Lost my whole grad essay - Microsoft Word on iPad Problem

Hi guys! I like most people can’t stand microsoft word, but in grad school it seems as though it’s a required issue. I was writing a paper in it as my teacher required in the Word ipad app. From there, I went to highlight select all to change the font size, but instead of typing 12 in the font section, it edited the whole essay and i know have the word 12. I tried all the obvious solutions with trying to undo, both in using the arrows and shaking. Nothing changes. The version history options on both the mac and ipad are greyed out for some reason and the worst part of this, is that it was set up to autosave, which in theory should make this easier. Does anyone have any solutions that I might not have came up with? Would be seriously saving my day!!! Thanks guys!

Where is this stored? iCloud? Dropbox? OneDrive?

iCloud folder…is this why i should be switching to dropbox lol

Hmm. Are you using Time Machine or Backblaze on the Mac?

I guess that’s lesson 2…no :frowning:

I recently decided to switch from TextEdit and Pages to Microsoft Word so that multiplatform use would be easier. I’m already having serious second thoughts. The MS Word AutoSave works only if the files are stored on OneDrive. There is AutoRecovery (different from AutoSave), but at least some users say that it is unreliable. On my Mac it appears that Browse Version History doesn’t work. Available are Time Machine and whatever other backup solutions one might use (in my case Carbon Copy Cloner and Backblaze). And there’s always ⌘S.

But Microsoft’s requiring OneDrive for AutoSave just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and there is no way that I am going to use OneDrive.

Of course, Apple could help by enabling Pages to handle DOCX and RTF files natively instead of having us jump through the Export hoops.

Pages will open such files, but it converts them on opening, and you need to save out Pages files post-edit. So while it’s not exactly what you hope for, you don’t need to do an explicit export of the file from Word first.

Not to salt the wound but I hope this is a lesson you will only learn once.

As I’ve mentioned on our forums many times, it is always :broken_heart: when someone comes to us with an issue requiring backups, I ask about the backups, and they say, “I don’t have any!! I just NEED THE FILES I DELETED!!!”

Check out this MPU thread that’s coincidentally pertinent…

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But it would seem to me that the default Save should be the file format that you started with, i.e. DOCX. That is what I meant by “Export hoops,” a too long path to get back to the original format.

Perhaps to you. Certainly not to Apple as they have no interest in your continued use of Word. :slight_smile:

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I suspect it has more to do with the fact that they’re confident that saving in the Pages format is an exact representation of what you were viewing in the app. Page’s export to .DOCX is more of a “pretty good approximation”.

There’s no denial that OneDrive has its hiccups, but truth be told: I’ve never had any problems with its AutoSave, even when apps crash. There’s also a very good versioning system to revert back changes in time.

While not sublime and still not fully integrated into iPad Files app, it has come a long way in becoming a decent cloud alternative for those of us who really have to rely on Microsoft Office.

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I tried OneDrive a few years ago and didn’t like it at all. I ran into the “too long file path problem,” (which I suppose now has gone away) and resultant complications. I’m glad to hear that OneDrive has come a long way.

But being mostly an Apple person, I want to use iCloud. My objection was that the user was forced to use OneDrive for AutoSave (as opposed to a local AutoSave), not to OneDrive itself.

Both could well be true. The former seems rather arrogant. (Whose side are they on, the user’s or the brand’s?) The latter maybe a little puzzling, they just make it harder to get to the “pretty good approximation.” I don’t see a problem with offering multiple options (DOCX, RTF, Pages, even PDF) to save without making it so hard. It really gets clunky on an iPhone where non-.pages files have to be exported out just to open in Pages and exported back in to iCloud to get to the original format.

The former seems rather arrogant. (Whose side are they on, the user’s or the brand’s?)

As much as I love Apple, I think many would say their motives and approach are arrogant and they’ve always been brand-motivated, just in a less positive way since Jobs passed IMHO.

I felt your pain, so many times. But am glad to report that this problem is now gone.

That is also fair. But that restriction is actually related to how Office files on OneDrive are accessed by Microsoft apps. Word, Excel and PowerPoint don’t update directly the file on your local drive, instead they update its cloud version and the OneDrive client will update the local copy incrementally.

This is the way they handle collaboration, Autosave, versioning and a bunch of other features that will not work for the actual files you have on your drive and sync to other Cloud Services.

I’ve noticed this when I was trying to get the active document property for an AppleScript on Word. Instead of giving me the path to the local copy (as it will happen whenever you have in a non Sharepoint/OneDrive folder), it was pointing to a https:// URL on a Microsoft service.

In fact, it seems to be a common approach. Google Docs does the same and even Apple’s collaboration features will not work for non-iCloud files.

Thanks for the explanation, Idebritto.

You also need to remember that the MS apps are not native apps and so not fully integrated with their environment.

They are also not format agnostic apps meaning that they’ll happily save into any format. Even though some will convert from one format to another, that is an add-on rather than inbuilt functionality. Every word processor saves in its own format.

These issues will always surface when you mix eco-systems. I’ve found that at best MS apps have a 60% feature parity on macOS and iOS as compared to their Windows environment. You’re better sticking to one eco-systems if you want it all to work seamlessly. Incidentally, thinking 60% is not good, pages isn’t available on Windows at all. MS are at least making some attempt.

I mostly use my MBP but not infrequently have to deal with files on my iPhone and on Windows. Also, at times, I have to send files to Windows users. (Try sending them a Pages file and see what happens.) PDF files are multiplatform, but not really made for serious editing.

So the choices as I see them are:

  1. Use RTF files - but not supported well at all on the iPhone
  2. Use Word files and fall into the “mix eco-systems” situation
  3. Use Pages files and just bite the bullet and export when having to deal with something Windows.

Depending on the complexity of the content there are other options:

  1. Markdown. Allows for most simple text formatting
  2. A collaborative service such as craft or notion.

For rudimentary edits Word on iOS is fine, but I wouldn’t dream of heavy edits on an iPhone. For me that is simply the wrong device for page layouts.