Oh Excel, why did you crash?

This has probably happened to you. You’re working on a file, you’re making headway then all of a sudden Excel goes “I don’t feel like working anymore. I’m going to close the program and lose all your work.”

Sometimes the auto recovery can help but it’s not a sure thing. So instead relying on this, you need to learn to take proper precautions. Here’s a few tips:


Change the Auto Save Time Increments

By default, Excel saves a temporary version of your file every 10 minutes. Which means if excel crashes 9.5 minutes since the last auto save, you lose all that work. You can change this by setting it to a lower vale such as 2 minutes.


Create Versions….LOTS OF VERSIONS

As a programmer, I’m constantly updating code and trying new things; some work, most don’t. Therefore having lots of versions allows you to go back just in case the worst should happen.

So every time I finish a significant analysis, I save a new version. Simply press F12 to get to the SAVE AS dialog quickly. Here are some examples of the syntax I use for versions. Maybe you can adopt the same.


Develop Control+S Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

If you’re an experienced user, you’ll laugh at this because you totally understand where I’m coming from. Almost like a nervous twitch, or when in a lecture room you fiddle with pens and pencils, or waiting in a line you shift your weight, its these things you unconsciously do that will help you in Excel.

Develop the habit of saving. It’s so easy! Just press CONTROL+S on your keyboard any time you pause to think. Do this like crazy, until the “S” has rubbed off your keyboard. Do it until IT get a request for new “S” buttons for keyboards. They’ll wonder why but if they use Excel, they will sympathize and welcome you into the IT brotherhood.