Never lose your work again
Use Auto Save and Versions to safeguard all your precious files
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