Automated backup for normal.dotm file RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • When one makes various modifications to MS Word, specifically including the development of macros, which can be quite complex and time consuming to compose, this data is saved into a specialized file called normal.dotm.  Microsoft seems to make an effort to hide this file away in an obscure location probably to avoid having less experienced users either inadvertently delete or modify the file and lose changes. However, if the file is lost for whatever reason the work invested in the macros is gone. Thus to protect these changes one has to manually locate the file, which has been quite difficult as the location has been changed with each new version of Word, and then save it. Less experienced or less diligent users will not even know where these changes registered or how to back them up. This can lead to very frustrating and costly data loses. Indeed, I have encountered at least 3 trained Microsoft tech support staff who have not been able to locate it.

    So here is the obvious solution that should be instituted. There needs to be a backup utility accessible in the Developer tab, Code group, and perhaps elsewhere as well. There should be two functions: 1. to initiate a manual backup of the normal.dotm file that launches a 'save as' browsing dialogue to identify the location(s) to which the file should be backed up, say in a cloud folder; 2. to initialize an auto-save for the normal.dotm file that allows the user to indicate the location for the backup and then indicate the time for an auto-save of the normal.dotm file to that location.

    The first function would allow developers to save their changes to macros or other modifications as they work; the second would be a failsafe for backing up this important file in one or more other locations session by session, or at whatever interval one specifies. 

    As one who has suffered the loss of this important file, despite rather diligent efforts to protect it, I find it odd that Microsoft didn't already realize the necessity for a simple and transparent means to backing up these modifications.

    The same also holds for spelling replacement changes which are saved in another file in another location that is comparably invisible and difficult to locate. There should be an autosave for this information as well.

    I feel that this solution is obvious and simple and hope that Microsoft will opt to implement it in a patch for Word 2010. I would also feel that if they agree this is a valuable solution that some reasonable compensation for my past losses my be deemed appropriate. In any event, hopefully someone will recognize the need for this simple modification.

    • Moved by Naomi N Thursday, December 20, 2012 5:58 PM Perhaps a better forum for suggestion (From:Suggestions and Feedback for the Forums)
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 10:12 PM

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