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Recovering unsaved documents

From: Word 2010 New Features

Video: Recovering unsaved documents

Have you ever closed Word, clicked No when prompted to save your changes and then yelled "Oh no!" when you realize that you had just thrown away minutes, or hours, of work? Word 2010 won't stop you from clicking No inappropriately, but it will protect your work during and after your editing session. We've been editing this file for an hour or so. While I haven't save my changes, not necessarily a good practice, Word has been saving this automatically for me every 10 minutes based on the settings in the Word Options dialog box in the Save category.

Recovering unsaved documents

Have you ever closed Word, clicked No when prompted to save your changes and then yelled "Oh no!" when you realize that you had just thrown away minutes, or hours, of work? Word 2010 won't stop you from clicking No inappropriately, but it will protect your work during and after your editing session. We've been editing this file for an hour or so. While I haven't save my changes, not necessarily a good practice, Word has been saving this automatically for me every 10 minutes based on the settings in the Word Options dialog box in the Save category.

Based on those settings, Word is also hanging on to the very last version of autosave it created, in case I need it. Now I'm going to make a mistake, and I'm going to close Word without saving the changes that I've made. Oh no! Well, let's open Word again, and let's see if we take a look at that file, what's available to us. So, I'm going to go back and open the Employee Handbook again and go Backstage and notice that Word automatically retained a version that says, today at 12:55 PM you closed this without saving it.

So, I can easily open this up and be back exactly where I was, at least at 12:55. Word hung on to this document for me, so that I could return to it. I'm going to close this for a moment. Notice again that it's asking me to throw out this unsaved version, which is fine. I'm not going to save it. And take a look at an another possibility. If I had done more changes since then even, and I wanted ,12:55 wasn't good enough, I wanted my 1:30 version or my 3:00 PM version, another choice I have is to go to Recent and choose Recover Unsaved Documents.

I might there see a list that includes that document. If I do, I can recover it from here. For this document, however, the most recent version is the autosave version at 12:55. So, I'm going to go ahead and open this document. I'm going to restore it, which will overwrite the last saved version with the selected version. If there was a saved version after this, there wouldn't have been an autosave version at 12:55. I'm going to say OK, and I have my document, and I've only really lost about 15 minutes, when I might have done some work or might not.

Word protected this document for me. I had it opened for several hours, hadn't really made many changes at one time, but I had made a few, and I can return to this most recent autosave version of my document. What if I had never saved this document at all? Let's take a look at an another document, Document2. This is a really important document. I want to tell you how I often will make this error. You think it's telling you, do you want to delete this document, but I'll be working on a document, send it to a printer, I've spent some time on it, but what I really wanted was a hard copy to take to a meeting, for example.

So, I send the document to the printer, and then I close it, and I think, do I need it? No. I sent it to the printer. Then I walk over to the printer and find out that there wasn't any paper loaded for example, or letterhead was loaded or perhaps when it printed, it's not quite what I wanted, and I don't realize until I see that hard copy. It's often the case, I think, for many users, that documents that we think we don't need, that we create really briefly and send out to printer or put into an Email message or the documents that we really wish we had access to. So, I've just created this really important memo, sent it off to the printer, and I'm going to go ahead and close this until we're - no, don't save it.

Now, I go over to the printer, for example, and notice that there are mistakes in this document, or I'd like to create part of it over again, but I threw it away. So let's start Word again and see what we have. Let's go to Backstage. Choose Recent. This document isn't listed, but I can choose Recover Documents and notice that I have my Really Important Memo that I can open, again, a document that I never saved, but Word saved a copy of it for me.

In order for Word to save a copy, you have to have had the document opened long enough that autosave engaged at least once. Though we never saved this document, Word still has a copy. Let's go ahead and save this document and give it a name this time, so that we don't lose it again. By default, Word will keep up to four unsaved documents for you. You can always access them through Recent > Backstage and then go to Recover Unsaved Documents.

If you frequently work with more documents, you might want to increase this number. The unsaved documents, documents that you abandoned without saving are kept in this folder for four days, or until the next time you edit them. If you've ever closed a file, like this Really Important Memo, without saving your changes and then wished you'd have done otherwise, I don't need to tell you how great this feature is.

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Word 2010 New Features

21 video lessons · 10699 viewers

Gini Courter
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