As authors, editors and publishers ourselves here at STI Press and our business fable imprint, Skerja Press, we are pretty fanatical about backups. This simple script in VBA (Visual Basic, MS-Office), will open the Save As dialog box, allowing you to set your title, then save to five locations (simply add more or delete some to change from five). Or, just set one and hit cancel to the other four choices. (#smirk)
I highly recommend you increment your work such as:
or some version that suits your fancy. If the piece you are writing is called My Dog Spot, your filename might be mydogspot.mw2.aj6.doc, which tells us in the work flow that Tony wrote six drafts and this is Matt’s second edit.
Our internal work process is that we save in five separate locations, because the risk of losing all five is vanishingly small. Lose a single copy? It is not if but when. Lose two? Far less likely, but still too much effort invested for chance. Current fluctuations, Word decides to barf, some moron places a magnet next to your hard drive—the more important the project, the weirder the accidents.
Save to at least three distinct locations: a couple of different folders on your local hard drive, perhaps you might save to the so-called cloud, (which is just a cute name for shared hosting; been around since long before the internet launched), one to an external backup, or network drive, maybe another to a thumb drive. Your mileage may vary, the important take-home is that this simple script makes it easy to employ good data discipline.
Save to 5 Places script
So here is the script, then how to install and run it.
' Thanks to http://word.mvps.org/faqs/macrosvba/ChangeSaveAsPath.htm and
' for showing the way to craft this up.
' Created by Matt Weilert, firstname.lastname@example.org on 5Jan17
.Name = "G:\[path1]\\" & ActiveDocument.Name
.Name = "F:\[path2]\\" & ActiveDocument.Name
.Name = "E:\[path3]\\" & ActiveDocument.Name
.Name = "D:\[path4]\\" & ActiveDocument.Name
.Name = "C:\[path5]\\" & ActiveDocument.Name
And here is how to install and use this dandy time & mental-energy saver:
- On a Windows system, with Office loaded, hit Ctl-F8 to open the macro dialog box.
- Delete whatever is in the top-line, type “Dummy” (without the quotes) and hit Create.
- In the Visual Basic Editor that pops open, highlight everything from the topline Sub Dummy() to End Sub and paste the script above.
- Adjust the path locations appropriate to your situation. Your cloud provider will have directions on how to save to your share on the cloud.
- You can leave the window open or just minimize it. Switch back to your document and hit Ctl-F8 again to reopen the macro dialog box, where, if all went well and the creeks did not rise, stranding dozens of helpless pilgrims [Hey! stick to one story at a time!]. Oh, sorry. (#woohoo). You will see SaveTo5Locations in the macro choice list.
- Hit run, it will open a dialog box with your existing document name. It will automatically ask you if you want to overwrite an existing file, if you are not incrementing for this particular save.
- Hit save and Bob’s Your Uncle! You’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your work is securely backed up and you can focus on your writing.
Until next time, keep the quills moving and the ideas flowing!