recover previous version of word document

  cave dweller 23:03 09 Feb 2003

i am using office 2000 on xp i have just saved a copy of a document whith the same name in the same folder and replaced the new version whith the old is there any way of recovering the previous version as this is the one i need

  VoG™ 23:06 09 Feb 2003

Only if you have been to Tools/Options, Save tab and ticked "Always save a backup copy".

Otherwise I think that you are stumped, I'm afraid.

  jazzypop 23:08 09 Feb 2003

Use Windows Explorer to find the Word document, right-click it and choose Open With... and select Notepad.

The file will open into Notepad. You will find lots of gibberish at the beginning of the file (codes relating to page layout, printer, styles and formatting etc).

Scroll past that, and you will get to the actual text. It is very likely that the main section will contain the last-saved version of the document, but further on you will come across the original text.

You can then cut and paste the text you want into a new Word document.

Not guaranteed, but it is surprising how often it works.

  woodchip 23:10 09 Feb 2003

you could look in temp and recycle bin

  VoG™ 23:14 09 Feb 2003

Well, I never knew that, thanks!

I'm always making mistakes like this, for example changing Invoice 1 to Invoice 2 and overwriting the original in the process. Next time, I'll know what to do.

  jazzypop 23:24 09 Feb 2003

This is often the source of some embarrassment.

When Word creates a new document, it contains the 'control codes' that I referred to above, plus the actual text that you type.

To allow the Undo feature to do it's job, it actually stores text that has been changed as 'hidden text' at the bottom of the file.

Many people have been caught out when they initially wrote something like 'you are a fat, bald, incompetent idiot' to their boss in a fit of pique, and later changed it to 'I disagree with your decision on the current project'.

The original text is there to be seen, if viewed in a simple text editor like Notepad.

This also accounts for why Word documents can rapidly reach huge sizes (in KB). A heavily-edited document can be many, many times larger than its visible text would suggest is sensible.

The simple way out is to re-save the document with a new filename - at that point, the Undo information is dropped, incriminatory text is lost, and the file size shrinks dramatically.

I'm not certain, but I think the same system applies to spreadsheets - next time you receive a quote from a company, it might be interesting to see what their original price (and comments) were :)

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