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Author Topic: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents  (Read 7606 times)

mouser

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Most people have learned the lesson to save their work frequently.

Writing a document in MS Word or Open Office, you know you should hit Ctrl+S to save your work every 5 or 10 minutes don't you - you don't want a computer crash to kill your last great burst of inspiration.

Butting here's some advice that less people follow:

Every once in a while save your file using "Save As" and give it a versioned name.

For example:  Thesis_34.txt
or MyNovel_Oct22_2006.doc

If you don't like the idea of your file changing names, then you can do it from windows explorer and just copy the document to some extra folder and rename it.  Or if you use a backup program that will auto-version your files what could work too.

Why bother with versioning multiple backups of your files?

Occasionally files get corrupted, or you realize a week later you've somehow deleted 10 of your best pages.  You don't want to find yourself in the position of only have the one latest version of your document and no way to get back at what you had yesterday.  Never rely on the integrity of a single version of your important stuff.

So my advice is, disk space is cheap enough that any time you are righting some document, use Save As and use versioning.

app103

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2006, 07:09:37 AM »
And never think the autosave feature in your software will save you...it fails when you need it most.

TampaBri

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2006, 05:59:03 PM »
I learned this the hard way in 1996 while docmenting Best Practices for a Baby Bell. Something of use, possibly, is to keep MOST of the name the same, and simply append something as simple as '-1' to the first, '-2' to the second, etc. This keeps them in a nice alphabetical group...and "version" order!

mouser

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2006, 06:22:58 PM »
yep, i tend to use like
Thesis_A1.txt
Thesis_A2.txt
...
then on major milestones i change letters and start again
Thesis_B1.txt

the only real danger you have to worry about is that you might accidentally load and work on an old file, or have a cluttered directory.

because of this what i usually do is i make a subfolder called OLD
and move the old ones in there.

remember people, with drive sizes as big as they are, don't be paranoid about keeping a few hundred backups of your current working documents.


mwb1100

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2006, 10:10:58 PM »
Another option which can work extremely well (but has a rather large initial learning curve) is to use a source code control system.

Usually used for software development, they can be used to keep versions of any files, not just software source code.

There are several free options (some are free only for 1 or 2 users, but in this context that's generally not a problem):

    CVS: used by much of the open source software world http://ximbiot.com/cvs/
    TortoiseCVS:  a better interface for CVS (integrates into Windows Explorer) http://www.tortoisecvs.org/

    Subversion: an up-and-coming alternate to CVS  http://subversion.tigris.org/
    TortoiseSVN: a better interface for Subversion (integrates into Windows Explorer) http://tortoisesvn.net/

    Perforce:  http://www.perforce.com  (free for up to 2 users)
    Vault:  http://www.sourcegear.com/vault/  (free for a single user)

This is just a small sample of some of the bigger players; there are many others.

I'd suggest one of the TortoiseXxx versions - they're pretty easy to use once you get things set up and you've used it on a couple files, they're free, and they're widely used with a ton of info and help out in the Google-Sphere.

Once you're using one of these systems, you can always just work on the most recent file and save that file to the version control system periodically, but at anytime you can get any previous version.

One nice thing that Perforce has is an MS Office plug-in - I'm surprised this hasn't happened for CVS or Subversion, yet.

mouser

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2006, 10:13:19 PM »
stay away from cvs.

but as mwb says, the tortoise svn is actually really nice in that you can run it entirely on your local pc.
though running it with an offsite server has the benefit of a nice offsite safe backup.

Jammo the OrganizedFellow

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2006, 02:14:44 AM »
for my file versioning (i do a little hobby webdev), so I need to keep track of file versions. but have not looked at Subversion, although it looks promising!

i use TClockEx (http://www.rcis.co.z...e/tclockex/index.htm) for my taskbar clock.
it has this neat feature: (my own configuration) i clock on it, and it copies the following to my clipboard:
061104-011122
Year. Month. Day. - Hour.Minute.Second.
makes it so much easier when manually searching my file directory for a previous version.

i do that file method only when saving a big change. not all file saves.
As an aspiring web developer/designer, it is a constant struggle to cope with my ADHD + Hypomania/Bipolar Disorder.

The slow growth of my web dev projects is eclipsed by my patience, understanding and desire to learn AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE as I slowly progress.

X_____jamjammo_____

nudone

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2006, 03:23:39 AM »
for my file versioning (i do a little hobby webdev), so I need to keep track of file versions. but have not looked at Subversion, although it looks promising!

i use TClockEx (http://www.rcis.co.z...e/tclockex/index.htm) for my taskbar clock.
it has this neat feature: (my own configuration) i clock on it, and it copies the following to my clipboard:
061104-011122
Year. Month. Day. - Hour.Minute.Second.
makes it so much easier when manually searching my file directory for a previous version.

i do that file method only when saving a big change. not all file saves.

that's a nice idea.

lanux128

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2006, 12:32:47 AM »
in Word, you can also use F12 to invoke the 'Save As' dialog. comes in handy all the time. :up:

f0dder

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2006, 12:49:02 AM »
subversion :-*
- carpe noctem

lanux128

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2006, 12:57:57 AM »
subversion
f0dder: are you asking about the version of Word that i mentioned?

f0dder

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2006, 09:07:22 AM »
lanux128: no, no, just praising subversion (and subverting the thread? :P). I haven't tried it with essentially binary files like .doc, but it's awesome for text files like source code...
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lanux128

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2006, 07:42:00 PM »
ok, then.. had me thinking of Word versions for a while.. :)

skywalka

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Re: Your Computer Tip of the Day: Use "Save As" and Version your Documents
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2006, 10:41:44 AM »
http://www.poromenos.org/downloads

There is a program called Saver.  I haven't tried it.