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Tricks for Working with Word 2007 Documents

Word is chock full of tricks, shortcuts, and settings that can make working with documents faster, easier, more powerful, and more efficient. This chapter introduces you to many of the techniques that cover everything, from easier ways to save and protect your documents to scripts that calculate editing time and billable time.
This chapter is from the book

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Recovering More of Your Work with a Shorter AutoRecover Interval 61
  • Automatically Saving Your Work Frequently 62
  • Closing a Document Without Saving 64
  • Closing All Your Open Documents 65
  • Making Backups as You Work 66
  • Showing More Items on the Recent Documents List 68
  • Opening the Most Recently Used Document at Startup 68
  • Clearing the Recent Documents List 69
  • Creating and Opening Document Workspaces 70
  • Automatically Prompting for Document Properties 72
  • Creating a Trusted Location for Documents 73
  • Viewing Total Editing Time Updated in Real-Time 75
  • Calculating Billable Time Charges 77
  • Locking Document Formatting 77
  • Preventing Untracked Changes 79
  • Setting Up a Document for Structured Editing 80
  • Inspecting a Document for Personal Information 84
  • Viewing Two Documents Side by Side 85
  • Updating All Fields Automatically 86

If you're a regular Word user, then you probably work with many different Word documents during an average work day, and you've probably got hundreds or even thousands of Word documents stored on your hard drive. The document is the basic Word container, and knowing how to work with documents is a fundamental Word skill. However, working with documents doesn't just mean using the commands on the Office menu (Open, Save, Close, and so on). Word is chock full of tricks, shortcuts, and settings that can make working with documents faster, easier, more powerful, and more efficient. This chapter introduces you to many of the techniques that cover everything, from easier ways to save and protect your documents to scripts that calculate editing time and billable time.

Recovering More of Your Work with a Shorter AutoRecover Interval

No one who has used Word for any length of time needs to be convinced of the importance of saving a document regularly. We've all experienced that moment of horror (sometimes called the ohnosecond) when we realize that Word has locked solid and we haven't saved for awhile, so all our recent work is toast. Most of us have become friendly with the Ctrl+S shortcut for the Save command and use it as often as possible. However, it's easy to forget to save when you're busy and a deadline looms large. As a safety net, Word has an AutoRecover feature that automatically stores information about the changes you've made to your document since the last save. If Word goes down for the count, it can use the AutoRecover data to help you recover some or all of your work.

AutoRecover has saved me on a number of occasions, so I'm a big fan of this feature. If it has a downside, however, it's that the default interval that Word uses to save the AutoRecover data is too long: 10 minutes. You can lose a lot of work in 10 minutes, so it's a good idea to shorten the interval:

  • If you work with only small- or medium-sized documents, shorten the interval to 1 minute.
  • If you're working with a large document (several dozen pages or more), the AutoRecover process can take quite awhile. Therefore, if you occasionally work with large documents, shorten the interval to 3 or 4 minutes.
  • If you work with large documents only, you might not want Word to use AutoRecover. In this case, you can turn off the AutoRecover feature.

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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