Teach Yourself Excel Lesson 11 - Save A File

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Save A File

Download starting Sheet

So, we've entered some data in our spreadsheet, and now it's important to save that data so it's not lost.

How to Save

There is nothing worse than losing data that you've spent hours entering so here's a note on saving.

To save your file:

  1. Press CTRL + S 
  2. The first time you do this with a new file, you'll get this:
    • save-a-file
  3. Navigate to where you want to save to - "My Documents" is a good place
  4. Type a name for the file
  5. Press Save

Save As a new name

The disadvantage of saving this way is that each save overwrites the previous save, so one of the things you might want to do is to save your file with a different name.

To save your file with a different name:

  1. Press CTRL + S to save the file with it's current name
  2. Press in sequence: ALT then F then A
  3. Enter a new name
  4. Press Save

File Saving Do's and Don'ts:


    • It's quick to save.. make it a habit
  • Use as many words as is necessary to describe the file
  • Use a file name that you can remember
  • Separate each word by a hyphen or use a capital letter for each word
  • Add a counter at the end of the name each time you save if you want to be able to view old versions of a file.
    • My-File-1.xls   => My-File-2.xls
  • Think about putting the date in the file name
    • If you put it at the front and format it, you can then sort by file name in your explorer.. e.g:  20090529 (today's date in yyyymmdd format) 


  • Dont' use words like "Final" or "New" in the name... it'll only confuse you later. 
  • Dont' worry about using a long file name
  • Dont' overwrite an existing file unless you're absolutely sure you wanted to do that
    • Instead, Save as a new name and compare the files to make sure
  • Dont' store your files all over the place... Be organised and put them in the right folders.
  • Dont' cry if you lose your file and you have not followed the advice in the Do's section.

Next Lesson:  Teach Yourself Excel Lesson 12 - Dates

Training Video on how to Save A File in Excel: