Never lose your work again

Use Auto Save and Ver­sions to safe­guard all your pre­cious files

Mac Format - - IMPROVE | SYSTEM -

Thanks to OS X, lost work can largely be­come a thing of the past. Time Ma­chine back­ups are one key op­tion, but they’re not the only thing sav­ing your ba­con. OS X has two clever ad­di­tional sys­tems built into it: Auto Save and Ver­sions.

Pro­vided you’re us­ing an app that has support for th­ese two fea­tures built in, OS X au­to­mat­i­cally saves your work. If you de­cide you want to jump back to an older ver­sion of a file – or re­cover part of it ­– Ver­sions en­ables that.

We’re go­ing to take a look at how th­ese two sys­tems work so that you can

If you want to jump back to an older ver­sion of a file – or re­cover part of it ­– Ver­sions en­ables that

make the most of them. The first thing to know is that not ev­ery app sup­ports Auto Save and Ver­sions, although almost all do th­ese days, es­pe­cially ma­jor ap­pli­ca­tions. The lat­est ver­sions of iWork all support it, of course, but if you’re res­o­lutely hold­ing on to iWork ’09, make sure you’re run­ning at least Pages 9.1, Key­note 5.1 and Num­bers 2.1. Check by open­ing the app in ques­tion and go­ing to Pages > About Pages, Key­note > About Key­note or Num­bers > About Num­bers. Other Mav­er­icks apps, in­clud­ing Tex­tEdit and Pre­view, are fully Auto Save and Ver­sions com­pli­ant.

Cru­cially, though – and we can’t stress enough just how im­por­tant this is – you have to save your file once, man­u­ally, be­fore Auto Save and Ver­sions are able to kick in. So if you start writ­ing a let­ter, save it im­me­di­ately and you won’t have to worry af­ter­wards. If you fail to do this, your Mac could lose the changes if things go wrong, though it’s of­ten able to re­cover even un­saved files after a restart or mild crash.

One thing that’s miss­ing from the File menu in Ver­sions com­pli­ant apps is the Save As com­mand. In its place you’ll see a Du­pli­cate op­tion, which pops up a sec­ond win­dow with the con­tents of your doc­u­ment. Note that this copy isn’t ini­tially saved, how­ever, so make sure you do this be­fore you start work­ing on it or you risk los­ing work if some­thing se­ri­ous oc­curs, such as a power cut.

How­ever, the Save As op­tion is still avail­able as an op­tion in case you pre­fer to work that way, per­haps be­cause it avoids the pos­si­bil­ity of for­get­ting to save. Click the File menu to open it, then hold No­tice that the Du­pli­cate item changes to Save As. Let’s take a closer look at Ver­sions… Lau­rence Cable

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