When I started using computers for writing documents in earnest (the days of AmiPro, WordPerfect and early versions of Word) I soon learned that saving often and backing up was important.
Even if your computer needs to be switched off and on again to restart things, Word, when you restart it, will show you the last saved version (the programme automatically saves at intervals, you can change the intervals yourself [see below] and of course Ctrl+S overrides and saves with the current version) and ask if you want to keep or discard it.
(1) use Ctrl+A which selects all of the text in the currently-active typing window, then Ctrl+C to copy that text to the clipboard (which is hidden, so it looks like nothing happens). Ctrl+V will then paste the text into a fresh window - I often use notepad for most of my editing (in fact I'm drafting this post in notepad now) which is a much smaller programme and quicker to save a file in, in an emergency. My preference is to start in notepad and then transfer (using Ctrl+A, C and V) into Word for a document or email, or into a blog post, comment window or whatever.
Or (less brilliantly)
(2) to press the Print Screen button on your keyboard (PrtScn on mine, next to Scroll Lock) and then open up Paint (basic picture editing software that's bundled with every version of Windows I've ever seen, used to be called Paintbrush) which you can find by Start » Paint (type it in the search box). Pressing PrtScn copies an image of the entire desktop (you can also do Alt+PrtScn just to copy the current window) which you can then paste (Ctrl+V) into Paint and save it. Admittedly all that will do is save a couple of hundred words or so which you'll then have to retype them. We've all done it ;)
- To save your document as you go, use Ctrl+S
- To select all the text in the window that you're currently writing in, use Ctrl+A
- To copy the text that you've selected (you can use your mouse to click and drag a smaller selection of text of course) - Ctrl+C || Use PrtScn or Alt+PrtScn to grab a 'photo' of what you were working on, save it in Paint and re-write it when you've recovered.
- To paste the text that you've copied somewhere, use Ctrl+V (you need to position your mouse cursor into the spot where you want your text to appear).
A free program that autosaves as you write: Evernote
Thanks to Erik J Cox and Joe Dunkley (@joedunckley) for suggesting Google Drive and also for what to say about it, in response to a related tweet of mine.
- You've done something you wish you hadn't and want to go back a step (undo), use Ctrl+Z
- You've done several somethings you wish you hadn't, use Ctrl+Z, Z, Z (keep holding the Ctrl button while pressing Z!)
- Actually that was fine, you didn't need to undo that (redo), use Ctrl+Y
- Use Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C to copy a bit of text before publishing it somewhere, using Ctrl+V to paste it, just in case you lose it.
- When working in a document type of programme use Ctrl+S regularly to save it.
- Recover from error with Ctrl+Z to undo (or Ctrl+Y to redo)
- Use 'cloud' type services like Evernote or Dropbox (free versions available) to 'type and save' as you go.
- If writing on the web (eg a blog post or comment) draft it in something like notepad first before transferring the text. Or if writing directly onto the web copy the text before you publish it in case the page loses it when you press 'publish'.
Tweaking the time between automatic saving of your document.
- Click on File (it's probably highlighted in blue and is to the left of the Home tab).
- Choose Options which is towards the bottom of the menu.
- Choose 'Save' to view the options for saving documents.
Meanwhile, I suggest trying to search for *.tmp / *.tmp* / *.doc or *.doc* to see what's there. If your file is called important.doc you could replace the first asterisk with important, the second asterisk covers all eventualities of your file ending being .tmp$ or .docx etc. See Retrophile's second comment below.
More posts in the Word tips series...