Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Preventing File Overwrite in MS Office

Thursday, February 24th, 2011 by | Filed Under: MS Excel, MS Office Help, MS PowerPoint, MS Word

We’ve all done it at one time or another… you need to create a new file that’s pretty much identical to another one, so you open the file that you have, make the changes and then save it.

In that very, very short time while you watch the file being saved you are struck speechless with the horrible realization that you just made a huge error!

You meant to create a new file based on the old, but you just saved the new information over the old…

Darn, darn, darn.

Now what?

The way I see it you have two choices… 1) live without it and 2) recreate the original file.

Not pretty options…

Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy fix for you, if you’ve gotten this far. Instead what I have is a suggestion that will prevent this situation from happening in the first place!

Definitely a better plan… an ounce of prevention and all that.

To be absolutely sure that when you open one file with the intent to save the changes as a different file, simply choose to create the new file as you open the old.

Yep, you read it correctly. You can choose to open the original file in a way that ensures you can’t just hit the Save button and lose the first version completely!

Actually, I’ve got two options to accomplish this goal and they both start with the Open dialog box (Office Button / File tab)

Once in the Open dialog box, select the file but don’t click Open just yet!

Instead use the down arrow on the Open button to display a short list of ways to open the file.

Notice the Open Read-Only and Open as Copy choices?

Those are the key to saving ourselves a big headache.

Choosing Read-Only means that the file absolutely cannot be saved over the original since you’re only allowed to read what you opened. To save changes you’ll be forced to start in the Save As dialog box and give it a new name.

The Open as Copy option automatically tacks on the phrase Copy(1) to the file name. Obviously, you might want to name it something a bit more meaningful. On the other hand, if you do forget to rename it, you’re covered.

That’s it! Change the way you open the document and the frustrations of lost data in original files can be a thing of the past.

~ April

Tags: ,

One Response to “Preventing File Overwrite in MS Office”

  1. Carol Houck says:

    Try Selecting File>New>New from Existing Navigate to and select the file to be used as your “template”. When you go to save, you are automatically asked to give the file a new name and where it should be saved. No fighting with Copy (X) of file name.

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive