One of the worst things that can happen to you when using an Excel file is to lose your work.
This is why almost all Excel experts recommend saving your work frequently (now Excel even has an autosave feature where it saves files automatically).
While this is good practice, I recommend going even further and saving a new copy of your Excel file every day or every week (depending on how frequently you work on it and how important it is).
And a fast way of saving a copy of your existing file is by using the ‘Save As’ option in Excel.
The ‘Save As’ dialog box allows you to save a copy of your existing file where you can give a new name to the file (I prefer adding dates to make the name different and easy to keep track of).
Let me show you some keyboard shortcuts and other useful options to open the ‘Save As’ dialog box.
Keyboard Shortcuts to Open the Save As Dialog box
There are not one but two ‘Save As’ keyboard shortcuts in Excel.
And both are quite easy to use.
Save As Shortcut #1 in Excel
The fastest way to open the ‘Save As’ dialog box is by using the below keyboard shortcut
As soon as you press the F12 key, the Save As dialog box should open up, where you can give a name to your Excel file and specify the location where the file should be saved.
In case F12 doesn’t work for you, use the below shortcut:
Fn + F12
To use the above keyboard shortcut, hold the Function key and then press the F12 key.
Save As Shortcut #2 in Excel
Below is another keyboard shortcut that will also open the ‘Save As’ dialog box.
ALT + F + A + O
To use the above keyboard shortcut, you need to use these keys in succession (one after the other).
The good thing about this shortcut is that it always works, and is not impacted by the function keys on your keyboard.
Save As Option in the Ribbon
If you’re not a fan of keyboard shortcuts, you can always go to the ‘Save As’ option that’s available in the ribbon.
While this may not be the fastest way to reach the ‘Save As’ dialog box, it’s only a couple of clicks (so not too much work either).
Below are the steps to open the ‘Save As’ dialog box using the option in the ribbon:
- Click the ‘File’ tab
- Click on the ‘Save As’ option
- Click on the ‘Browse’ Option
The above steps would also open the ‘Save As’ dialog box.
Adding Save As Option in the Quick Access Toolbar
If you’re not a fan of keyboard shortcuts, there is another quick way that only takes a click to open the Save As dialog box.
And to make that possible, you need to add the Save As option in the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).
Below are the steps to add the ‘Save As’ icon to the Quick Access Toolbar:
- Right-click on any of the tabs in the ribbon
- Click on the ‘Customize the Ribbon option
- In the Excel Options dialog box that opens up, click on the ‘Quick Access Toolbar’ option in the left-pane
- Scroll down and select the ‘Save As’ option from the list of commands
- Click on the Add button
- Click on OK
The above steps would add the save as icon in the Quick Access Toolbar, which always remains visible above or below the ribbon (unless you have specifically hidden it).
Once you have added the ‘Save As’ icon to the QAT, you can open the dialog box with a single click. While this is not a keyboard shortcut, it is a lot faster than accessing the same option through the File tab in the ribbon
Important Things to Know When Using Save As in Excel
A few important things you should know when working with the save as dialog box in Excel:
- You cannot save an Excel file with the same name as that of an existing Excel file in the folder. You either need to choose a different name, or Excel would override the existing file with the current one
- As a good practice, when you save a copy of an Excel file, add the date or date and time in the file name. In my experience, spending a little extra time in naming your file correctly can save you a lot of time in the future
- If you add a VBA macro code to a file, you need to save it with a .XLSM extension (as a macro-enabled file), or else the macro code would not be saved
- Note that you can keep the same name if you change the extension of the file. For example, if you have a file with the name Example.xlsx, and you add a macro code to it and use Save As to save it, you can keep the name Example.xlsm
- You can also change the file type using the save as dialog box. To do this, click on the save as type drop-down and then select the file type in which you want to save the file.
In this tutorial, I showed you a couple of keyboard shortcuts you can use to open the Save As dialog box, which you can use to save any new or existing file with a new name to any location.
I also covered the steps to add the ‘Save As’ icon to the Quick Access Toolbar, which allows you to open the ‘Save As’ dialog box with a single click.
I hope you found this tutorial useful.
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