set to Yes, Word will prompt you to confirm saving before it saves the document.

To access the autosave feature in Word version 6.00, choose Tools, Customize (Alt+O,U).

To access the autosave feature in Word version 5.50, choose Preferences from the View menu (ALT, V, E) and select Customize (U).

The following items appear inside the Autosave box:

   Frequency: [....]    [ ] Confirm 

Beside Frequency, type the save interval specified in minutes. If there is an X beside Confirm, Word will prompt you to confirm saving before performing the autosave.

This new feature allows you to automatically save your documents during the Word session. Word will save each document, each style sheet, and the current glossary to temporary files.


Word will use an incremental save technique. The first time an autosave is executed, Word will do an automatic full save. For subsequent autosaves, Word will do incremental saves, appending changes in pieces to the temporary file. When a manual Transfer Save is executed, Word will save the changes to the real document and remove the temporary file associated with that document. When a low memory situation occurs, the SAVE light comes on; at this point Word will automatically initiate a full save. The temporary autosave files have the same filename as the associated document and a different extension. The extensions are as follows:

SVD for documents (SV for save)

SVS for style sheets

SVG for glossaries.

Untitled documents are autosaved under the titles UNTITLE1.SVD through UNTITLE8.SVD, and UNTITLED.SVS for the only untitled style sheet allowed.

Even if a TMP or TEMP environment variable is used, Word will always save the temporary files in the program directory in single user mode, and in the user directory in network mode. This allows you to direct TMP to a RAM drive, and still be able to recover in case of a crash.

If Word finds autosave files when it is started, it will prompt you for recovering them. If you choose to recover them, Word will do a full save of each autosave file in the directory the file currently resides in. If you choose not to recover them, Word will not touch the autosave file so they can be recovered later.

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Last Reviewed: November 4, 2000
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