Save vs. Save As


Have you ever noticed when you go up to your file menu there are two options to save? There are the “save” and “save as” options. If you’re like many newer computer users, you may feel lucky enough to even know how to save a file you are working on. So why do they have to go ahead and give you different save options?

Let’s look at each option.

Save: This will save your document and overwrite any previous version of the document if you save it in the same place. If it is a brand new document you will be prompted to give it a name and to select a location to save it in. If it is a document that has already been saved it will overwrite the current version. Simple enough.

Save As: This is an extremely useful tool if you want to use an existing document as a ‘template’, make changes to it, and save it as something else without altering the original document. For example, say you are sending the same letter to several people and you want to change the name it is addressed to.

Here are the steps to take using the Save As function to assure that you do not overwrite your original template letter. As you look at these steps you will see why the Save As function is so useful.

  1. Create your original letter (template) and save it using the regular Save function and give it a name like “letter_template.doc”.
  2. Open the file you saved (“letter_template.doc”) and make the changes you would like. Perhaps the name it is addressed to, the date,and some other content.
  3. Save this new version with the Save As function, and call it something like “letter_john.doc”.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, but this time call the new document “letter_bob.doc”.

If you look in your documents folder you will now see 3 different files – “letter_template.doc”, “letter_john.doc”, and “letter_bob.doc”.

What the Save As function is doing is saving a COPY of your original template with the changes you have made, without altering the original document (template). Had you made changes to your original file and simply clicked Save (rather than Save As), you would have overwritten that original file, and it would be lost forever!

As you can see Save As is an extremely handy tool when you need to duplicate files but change some content within them. It allows you to save all versions of your file without overwriting or altering your original (template) file.

Give it a whirl and experience the power of Save As!