Using Autosave in AutoCAD

by Jeff Weber
(Indiana, U.S.A.)

This next tip is one that is imperative for every AutoCAD user to know and utilize. Using the Autosave feature not only "just makes sense" it can be a potential life saver (or job saver).

The Autosave command/feature is just what it sounds like; it saves your work automatically.

Let us say that you are under a very tight deadline and you are putting in very long hours; not to hard to imagine : )

You have been working long hours and your boss keeps coming into your office to "check your progress".

You are almost done and...BAM!

Out of nowhere the power goes off.

Now I work with a guy that is "old school".

He was taught to save, save, save.

He literally saves his drawing about every third or fourth command.

To me that sounds tedious and unnecessary.

As you may know, when you are working on a CAD project, more clicks equals more time.

But in this case he is in good shape. He may have only lost five to ten minutes of work. Excellent, he doesn't skip a beat.

As soon as the power comes on he opens the drawing back up and figures out where his last save was and spends the next two minutes catching up the five minute he lost.

As I have said in previous posts, I believe that since we spend thousands of dollars on these CAD stations, there ought to be a way to make the computer do some of the more mundane commands for you.

Now say you are one of those workers that's so into your work that you forget to save often enough. (Hands up)

When the power goes out you may start to panic.

One, because you know your boss is going to come in and say something like "I hope you saved recently".

Or worse he could say "I KNOW you have saved recently because I preach it to you all the time."

If you have used Autosave you may have just saved not only time, but your job.

If your boss is pressuring you on a deadline, you know s/he is under pressure to get that project out the door as well.

In order to access the Autosave command I will go through the options menu.

How to Use Autosave

Type OPTIONS on the command line and hit enter.

The options dialogue box appears.

Select the Open and Save tab.

Under the File Safety Precautions section there is a check box for the Automatic Save option.

Make sure that this box is checked.

The next thing you need to do is tell it how often you want AutoCAD to save your drawing for you.

The AutoCAD default is thirty minutes.

I personally think this is too long. You may as well save every ten minutes on your own if you are going to keep the save intervals this long.

I recently had to draw an HVAC plan for a church that had twenty-six HVAC units. It was very involved but very straight forward and the work flowed. I was able to get a lot done in a short period of time. I would still hate to have lost thirty minutes worth of work; you can get a lot of work done in thirty minutes.

Even to redraw it would have probably taken at least twenty minutes.

All that being said I typically set my Automatic Save to ten minutes.

Click on Apply and you are done.

By doing this it eliminates the need to save your drawing every third or fourth command.

Now your drawing, and possibly your job, will be saved every ten minutes.

Next tip: Recovering an Autosaved Drawing in AutoCAD

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