Category: Help

Where is my lost word document?

Mac Word 2008

So. I’m frequently called by people who have lost documents in Microsoft Word. They’ve been working on something important but hadn’t got round to saving it and BOOM it’s gone.

Prevention is always the cure in these situations. If they had saved the document when they created and then saved it whilst working on it, they could always revert back to the most recent copy.

Sometimes if this has happened more than once I can’t help but tut to myself that some people never learn. So it was with a great deal of surprise I found myself in the same situation last week.

I had been working for hours on a new Social Media Strategy for a client of mine and low and behold Word crashed and I realised to my horror that I hadn’t saved it. Not once.

I cautiously relaunched word and it auto-recovered the two other documents I had been working on for the same meeting but not the 5,000 word strategy document. I felt very stupid.

So rather than just give up and start again (it was 2 o’clock in the morning and I had to leave for my meeting at 8 o’clock) I switched to google.

Now I was pretty sure that if Word had recovered two out of three documents then it had surely recovered the third, but where to find it?

The Microsoft help page was useless. I looked at numerous other pages, but it was this page from Indiana University that put me on the right track.

So for Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac you can find all your recovered documents by going to:

user – Documents – Microsoft User Data – Office 2008 Autorecovery

and if it’s saved, as mine fortunately was, then it’ll be in this folder with some innocuous name like ‘Autorecovery save of Document2’.

And remember to save your documents on creation! Prevention is better than cure. It’s a lesson I certainly try to keep to in the future.

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How to clean your White MacBook Keyboard so it’s sparkly new!

MacBook Keyboard

So my friend @geetheflea tweeted with this question earlier today. Unfortunately for her I was going through my sisters new business plan and so twitter couldn’t have been further from my mind…

A mutual friend @tsmarsh suggested the following technique to her, neatly illustrated by this video:

Fortunately for her I don’t think that the recommended product, Mr Clean’s Magic Eraser, a USA only product is available here in the UK. Although on reflection I am rather nervous that it might be readily available in the pound shops of Holloway… you never know… and if it is, I am sure my friend will have found herself some. (see why here)

Anyway this in principle was not what worried me about the method. It was what follows: he adds a liberal amount of water to the cleaning product before going at it some on his keyboard (albeit a switched off keyboard) but it’s WATER none the less.

Despite the jazzy introductory music that had warmed me to his presentation, I was at this point mentally repeating NO, NO, NO. And the DUH when he mentions he once over did it with the water and had to leave his MacBook to dry over 24 hours!

So. Here is the right way to do it. What you want is the following:

1 Microfibre Cloth (My favourite brand is: e-cloth but any will do. Start from 50p upwards (last forever))

1 Bottle of iKleer Screen Cleaning Fluid (I prefer this but you can just dampen the e-cloth)

(iKlear do a great pack with it all included. You can buy it from Apple for £29.99 (which might seem pricy but I’m still using the same pack I bought three years ago!))

Anyway the most important thing is to make sure that you use a damp cloth, there should be no standing liquid on the keyboard ever, basically use the above video as a guide on how not to clean your keyboard, at least in terms of liquid levels. Oh and of course switch the computer off!

Also you need to take extra care not to be too rough when cleaning, MacBook keyboards have a habit of being a bit fragile, keys can be easy to dislodge and break off, and though the Apple store are often happy to just fix a new one on for you, it’s a pain.

So I hope this helps you avoid such horrible advice (sorry Tom ;-)) and keep your keyboard nice and clean, as well as your computer healthy.

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Activate Visual Voicemail on O2

Visual Voicemail

So. A close friend of mine recently succumbed and got themselves an iPhone (about time!). A few months in, I visited her at her fabulous florists in Stamford Hill and I was surprised to see that she was working her way through her voicemails by listening to them! No visual voicemail loveliness for my friend.

Visual Voicemail

So I took her phone and despite my experience I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to activate it, and O2’s site wasn’t particularly helpful. So I told her to give O2 a call and get them to set it up. A few months later, she was still struggling her way through voicemails by listening to them in sequence.

So I bit the bullet and a few google searches later I came across the solution. Simply call 1750 and it switches on visual voicemail. It works a treat. And now she can avoid having to wade through voicemails by listening to them old school. Phew.

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Rebuilding Apple Mail Mboxes

So. I use gmail’s IMAP service to collect emails from each of my email accounts. I’ve used the IMAP service since it was introduced, as unlike the POP3 service it ensures that my inboxes, etc, are synced with the cloud and also with the other computers I used, thereby enabling me to sit down at any computer and see the same, identical information.

Unfortunately it is not unusual for these mailboxes to start displaying duplicate emails, which not only makes searching them more difficult (excluding the duplicates presented by the “All Mail” IMAP mailbox) and can eat up a great deal of extra hard drive space, especially when you have tens of thousands of emails spread across multiple accounts.

So when this started happening again recently I decided to do something about it. The solution if you use Apple’s Mail program is quite simple. It’s called “Rebuild” and can be found in the “Mailbox” menu of Apple’s Mail program here:

Apple Mailbox Menu
Click the item in the red box

Once you’ve clicked this button Apple’s Mail program will go about the task of rebuilding your mailbox, during which these duplicates emails that have been syncronised to your account will be removed. This process can take a couple of minutes, or a couple of hours depending on the size of your mailbox. I had a couple of thousand messages in the mailbox this afternoon and it was completed before I had finished writing this entry.

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