Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How to retrieve old copies of files- Ultimate style

From time to time Vista creates ‘snapshot’ copies of your files with a service called “Shadow Copy”.  This allows you to retrieve older versions from files you accidentally delete or alter.

To go back to a prior version of your file/document, you simply right-click on the file and select “Restore previous versions”.

Using the Shadow Copy service is a far easier way to recover your files than opening a backup you’ve made, and can get you out of some nasty jams. (For more on recovering deleted files, click here.)

Shadow Copy is enabled on all versions  of Vista, but Microsoft grants user access to these copies only in Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise editions. (Clearly as a method to try to sell more copies of the pricier Ultimate Edition. Shame on you Microsoft; backup and recovery should be free.)

Tip of the day: Users of the “Home” editions of Vista can use Shadow Copy too.
The odds are pretty durned good that if you bought a new computer, and it came with Vista, it came with Vista Home Premium. I say that because if you walk into a store selling computers, I dare you to find the one that has Ultimate Edition on it. It seems to me that they all come with Home Premium!

Remember how I said Shadow Copy was “enabled” on all versions? Yes? Well, for owners of Vista Home Premium and Vista Home Basic, the service is running, but you need a way to “interface” with it (sometimes called a “front end”). To do that, download and install ShadowExplorer, and gain some of Ultimate Edition’s functionality. This cool piece of software is free, but donations are accepted.

Today’s free link: People who are using Windows 2000 or XP can get an almost identical file functionality with FileHamster from Mogware. This program is designed for people whose talents lie in the Creative Arts, so you don’t ave to be a geek to use it. There’s helpful user forums, too.

Please note: This ability is by no means a substitute for regular system backups. This is for small “oopsies”, not recovery/restoration.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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August 16, 2008 Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, file system, how to, missing files, software, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Open Office 2007 files with older versions*

A while ago I wrote about solving the problem of opening documents that Windows does not recognize, and used as an example two text documents received as email attachments (click here to read Cannot open attachment…help!). While the point of that article was how to identify unrecognized file types, the fact that I mentioned a .docx (a Word 2007 document) received the most attention from readers.

Tip of the day: Open Office 2007 documents with older versions of Office. Some time ago now, Microsoft released a new version of its Office suite, called Office 2007. Besides having a new “look” and new toolbars, this suite of programs uses a whole new format (a way of encoding) for the documents it produces, which Microsoft calls “Open XML” (for more on this, click here); and to signify this, has added an “x” to the file extension.. so the familiar “.doc” of MS Word has become “.docx”.

This change to the coding does improve the flexibility of the document, and “modernizes” the way machines interact with it, and yet allows Microsoft to maintain proprietary control.. thus ensuring that sales of Office continues. The trouble is, owners of MS Word cannot open the new .docx formats, which produces great dissatisfaction from folks who have shelled out the bucks to own the most commonly used word processor in the world. (And largely done so simply to be able to open other people’s documents.) It also smacks of forcing people to spend a couple hundred bucks to upgrade.

Microsoft swears this is not the intent. Of course they want you to upgrade, but to do so because of the improvements and new features. They do, in fact want current MS Office licensees to be able to read the new Open XML ‘standard’, and so they have made available a tool for the older versions of Office.. which is today’s free link.
As more and more people use the new 2007 suite, the more .docx’s you’re going to run across; so if you’re happy and comfortable with your current version, and aren’t ready to relearn the Excel and Word toolbar, relax. Keep reading and download the Microsoft Office compatibility tool.

[Note: If you are the one using Office 2007, and you know you’re going to be sending your document to folks who are using an older version, use “Save As” to save the file as a Office 97-2003 document (no “x”).]

Today’s free link: Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. Open, edit, and save documents, workbooks, and presentations in the file formats new to Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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June 4, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, MS Word, software, tech, troubleshooting, word processors | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

More on opening Office 2007 documents

Yesterday I wrote about solving the problem of opening documents that Windows does not recognize, and used as an example two text documents received as email attachments (click here to read Cannot open attachment…help!). While the point of that article was how to identify unrecognized file types, the fact that I mentioned a .docx (a Word 2007 document) received the most attention from readers.

Tip of the day: Open Office 2007 documents with older versions of Office. Microsoft released a new version of its Office suite, called Office 2007. Besides having a new “look” and new toolbars, this suite of programs uses a whole new format (a way of encoding) for the documents it produces, which Microsoft calls “Open XML” (for more on this, click here); and to signify this, has added an “x” to the file extension.. so the familiar “.doc” of MS Word has become “.docx”.

This change to the binary coding does improve the flexibility of the document, and “modernizes” the way machines interact with it, and yet allows Microsoft to maintain proprietary control.. thus ensuring that sales of Office continues. The trouble is, owners of MS Word cannot open the new .docx formats, which produces great dissatisfaction from folks who have shelled out the bucks to own the most commonly used word processor in the world. (And largely done so simply to be able to open other people’s documents.) It also smacks of forcing people to spend a couple hundred bucks to upgrade.

Microsoft swears this is not the intent. Of course they want you to upgrade, but to do so because of the improvements and new features. They do, in fact want current MS Office licensees to be able to read the new Open XML ‘standard’, and so they have made available a tool for the older versions of Office.. which is today’s free link.
As more and more people use the new 2007 suite, the more .docx’s you’re going to run across; so if you’re happy and comfortable with your current version, and aren’t ready to relearn Excel and Word, relax. Keep reading and download the Microsoft Office compatibility tool.

Today’s free link: Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. Open, edit, and save documents, workbooks, and presentations in the file formats new to Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007.

Copyright 2007 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved

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October 18, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, file system, how to, MS Word, PC, tech, Vista, Windows, word processors, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment