"Is there an autosave feature in Adobe Illustrator?". This question has been asked by many users over the past two decades. We always heard the short answer – "No". Now, thanks to Autosaviour, we have an autosave feature. In addition, the plug-in can create a backup of the previous version of the file. It is a true gift from Astute Graphics, since this plug-in is absolutely free. In today's article, you'll learn about the options and features of this must-have plug-in.

Downloading Autosaviour and requesting a FREE license key

You can download Autosaviour for Windows and Mac OS from www.astutegraphics.com/free-trial/

At the time of launch and writing, Autosaviour is compatible with Windows Vista/7/8 and Mac OS 10.6+ running Adobe Illustrator CS5, CS6 and CC(17). Please refer to the download and product pages for the latest information on compatibility.

Autosaviour will operate without any license key but will display the About Autosaviour window each time Illustrator is run (shown below). To request a FREE license key, simply enter your email address in the form www.astutegraphics.com/software/autosaviour/#license

Once you have applied your license key, the About Autosaviour window should no longer appear unless accessed via Illustrator > About Autosaviour (Mac OS) or Help > About Autosaviour (Windows).

For volume/corporate licenses, please refer to this statement…

Autosaviour options

When we create a new document or open an existing file for the first time after installing the plug-in, the Autosaviour Settings dialog box will open immediately. The upper part of the dialog box contains autosave options for the current document. Each document can have its own custom autosave setting which is then retained when reopened.

Overview of Autosaviour

Tick Enable Autosave / Remind to start the autosave process or remind that the file should be saved.

Set the time interval between saving / reminders by specifying Every: __ minutes.

Overview of Autosaviour

If you choose the Just Remind Me option, then after a specified time interval a friendly reminder will pop up.

Overview of Autosaviour

The option Wait for __ second pauses the save process until no changes have been made to the artwork for the specified number of seconds. This important function prevents Illustrator from pausing mid-workflow when saving, especially when working on complex artwork – you don't want it to mess up your vibe! Saving then occurs immediately after the pause.

Overview of Autosaviour

If you untick Wait for __ second option, then saving will occur immediately after the interval Every: __ minutes.

The option Backup Pervious Version with Suffix __ is intended to create a single backup file, which will be located in the same folder location where the original document is found on your hard drive. You can name it whatever you want by changing the suffix.

Overview of Autosaviour

Default Settings

The lower part of the Autosaviour Settings dialog box contains the default settings These determine how Autosaviour behaves every time a new document is created or a document opened which has yet to have any Autosaviour settings applied.

If you choose Ask For Autosave Settings, the dialog box will be opened immediately or within a specified time after you open an existing or create a new document.

Overview of Autosaviour

With Start Autosaving / Reminding you can start autosaving or reminding in a new or previously "unseen" document to Autosaviour, without opening the dialog box. Options in this section are similar to the autosave options for the current document, so do not require descriptions.

Overview of Autosaviour

The final option Don't Autosave / Remind Unless I Manually Enable It basically disables the plug-in's functionality by default. This means that a new or an opened document the Autosaviour Settings dialog box will not open and the Autosaving / Reminding process will not get started. If you need to start up the autosaving process in any open document, go to File > Autosaviour Settings….

Overview of Autosaviour

Creating a shortcut to access Autosaviour

You can assign shortcuts to open the Autosaviour settings window instantly. To do this, go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts….

Overview of Autosaviour

Setting the default behaviour when no document is open

You can also set Autosaviour's default behaviour for that artwork file immediately after launching Adobe Illustrator, before you open any document. To do this, go to File > Autosaviour Settings… or use the shortcuts, if you have already assigned them.

Overview of Autosaviour

At the end of this overview, I would like to note that autosaving will not occur when the dialog box is open, or when you are working in an isolated mode such as in-group and Pattern Editing modes. Saving will occur after exiting these modes or closing the dialog box.

For further Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about Autosaviour and its behaviour, please refer to the Autosaviour FAQ blog post…

While working with Adobe Illustrator I have had dozens of cases where the work has been wholly or partially lost due to the fact that it was not saved on time. Hopefully, now we can avoid such problems with Autosaviour. Take care of your files, time and sanity!

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