fixed : where are my Office 365 AutoRecovery files ?

Question :

I accidentally messed up the Office documents (Word/PowerPoint/Excel) I was working on, and I didn’t save it before, so I wanted to get the auto-saved version from the AutoRecovery-folder as I’ve done in the old days of Office 2008 and 2004.

But now I am using Office 365, and I can’t find the AutoRecovery folder anywhere… where is it ?

 

Answer :

You might have guessed : nowadays, the AutoRecovery-folder is located in an entirely different location on your Mac.

If you are running Office 2011 for Mac (whether as part of Office 365 or not) the correct path to the AutoRecovery-folder is this :

~/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery

And if you are running Office 2016 for Mac (whether or not as part of Office 365) the correct path to the Word 15‘s AutoRecovery-folder(s) is :

~/Users/username/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery/

for PowerPoint 15 the correct path is :

~/Users/username/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.PowerPoint/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery/

and for Excel 15 the correct path is :

~/Users/username/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Excel/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery/

BEWARE : it’s not straight-forward to get to this folder in recent/current versions of OSX and macOS, as the user’s Library-folder is a hidden folder. So if you want to access it, the easiest way to do so is :

– in the Finder, click on “Go” in the top menu bar

– when the pulldown menu appears, press the ALT-key on your keyboard (a.k.a. OPTION-key) and an extra option named “Library” will appear in the pulldown menu

– while holding the ALT-key, click on “Library” and your personal (hidden) Library-folder will open in the Finder

– there you can navigate further using the paths listed above to find the AutoRecovery-folder you’re looking for

That’s it.

Enjoy !

😉

NOTE # 1 :

It is advisory to also switch on the “file overwrite protection” (or “double backup”) option as it stores the previous version of the file you are working on. In Word, you turn this feature on from Word –> Preferences –> Save and then mark the “Always create a backup copy” check box. This way, whenever you click “Save”, a backup version is made of the previous/stored version before it overwrites the stored version of the file… so with it turned on, you at least have one prior version of your file.

NOTE #2 :

it turns out that there’s a bug in Excel 2011 for Mac : even though the Autosave does save  a file with an .xlsx file extension, it’s not a true .xlsx file ! trying to open it will lead to an “Microsoft cannot open this file”-error. The solution is to change the file extension to either .xlsb (Excel binary format) or .xlb (older Excel backup format), to enable Excel to recognize the file and enable it to open.

[ a big Thank You to Paul Preston for noticing this problem and for Bryan P for posting the solution on Superuser.com and to Rich Michaels for posting his updated solution on answers.microsoft.com]

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fixed : grey NoEntry-sign when trying to move items to OSX 10.11 El_Capitan System folder

Question :

I used to be able to drag&drop tweaked or additional system files to the general Libraries folder inside System folder. I only had to typ my administrator’s name & password to give extra authentication. But, since installing OSX 10.11 El_Capitan, I can’t seem to be able to drag&drop like that any longer… I get a grey circle with a slash in it…

Even when trying to change folder permissions for folders within de System folder, through the “Get Info” panel, I can’t change the permissions…

What is the problem ?

And how can I bypass this ?

 

Answer :

The grey circle with a slash in it is actually a grey version of the red traffic sign that is used as a “No Entry”, “No Access” or “Prohibited” sign.

With the upgrade to OSX 10.11 El_Capitan, System Integrity Protection (SIP) has been introduced to OSX. The positive side of this is that it is now extremely hard to accidentally mess up the OSX system. The negative side however is that is no longer possible to get access to some system folders without downgrading security and using the Terminal.

But… the collaboration between the ~/System/Library folder and the ~/Library folder is now working far better than in previous versions of OSX.

So, the solution : if you want to put files or items in a folder that’s inside the ~/System/Library folder, now put them in the corresponding folder inside the ~/Library folder and everything should work as intended

e.g. :  items that you used to put in the ~/System/Library/Fonts folder, can now be drag&dropped into the ~/Library/Fonts folder

NOTE : for items that you used to put in a folder within ~/System/Library that isn’t available inside ~/Library the solution is to create a folder with the correct name in there to put those items in

e.g. : for items that you used to put in the ~/System/Library/Filters folder, you should now create a ~/Library/Filters folder first to put the files in first

TIP : to be able to view the ~/Users/[username]/Library folder, make sure “Finder” is indicated next to the Apple icon in the upper left corner, the select “Go” and press the ALT-key on your keyboard and the Library folder will magically appear in the pulldown list

enjoy !

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fixed : where are my Office 2011 AutoRecovery files ?

UPDATE : the updated version of this post for Office 2016 / Office 365 (Word 15 / PowerPoint 15 / Excel 15) can be found here :

fixed : where are my Office 365 AutoRecovery files ?


Question :

I accidentally messed up the Office documents (Word/PowerPoint/Excel) I was working on, and I didn’t save it before, so I wanted to get the auto-saved version from the AutoRecovery-folder as I’ve done before in Office 2008 and 2004.

I forgot where to find the AutoRecovery-folder, so I used Office 2011’s build-in Help-option to get a hint. It told me I would be able to find the folder via this path :

~/Users/username/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 AutoRecovery

But when I open that folder I have a “Office 2004 AutoRecovery” and a “Office 2008 AutoRecovery”-folder, but there’s no such folder for Office 2011…

I checked in the Office 2011 Preferences to make sure Auto-saving is switched on, and it is… so where did the folder go ? where are my auto-save documents ?

 

Answer :

You might have guessed : there’s a fault in the Office 2011 Help file. Nowadays, the AutoRecovery-folder is located in an entirely different location on your Mac. The correct path is this :

~/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery

But there is yet another tiny hurdle to get to it : in the current version of OSX, the user’s Library-folder is a hidden folder. So if you want to access it, the easiest way to do so is :

– in the Finder, click on “Go” in the top menu bar

– when the pulldown menu appears, press the ALT-key on your keyboard (a.k.a. OPTION-key) and an extra option named “Library” will appear in the pulldown menu

– while holding the ALT-key, click on “Library” and your personal (hidden) Library-folder will open in the Finder

– there you can navigate to Application Support–>Microsoft–>Office to find the “Office 2011 AutoRecovery”-folder you are looking for

That’s it.

Enjoy !

😉

Note : It is not clear if this problem is due to OSX 10.9 “Mavericks” or that it is occurring with all installations of Office 2011 for Mac. Either way, the solution is as mentioned above.

UPDATE :

it turns out that there’s a bug in Excel 2011 for Mac : even though the Autosave does save  a file with an .xlsx file extension, it’s not a true .xlsx file ! trying to open it will lead to an “Microsoft cannot open this file”-error. The solution is to change the file extension to either .xlsb (Excel binary format) or .xlb (older Excel backup format), to enable Excel to recognize the file and enable it to open.

[ a big Thank You to Paul Preston for noticing this problem and for Bryan P for posting the solution on Superuser.com ]

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fixed : Reduce File Size makes PDF unreadable

Question :

I have created a PDF of 4 pages in the Preview app, but I can’t eMail it to anyone because it turns out to be a 39MB file…

I know the probable cause, because some of the pages are entire A4-size pictures scanned as JPEG at 300dpi…

So I tried to use various ways of saving (or exporting) as PDF from within Preview, but they all end up with the same oversized 39MB file… except for one : the “Reduced File Size” filter from the “Export” option gives me a 240kB file that turns out to be completely unreadable…

Isn’t there any simple way to get a readable PDF of about 5MB or so ?

 

Answer :

Yes there is, but unfortunately it’s rather tricky to set up at first (since there is still no option in Preview, nor in “Save as PDF”, to adjust the PDF-output on the fly… and on top of that : there is a bug in the latest versions of OSX that prevents self-made Quartz-filters from ColorSync Utility to be accessible throughout OSX…)

Here’s how to :

1- open the ColorSync Utility that is in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder

2- if no window opens, click on File –> New Window

3- then click on the “Filters” tab

4- then click on the “+”-button in the bottom-left corner to create a new Quartz-filter

5- type “Reduce File Size 75dpi”, then click on the small round button (with the small white triangle in it) at the end of the line

6- from the pulldown menu select “Add Image Effects Component > Color Image Sampling” and now some adjusting options appear, leave most of them as-is, only at “Resolution:” type “75 pixels/inch” (so leave the other options empty and leave “Quality:” at “High”)

7- repeat this last step, but this time select “Add Image Effects Component > Grey Image Sampling” from the pulldown menu (so set “Resolution:” to “75 pixels/inch” here also)

8- tripple-check to make sure that the name of the Quartz-filter is “Reduce File Size 75dpi” and the “Resolution:” is set to “75 dpi/inch” at both instances… if that’s not the case : correct it before continuing (just retype at the correct spot)

OPTIONAL : click on the “+”-button again to create another new Quartz-filter, call it “Reduce File Size 120dpi” and repeat the above procedure, just set “Resolution:” to “120 dpi/inch” this time (…and you can even repeat this for other resolutions like 100 dpi/inch)

9- now close ColorSync Utility

10- now, in the Finder, press the ALT-key on your keyboard and select “Go” from the upper menu bar, in the pulldown and extra (ghost) folder called “Library” will appear, click on it and in the Finder window that opens, select the “Filters” folder (there you will see the Quartz-filters you’ve just created in ColorSync Utility)

11- then, in the Finder open another (new) Finder window and open the (regular) “Filters” folder that is in the “Library” folder in the “System” folder also (there you will see all the standard Quartz-filters available throughout OSX)

12- put both of these Finder windows side-by-side, then select the Quartz-filter files you’ve custom created, and drag them into the other “Library” folder (the one in the “System” folder)

13- then you get an authentication warning message that you need administrator rights to add anything into the folder, so type your administrator password and the custom Quartz-filter files will be moved into the System’s “Filters” folder

UPDATE : from OSX 10.11 El_Capitan on, you will see a grey NoEntry-sign when trying to access the System’s “Filters” folder ; this is due to El-Capitan’s SIP (System Integrity Protection) feature ; to solve this follow these extra steps :

  • instead of moving your self-made Quartz-filters into the ~/System/Library/Filters folder, you should move them to the ~/Library/Filters folder
  • since that last folder doesn’t exist by default, you will have to create it first
  • to do so, go to ~/Library in a Finder-window and click on the Sprocket-icon (a.k.a. GearWheel-icon) and select “New Folder” from the pulldown list
  • when prompted, enter you administrator’s name & password to allow this new folder to be created
  • when done, move your self-made Quartz-filters info this newly created folder at ~/Library/Filters

14- close all open windows

15- select the PDF file that’s too big and open it in the Preview app

16- in the Preview app, go to “File” and from the pulldown menu, select “Export” (do not select “Export to PDF” or “Save” or “Print” !!!)

17- in the window that appears, choose a (new) file name and a location to save the size-reduced PDF-file, then set “Format:” to “PDF” and at “Quartz Filter:” select “Reduce File Size 75dpi” and click the “Save”-button

18- then go to the Finder and select the newly created size-reduced PDF-file and right-click and select “Get Info” (or use the CMD+I key-combo), in the window that opens, check the file size (note : any file up to about 5MB can easily be sent as an eMail attachment)

19- then open the size-reduced PDF in the Preview app and check if the text is still readable… if  all text has turned fuzzy, do a new Export from the original PDF but choose another Quartz-filter (like 100dpi or 120dpi… if you didn’t create those, redo the entire process to create them and make them available throughout OSX)

20- that’s it ! you now have created a very handy and quick PDF size reduction option within the Preview app !

Enjoy !

😉

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