Versions in Word 2010

In Word 2010 there is a ‘version’ feature but it’s quite different from the feature of the same name in Word 97 to Word 2007.

In Word 2010 there is a ‘version’ feature but it’s quite different from the feature of the same name in Word 97 to Word 2007. Old hands at Word should carefully check out the Word 2010 incarnation before using it.

You can manage different auto saved versions of a particular document and open any of them for reference, comparison or even for restoring back earlier version. Different versions of the document you work on will be automatically saved with a timestamp and it can be opened as a separate document.

Versions.jpg image from Versions in Word 2010 at Office-Watch.com

The crucial point is that Word 2010 only saves versions within an open document session. As soon as you close the document, the versions are removed. This greatly limits the usefulness of the Microsoft’s 2010 attempt at ‘versioning’.


Configure Auto-Save Settings

In Word 2010, Microsoft has again included the feature of auto-saving files which saves your documents automatically after specified intervals of time. You can configure auto-save or auto-recover settings and make required changes to the time interval. For this, click on File | Options.

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In the “Word Options” window that pops open, under “Save documents” select “Save AutoRecover information” option and enter required time interval to save the document versions.  The default is usually 10 minutes but you can change it to a longer or shorter time.

You also have option to save and recover the last unsaved version of the file you are working on in case you close the document accidently without saving it. For this select “Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving” option. You can specify the file location from where you can fetch the last auto-saved file. After making changes click on OK button to close the window.


Manage Auto-Saved Versions

You can open any auto-saved version of the document you are working on. Click on File | Info | Versions and select required version based on the given time-stamp.

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Selected auto-save version of the document will open in read-only mode.

Open autosave version.jpg image from Versions in Word 2010 at Office-Watch.com

The title of the document will give details about the auto-saved version like date and time. An alert message will appear at the top of the document asking if you want to compare the document with the latest version or restore the auto-saved version of the file.

Note: The auto-saved file version cannot be edited as it will be in read-only mode. If you want to make any changes and reuse the file later then you have to save the file with a new name.

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Restore Version

Click on “Restore” button to replace the current version with the auto-saved version which you want to retain.

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You will be prompted to confirm if you want to replace the file. If you click on OK button then you will lose the current file version as it will be replaced by the earlier version of the file. This feature is particularly useful when you want to undo any major change in the document.


Compare Versions

You can choose “Compare” to see difference between the two versions.

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When you select this option the comparison result will be displayed in detail. There will be three sections in the results window. In the first column a summary of the result will be displayed. Changes based on different sections like Header, Text box, Footer will be given. Whatever content has been modified will be explained like content added or deleted. The second section displays the compared document. The changes between the two documents are highlighted. The third section displays both original and revised document. Using this feature you can easily track changes amongst different versions of the same document. After making the comparison you can save the compared document for future reference.

All auto-saved versions of a particular document will be available only when that document is open. Once you close the document you will lose all versions of the file unless you specifically saved any required version of the file. Again when you open the file for editing you will not find any earlier versions instead the auto-save process will start afresh when you begin working on the document.


Recover Unsaved Files

As already discussed above you need not worry about losing files in case of sudden system shutdown or any such problem, as your last unsaved version of the file will be auto-saved. To recover this file, click on File | Info | Versions | Manage Versions | Recover Unsaved Documents.

Restore unsaved file.jpg image from Versions in Word 2010 at Office-Watch.com

Here select required file from the “UnsavedFiles” folder and you can choose to open the file in desired mode. Click on the small down arrow next to “Tools” to select the required mode like Read-Only, Open and Repair, Open as Copy, etc. to open the file.