Don from Scotland writes:

My main reason for writing is to ask you if you know if there are, in Win8 or MS Office, any useful features, e.g. one that would enable data to be saved to more than one drive simultaneously?
 I maintain a database for my club of former and serving paratroopers, and save to external wireless and wired drives. This is three operations.  A useful feature would be the ability to do this in one action, or, even better, one keystroke.  I’m surprised no one has come with this before, (or have they?) especially MS.

Actually Don, there is. And you don’t need Windows 8 to do it. This will work in Office in Windows 7 as well. It’s called a macro and since you mentioned a database, I’m going to do this one in Excel in Word 2013. But this should work work in 2010 or 2007 as well. I created a macro that will save this particular spreadsheet to my local C drive, the cloud-based OneDrive and to an external drive. 

There’s a bit of a set-up process – but you will only have to do the complicated part once and then those commands will be available any time that you use Excel. 

Let’s start by customizing the ribbon so that you have the commands you need where you can see them. Select File and then choose Options.

Choose Customize Ribbon on the far left. From the drop-down menu at the top choose Main Tabs. Then select Developer followed by Code. From this list you can add the options we’ll need to your ribbon. Let’s start with Marco Security.  Choose Add.

You’ll get a warning that you need to create a custom group. Choose the New group button at the bottom right of the window and then create and name your group. I’m calling mine macrocommands.

Add Macro security to that group. Then add Record macros and  Macros to the same group.

When you look at the top of your Excel program, that group should be visible in the ribbon.

First let’s choose Macro Security to enable Macros in this document. You’ll want to make sure you turn them off when you don’t need to perform the function. Hackers can use them to execute malicious programs.  Choose Macro settings then Enable all macros. Click Okay.

Once back in the Excel program, we are going record the macro.  Open the spreadsheet you wish to save and then click the Record macro button

You will then be given the option to name your command and put in a description. This is also where you can add a keyboard shortcut if you like. I suggest making the keyboard shortcut. It will save you a lot of time. Then choose Okay.

Now perform the actions you wish to record. In this case I would use Save as to save my spreadsheet to the local C drive, then choose Save as again to save it to my external drive. Then I would select Stop Recording.

Now your macro is saved. The hard part is over. You won’t have to go through all these hoops again. Using your macro is as easy as clicking an icon. When you are ready to save from your spreadsheet, select the Macros icon. (Make sure your external drive is connected. If it’s a USB flash drive make sure it is in the same port if your computer has multiple USB ports.)

A window will open, select the Macro you wish to use and click on Run.

The spreadsheet now saves to the local disc, an external drive and the OneDrive cloud back-up.  Now, if you put in a keyboard shortcut when you created the macro, all you need to do is type that shortcut and the action will happen immediately.

Now when you aren’t actively using the document, I suggest turning off macros for security purposes. Just click the Macro Security Icon and choose to disable Macros. If you want to create a new Marco, just enable it again.

 I was also able to experiment with a command that created an e-mail with the document attached and notified others who use OneDrive that an updated document was ready to view.

~ Cynthia