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Setting Up Automatic Backup and Recovery Options

Like its predecessor, Office 2007 comes with "air bags"—a sophisticated set of programs that are designed to make crashes less frequent, to make crashes less devastating when they do occur, and to increase your chances of recovering a document when Office does crash. Following are the important points to keep in mind:

AutoRecover is an option found in most Office programs, whereas AutoSave is in Outlook. These can help you avoid losing your data. The process is quite simple. First, your data is saved automatically if you enable these options. That can really help you out if, for example, you are working for a while and forget to save your document and then the power goes out or your little brother comes alone and spitefully turns over the powerstrip (or, although this should never happen, if your Office crashes).

Along with the data itself, the program state is saved. For example, you might have Excel workbooks open and you are working with multiple windows in a specific layout. When Excel opens up again, the windows should be restored in the same working state. Or course, these are ideal restore possibilities and they may not always work exactly as promised.

In some cases, the recovery procedure will actually repair damage to a file when reopening it. In this case, you can use the drop-down menu to open a dialog box that shows you which repairs were made.

To configure these options depends on the application you are working in. If you are setting them for Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, go to Options and to the Save tab, shown in Figure 3.8. There you can configure the number of minutes between saved documents and the location of the AutoRecover files.

Figure 3.8

Figure 3.8 Configuring AutoRecover in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint 2007.

To do the same thing in Outlook, go to the Tools menu, to Options. From there, go to the Preferences tab, select E-mail Options, and then select Advanced E-mail Options. Select the Auto Save Items Every __ Minutes check box and specify the number of minutes you want.

The fewer the number of minutes you choose, the more frequently the recovery file is saved.

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