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How to Restore Old Versions of Word Documents

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Restoring Versions

Of Word Documents

Q. Is there any way to revert to a previous version of aMicrosoft Word document, even after I’ve saved the changes in the current file?

A. Most Windows and Mac editions of Microsoft Word include a setting that automatically makes a backup copy of a document. This backup copy is one version back from the currently saved version of the document, so it will show the contents as they were just before your most recent save of the “live” file. To turn on the backup-copy function, go to the Options or Preferences area of your version of Word and select the Save settings.

In Word for Windows, try going to the Tools menu to Options, then Save to “Always Create a Backup Copy.” Some Word versions may have the setting under Options, then Advanced and “Always Create a Backup Copy.”

On the Mac, going to the Word menu to Preferences and clicking the Save icon gets you to the backup-copy checkbox in some versions of the program.

Microsoft’s online support site has an article that explains how to recover a lost document or find a backup file in several versions of Word


You can find steps for recovering an earlier version of an Office 2013 file at

Along with a dedicated backup program or service, your operating system may also be able to help you out, like the “previous versions” feature in Windows 7 ( or the File History tool in Windows 8 (

Although the “past versions” feature in OS X does not work directly with Microsoft Word, the Time Machine utility in OS X ( saves earlier versions of Word files and everything else on the Mac.

Exporting a Gmail Address Book

Q. How can I get all of the email addresses stored in my Gmail contacts list out of the program before I close the account?

A. To export your Gmail contacts list to a comma-separated values (.csv) file that can be imported into another mail service, or opened in a spreadsheet program, open your browser and log into your Gmail account. Click the Gmail menu on the left side of the inbox and choose Contacts.

Go to the More menu at the top of the page and select Export. In the box, click the button next to “All contacts” and pick an export format for the file; you can also export the data as a vCard file, which works nicely with the OS X Contacts program. Click Export and save the file to the computer, where it will be ready for import into another mail program.

TIP OF THE WEEK Apple’s iOS 8 software for iPhone now lets you manage your mail more efficiently with one hand by letting you customize the menu buttons you see — like those for flagging a message or marking it as read — when you swipe a message preview to the left or right. Just tap the Settings icon on the Home screen, go to “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” and choose Swipe Options to set your preferences.

The settings for Google’s Gmail app for Android 4.0 and later let you customize your swipe action to archive a message or just delete it. In the Gmail app, tap the menu icon in the top-left corner, select Settings and then tap General Settings.

In the Archive & Delete Actions area, you can choose to see only the archive or delete options — or both. If you choose one action or the other, you can also turn on the “Swipe to delete” or “Swipe to archive” checkbox on Gmail’s general settings screen to use your chosen action as you browse the contents of your inbox.

Read More at the New York Times. 

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