Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Word LifeSaver - never lose a Word document again!

"Never lose a Word document again!" (hopefully)

If the Word LifeSaver saved your life, or at least your Word document, consider making a donation to help with the upkeep of this program. Thanks.

Download v0.3 of the Word LifeSaver here - FREE (compatible with Word 2003 - not tested with other versions, please let me know if you have tried Word 2007 or others)

NOTE ADDED: 22nd July 2008 - there is a "slight" loophole in the program - you COULD still exit Word using File -> Exit, or by clicking on the 'X' at the top right of the window. Thanks to a user for pointing that out. Unfortunately, I have not yet found a way of intercepting Word's Exit 'event' (actually, there seems to be no Exit event in Word Visual Basic - help programmers!) but if I manage to work it out I will post a new version of course. So, yes, this does diminish the functionality of the program a tad, but you could still find it a LifeSaver..!

The background
You know that moment? The moment when you are exiting Microsoft Word and the program asks you Do you want to save? In your haste you automatically press NO, realising a split second later, with horror, that you DID want to save, and that you have just lost 10 minutes's/an hour's/a day's work!

Usually in this situation the document is lost for good! I know you know about this because this is the most popular article on this site!

Word LifeSaver - how it works
To stop this happening, you need the Word LifeSaver! It is a little routine which you install in Word which STOPS you from easily closing a document that you haven't saved. If you try to close a document with unsaved changes in it - and these can represent a few seconds typing, or a whole day's work! - Word will still ask you Are you sure...? If you go ahead and press NO the document will NOT close, losing all your work forever. Rather, you will be presented by this rather wordy but, I hope you will agree, useful dialogue:

This is your chance to say NO! and save your document.

If you should press YES, well - there might just be one more chance, but let's hope you don't need that, eh?

Word LifeSaver - how to install
1) Hopefully you have downloaded LifeSaver v0.3.

2) Unzip it, but DO NOT run it.

3) Open Word 2003. Go into Tools -> Macros -> Security and set the security level to Medium if it is set higher than that. You must do this - LifeSaver is written in Visual Basic and won't work otherwise!

4) Now go to Open and find the file you unzipped - Open it. If you are asked whether you want to enable macros, click Enable.

5) Follow the on-screen instructions and... that's it! The rest is explained in the file, hopefully.

How to uninstall

1) Navigate via the toolbar through: Tools -> Macro -> Macros -> Organizer

2) Choose the Macro Project Items tab and look at the list in the In Normal: box, on the left.

3) You need to choose three macros from that list and delete them with the Delete button. These are:

  • DoubleCheckSave
  • LifeSaver
  • SureCloseDialog
Once these are gone, the macro should no longer work.

Please read the instructions fully, as well as the disclaimer and the license. The program is free to use and distribute, donations are always gratefully received if this program helped you, and most of all I would love to hear if you found this program useful, or if you found any bugs in it (highly likely) - so let me know in the comments below.


Anonymous said...

This is such a lifesaver! Wow, thanks dude!

markowe said...

I really hope it's a help! And that it saves your Word Document sometime - if not your life!

And please leave feedback here if you find any bugs in it etc.


Anonymous said...

My 96-year old Dad lost a page of memoirs last week; not the first time. I will install this on his computer tonight; I know it will be used!
Just in case: How do I remove, or at least turn off, this macro, if that becomes necessary?

Anonymous said...

This macro does not appear to run, if instead of attempting to close the Word document, Word itself is asked to close (the "uppermost" X, rather than the one just below it). Would be better if it ran in both cases.

markowe said...

Aha, so when you close Word using the X, it doesn't prompt you? I must check that out and get back with a new version - you're quite right, there ought to be NO WAY for someone to close a document.

markowe said...

anonymous, thanks once again for the loophole you spotted. I am sorry I did not notice your other question (if you are the same anonymous - it's so hard to tell!) - I have now added instructions on how to uninstall the Word LifeSaver - hope that helps.

As for plugging up that loophole, I have not yet found a way round it because of the way Word Visual Basic works - doesn't seem to let me "intercept" the user's attempt to close Word, which is very unfortunate. I will try to find a way round it!


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