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Using Word's New Program and File Recovery Features

Microsoft has added new features intended to make Word 2002 and Office XP more resilient, and more capable of fixing both themselves and damaged document files.

Microsoft stresses that these features cannot solve every problem you encounter with Word 2002; however, they should assist with many, if not most of them—and especially, help avoid much of the lost work and inefficiency that results from crashes and damaged files.

In the following sections, we introduce the Word 2002 program and file recovery features that will be most important to day-to-day users.

Recovering Documents with the Document Recovery Task Pane

If Word 2002 crashes, it displays a dialog box that gives you options for what to do next (see Figure 3.20).

Figure 3.16 The dialog box Word 2002 displays when it crashes.

By default, Word restarts and attempts to recover your work; if you don't want this to happen, clear the Recover My Work and Restart Microsoft Word check box.

If you have an Internet connection, you can also send Microsoft an error report that summarizes the technical aspects of the crash. To see what the report contains, click the Click Here link. According to Microsoft, they will treat the report as confidential and anonymous.

If you want to send the report, click Send Error Report. Word transfers the report, keeping you updated as to its status.

When the error report has been submitted, if Microsoft has information about how to prevent the problem, a dialog box appears containing a More Information link. If you click More Information, a Web page appears containing information on the problem and how it might be prevented or worked around.

If you prefer not to send an error report to Microsoft, click Don't Send. Word closes. Unless you specified otherwise, Word then restarts, displaying the Document Recovery side pane (see Figure 3.17).

Figure 3.17 From the Document Recovery side pane, you can attempt to recover files that may have been damaged when Word crashed.

To view a file, click on it, or click on the right-arrow next to it and choose View from the drop-down menu. To save a file with a new name, click the down arrow to its right, and choose Save As from the drop-down menu. (If you choose Save As but use the original filename, Word overwrites the existing version of the file.) It makes sense to resave your file immediately, in case there's still a problem with Word that might cause it to crash again, and risk the possibility that the crash might even prevent Word from recovering your data next time.

In some cases, the Document Recovery side pane contains more than one version of the file. If a version is marked [Recovered], it contains recent edits you never saved. If a version is marked [Original], it contains the last saved version of the file.

You can review each document and then decide which to save, or possibly, save both, by saving one under a different name.

To close a file without saving it, click Close. Word displays a dialog box asking you to confirm whether you want to abandon the file. If the file was marked [Recovered], this damaged version of the file is lost.

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