Recently I have been asked about getting back lost documents a few times. It is all to do with AutoSave, OneDrive and Office 365.
Let me set the scene.
You are working on a project and have a series of documents to create. You create the first one, save it and then go on to use that as the starting point for document number 2. All is well until you realise that you have inadvertently over typed everything in document 1 and it seems to be lost for ever. Oh no! All that work!
What is a girl to do?
Let me unpick this for you and show you how you can avoid this happening in the future.
AutoSave is a feature of Office 365 that applies when you save your documents to OneDrive (I will use the term OneDrive, and in this case, I mean both the personal and the business versions).
You will notice a small icon on the top left of the Title Bar. It looks like this:
Autosave Icon is showing here as On.
The save icon now has a refresh circle on it.
The title of the document now says Saving….
What does AutoSave do?
It makes your document behave like a web-based document. Whenever you work online your changes are saved as you type.
So, if you are working in a Word document online you never press the save button and there is no save icon at all. Word simply saves your changes as you go.
With the advent of Office 365 and OneDrive you can now save your documents in the cloud (or online if you prefer) right from inside Word, when you save to a OneDrive or SharePoint location.
As soon as you save your document to a OneDrive location, the Autosave icon switches on. Now as you type Word saves your changes automatically.
So Shelley, if my document is being saved all the time, how do I get back to previous versions?
Good question and of course I have the answer!
As Word saves your documents it also saves a version history and you can get back to any of the save points that Word creates.
How do I see Version History?
On the title bar, click the drop-down arrow next to the document name and choose Version History,
You will see all the versions displayed in a task pane on the right-hand side of the document.
I have chosen to open the version in the middle of the list above and this is what I see:
In the title bar it tells me the version number the date and time and that this version is Read Only. I can Restore this version or I can save as and create a copy of it with another name. I could also Compare which will open the current version and this version in a special window – a subject for another post entirely.
When does Word create these restore points?
As long as you are typing, Word will be saving. When you stop it has time to synchronise your document online and then a version is saved. Notice that as you type it says saving for a few seconds once you stop typing. Then it turns to Saved.
Shelley – does this work on Mac ?
Yes! So long as you are using Office 365 and saving to OneDrive then it works the same way.
I saved this document to my blogging folder in OneDrive for Business and AutoSave is automatically switched on. A tip pops up about Version History too.
I get the same options as Word on the Windows platform.
Version History and the task pane.
What if I don’t want to AutoSave my document?
A few things to note.
Turn AutoSave off for this document only – toggle the AutoSave icon to Off and the current document will stop AutoSaving. Whenever you open THIS document it will not be AutoSaved.
Always save a copy of a document with a new name before you make any changes and close the original just to make sure. Otherwise you run the risk of overwriting the current document. To do this:
Click File then Save a Copy and give the document a new name.
How has this post helped you? What will you do differently? Leave me a comment and let me know.
P.S Why not visit the CourseDirectory and see which of my courses tickles your fancy!
So your client has asked you to research a topic. Maybe it is to find out about a particular item or perhaps they need you to research freight or Excel You can use Researcher in Word to get started.
Using Researcher in Word
If you have an Office 365 Subscription, then you will have access to Researcher. Before you ask, it is also available on Mac and although I have not put screenshots in here, it works the same way.
Start to research your topic by going to the References Ribbon and clicking on Researcher. Next type in the term you are looking for. I chose to use desert for this example.
You will see a task pane open on the right of the screen with a list in it. Click on the Plus sign next to a topic to add it as a heading – this can help you build the structure of your document. If you don’t see enough topics click More Topics and you will be offered more.
The topic is added along with a comment. The Comment links to the articles so that you can explore them later once you have built the structure.
When you go and explore an article, you can copy and paste text and add it directly to your document along with a Citation! It even builds a Bibliography for you – magic!
To add text, select text and then choose Add to just add the text or Add and Cite to add a Citation as well.
When you choose to Add and Cite you will see the Bibliography build before your eyes.
I hope that you can see the benefit of this tool. Next time you are asked to research a topic for a client give it a try.
Just don’t end up down too many rabbit holes as you start to investigate the topics
To learn more fun things that you can do with Microsoft Word, hop over and pick up the How to Create eBooks and Lead Magnets with Ease course where you will learn all kinds of cool things about Microsoft Word, that will enable you to create awesome Lead Magnets for you or your clients.
P.S. Why not join my Facebook group where you can ask questions, get answers and interact with me and other Virtual Assistants like you. Click Here and request to join.
When you are working on a document and want to get a definition or some more information about something, use Smart Lookup to add that extra dimension.
In Word you will find Smart Lookup on the References Ribbon in the Research group (I will talk about Researcher in another blog post ) and in the other Office programs you will find it on the References Ribbon.
Note for Mac Users – if you are using Office 365 – then you will also have Smart Lookup just like the Windows users .
Using Smart Lookup
To use it, select the word or phrase you want to look up and then click the Smart Lookup icon.
A task pane will open on the right of the screen with a list of suggestions for you. It is powered by Bing – it will look something like this:
You will see that there are more items in the task pane that are not showing – you can simply scroll down to see more. If you want even more suggestions, there is a show more button at the very bottom.
You will see that you can open the site or copy and paste the text into your document.
A short tip this week I know, however quite useful.
Leave a comment and let me know how useful this is!
Take a look at the new tomorrow’s VA Course Academy you can find it here Course Directory
Microsoft Word Courses :
Work Smarter with Style – how to use Styles in Microsoft Word – I have a version for Windows and a version for Mac
Create eBooks and Lead Magnets with Ease – everything you need to know to create a stunning Lead Magnet or eBook
Before I dig in, this tip is the same for both Windows and Mac versions of Word. Let me set the scene. You are doing some work in Word, and you need to have more line spaces between each paragraph. What we tend to do, is to press the Enter Key more than once. What then happens is we end up with extra line breaks in the document which affect the automatic spacing on the page.
Far better to allow Word to control the spacing after a paragraph.
This is done via Styles. Now you may have different preferences, more space after a heading style and before the following paragraph or more space between paragraphs of the same style.
I am making a stretch here that you know what Styles are and how to use them! If not, I have a course for that…
Back to adding space after.
Here is how you do it.
In the Style Gallery right click the style to change (I will update the Normal Style but you can do this to any style you want to) choose Modify.
Next you will need to click the Format button at the bottom of the dialogue box that opens and choose Paragraph.
You will see in the image that I have added 6 points after – this means that when I press the Enter Key, Word will automatically place 6 points of space between the paragraphs. You may want to experiment with how many points you need
This will mean less keyboard presses, as you won’t need to press the Enter Key so often! It also means that Word now controls exactly where the typing goes on the page and that is a good thing.
Work Smarter with Style – course
I did mention that I have a course about Styles, and there is one for Windows users and one for Mac users
Here is a link to the course directory, there you can pick the one that works for you be it the Windows or Mac Version.
Love this tip? Want to learn more ways to work with Microsoft Word? – then I have a very special offer for you. My Creating eBooks and Lead Magnets Course is available at HALF PRICE until September 1st 2019 – so hurry up and start learning all the cool features you need. You get lifetime access and can log in and take any lesson at a time to suit you.
Templates help speed up work. A template will hold formatting such as Styles and Margins plus any standard text that is needed. Templates can be created for many purposes, a standard letter, a letter of engagement, anything that will save you time if you have it as a starting point. As a busy VA you likely work with several clients.
When you start a new blank document, you are using the Normal Template. Note that the font, alignment, margins and styles are all set.
If you need headed paper to include your logo, house styles and some standard text then a template is what you need.
Start a new document based on a template
Note that you are looking at Featured templates. Here Microsoft offers you a selection of templates to choose from
Click Personal and you will see any templates that you have created and saved yourself.
Choose the document template you want to use, and the document will open.
Create a template from scratch
Set up the document, adjust the margins add any standard text, add Headers and Footers etc.
Click File and then Save As
Name the template and change the document type to Word Template
The save location will change to Custom Office Templates – a folder that Word created in your Documents Folder
Modify a template
You saved the template and then realise that you need to change something. You must open the actual template from the folder you saved it to and make changes and then save. If you just start a new document based on the template, you will not be changing the template, just the copy.
Navigate to the Custom Office Templates folder
Right Click on the template you wish to amend
The Template will open – you will see its name at the top of the document not just Doc 3
Make the changes and then click Save
Once you have saved the changed, close the template to avoid making any further changes to it.
Now that you can see how easy it is to create a template and how much time it will save you when creating your standard documents, you can learn how to make it even more time saving by changing the Styles.
Create templates for each client you have with their own branded style gallery! Huge Time Saver- Huge!
To learn how to apply, modify and create styles take my Work Smarter with Style Course – there is a Windows Version and a Mac Version.
What do you do that others think is like Smoke and Mirrors?
Today March 29th is Smoke and Mirrors day. I know an odd kind of day to mark but it got me thinking. How much of what each of us does appears to be like Smoke and Mirrors or Magic to others?
I was reminded of this recently when helping a client. She had written a huge dissertation, something like 70,000 words! Amazing work. Now all she needed to do was to format it.
The problem was, that she first came to see me when she was half way through and she had not thought through how the document should look.
When working on a very long document, you need to think through a few things and set them up before you start!
I know I have written about Styles before, but you can’t say enough about them. Styles control the way your document looks and behaves and are essential for generating a Table of Contents.
Now my client, sat with me for a few hours whilst we went through the whole document. Deciding what the Heading levels were and how they should look and how many levels of heading styles there would be too.
We set them all up along with a couple of other styles needed for making things stand out in a particular way.
So far so good. Off my client went to write some more and finish a couple of sections.
A couple of weeks later she was back. She had added several chapters and a lot more words and was very conscious that she would need to cull or rewrite. So we set about fixing the rest up.
When left to her own devices, my client had forgotten some of what we had done. As a result, she had forgotten to apply the Styles we had so lovingly created and had simply applied direct formatting.
So what is direct formatting?
Glad you asked. Direct Formatting is when you apply bold or italic or change the font or size or colour to a selected piece of text. When you do this, the text is not in a Style and the Table of Contents will not find it. Apart from that, she had applied styles to images in the document or tables and they were now showing up in the Table of Contents.
Here is where Smoke and Mirrors come in
Together we were able to go through the document on her last visit (her third) and apply the correct Styles to the headings. When things appeared in the Table of Contents that shouldn’t have, I was able to work out why and correct it. My client really thought it was magic.
It was not Smoke and Mirrors or Magic, just that I have invested a lot of time and effort in learning how Microsoft Office works! I know the ins and outs and I also have the ability to transfer that knowledge so that my clients and students can go on to create amazing work in each of the Microsoft Office packages, be that Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook.
Courses for all
Of course, I can’t write all this without reminding you that I have a whole school of courses including one called Work Smarter with Style! ( available for both Windows or Mac) this course will teach you everything you need to know about using modifying and creating Styles in Microsoft Word.