Save and force save in ONLYOFFICE: never lose a document

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In this article, we will tell you how saving in ONLYOFFICE actually works and how you can adjust it to your own needs.

It will be useful for those who use the ONLYOFFICE cloud service or Enterprise/Community Edition.

How saving works

By default, when you are working on a document all of your changes are saved to the editors’ cache (Document Server). After you close the doc, all the changes are sent from Document Server to your storage and your file is saved as DOCX, XLSX, or PPTX.

You can decide when you want your changes sent to Document Server. Find the Autosaving option in the File tab -> Advanced settings:

  • If autosaving is on, your changes are sent to Document Server (the editors cache) automatically.
  • If it’s off you need to click the Save button to save your changes in the editors’ cache.
Saving during co-editing

The editors have two co-editing modes – Fast and Strict and they do have influence on autosaving.

In Strict mode, you lock the paragraph you are working on. Others can’t see your changes until you click the Save button, and you can’t see theirs. In this mode, when you click Save your changes are sent to Document Server as usual.

In Fast mode, you can see everything your co-authors are typing in real-time. In this mode, you don’t need to click Save at all – all the changes are saved automatically the second you stop typing. The Save button remains inactive.

In both cases, all the changes are stored in the editors’ cache during the co-editing. The document will be built and saved as DOCX, XLSX, or PPTX to the storage after all the co-authors close the document.

Saving settings

You can change how the Save button works. As we explained above, by default it saves your changes to the editors’ cache. But if you enable Force Save option, the button sends your changes directly to the storage. This can be useful if you are worried that your document can be lost (for instance, if you have a poor Internet connection).

To enable Force Save, go to Common Settings in Document module, look at the Storing file versions section and turn Keep intermediate versions when editing on.

Each time you click the Save button with Force Save enabled, you create a backup for your document. It is saved to your storage as DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX. You will find all the backups in Version History.

You can also decide how many backups (versions) you want to store using the Keep all saved intermediate versions setting.

  • If it’s on, after clicking Save for three times, you will get three different files in the storage + the resulting one built automatically after you close the editor. Please, use this option only if you really need these versions as separate files. Otherwise, they will only occupy your disk space.
  • If it’s off, each time you hit Save the newer version will overwrite the older one. It means that after clicking Save for three times and then closing the editor, you will get two files – your resulting file (that overwrites all the intermediate versions) and the initial version. Choose this option, if you don’t want to store all intermediate versions created during editing as separate files.

You can read more about Version History in ONLYOFFICE in our Help Center.

Is Force Save necessary

The short answer is no, we added it as an option. Our standard scheme with changes being saved to the editors’ cache is reliable. But if you want to control when your files are saved, Force Save is at your service.

Hope this information is useful. If you have questions, use the comment section below or tweet us at @only_office.

View Comments

  • Hi there,

    I am relatively new to OnlyOffice and I use it on my computer (Ubuntu 18.04 LTS) locally. So far I have been really excited about its whole appearance and functionality. However, today I redid an excel sheet which was not saved after I closed regardless of me pressing CTRL+S and seeing the "saving" circle. I thought, okay my bad and did the whole work again. I saved it and I was again certain now I saved it. I saw the circle and I am certain which document I opened (the other time I thought it might have been a cached document, so my bad) but even the second time all changes were gone. I do not understand how this happened. I waited until the "saving" circle disappeared before closing. I mean next time I have to check the file manager data before closing the document but I would like to know what I did wrong. Because an office program which sometimes stores my changes and sometimes doesn't is quite useless. I would love to be able to rely on your program, because I fancy it already a lot. Could you please provide support? I unfortunately, do not have an auto-save button for my version.

    • Hello!

      To help, we need to know the version of the app and the installation method.

      Were you working with a local file or the one stored in our cloud/Nextcloud/ownCloud?

      You can create an issue on GitHub if you have an account there. This is the quickest way to get in touch with the developers.

      If you don't have a GitHub account, just write here, in the comments section.

  • Hi,

    I'm wondering how OnlyOffice deals with files being opened for editing and then closed without changes, in case if OnlyOffice is integrated with external system which acts a storage.

    Normally, when the document is closed after editing, OnlyOffice then makes a web api call to that external storage to upload the document to the storage. The external system can use this fact as the indication that editing finished.

    But what if the document closed without changes? Does OnlyOffice make any web api call at all? And if it doesn't, how can that external system determine that the document editing session finished?

    Or, OnlyOffice does make a web api call to the external storage even if no edits have been made? If so, does it indicate somehow that the document was closed without changes (so that in the external system won't update last-modified for the file)? Thanks!

  • Hello,
    we are integrating the OnlyOffice document server with our product and at some moment realized that the link to a document that we provide to the OnlyOffice server is not protected at all. For the other links that allow retrieving data from the system, we require to pass an Authorization header in the request. But with the OnlyOffice server, we don't see the way to make it add an Authorization header to GET request of document content. We have several ideas on how to protect the documents, like restrict access to documents stored in our system by IP of OnlyOffice server or make links to documents with a short lifetime. But I'm wondering what is the best practice for this? Thanks!

  • ONLYOFFICE stops saving after leaving the browser idle for more than a minute!

    Steps to reproduce the issue:

    1: Create a document or import a document in Nextcloud
    2: Start editing the document and stop for a few seconds almost to 30 secs (if you keep going the issue doesn't happen)
    3: After stoping for a few seconds the "All Changes Saved" notification in the bottom bar doesn't respond anymore
    4: Trying to save the file manually fails
    5: If you exit the document and get back in, you will loose all the content written after the pause

    • Hello!

      Sorry that you experienced that. The quickest way to get in touch with our developers and get help in such cases is to create an issue on GitHub

      Please, include more details:

      Nextcloud version
      Connector version
      DocumentServer version
      Operating System
      Browser version
      Nextcloud logs if possible

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