Save a Workbook: MS Excel

Dennis Faas's picture

While you are building an Excel worksheet, it is held in a temporary memory within your computer (called "RAM", or random access memory). Unlike human memory, the computer won't remember anything unless you save your work. If you turn off the computer or if the power goes out, all your work disappears. To store your work permanently, you must save it on a disk.

The First Time You Save

You can save a spreadsheet by using any of these methods:

  1. Choose File | Save.
  2. Click the Save button on the toolbar.
  3. Use the shortcut key Ctrl+S.

The first time you save, the Save As dialog box appears prompting you for a file name and destination. The workbook's name will then appear on the title bar and on the taskbar button. Shortcut keys, such as Ctrl+S, are often easy to remember -- in this case, S is for Save.

Subsequent Saves

Click the Save button or press Ctrl+S.

After you save the workbook the first time, saving it again bypasses the Save As dialog box. Excel simply saves the latest version with the same name in the same location. You might see an animation of the saving process on the status bar.

The AutoSave Feature

Because you never know when the power will suddenly go out, it's also a good idea to save your workbook every ten minutes or so. Luckily, Excel has a feature called AutoSave that prompts you to save your workbook every so often. You can turn on this feature and customize how often Excel prompts you to save by choosing Tools | AutoSave. This opens the dialog box where you can specify the interval.

If AutoSave does not appear on the Tools menu, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Tools | Add-Ins. This opens the dialog box.
  2. Click to check the box next to AutoSave Add-in, and click OK.
  3. If a prompt asks if you want to install the add-in now, insert the Microsoft Office CD and click Yes.

Saving Another Version of the File

After a file has been saved the first time, using the Save command or clicking the Save button saves it to the same location under the same name. But, what happens if you need to make a copy of the file on another disk as a backup or to use on a different computer? Or, what if you want to make some changes to the worksheet for a different purpose but keep both versions?

For example: after you create a budget for one department, you might adapt it for another department. To keep both versions of the budget, you can't simply save; the new version replaces the old one on the disk. Instead, you have to save it with a different name.

Choose File | Save As to show the dialog box you used the first time you saved it.

  1. To give the new version a different name, type the new name in the File Name box.
  2. To save the file in a new location, click the Save In drop-down list to see the disks and folders available on your computer.

You now have another version of your workbook saved in a different place or with a different name. You can use My Computer or Windows Explorer to see both files.

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