MS Word auto-recovery files and Dictation

Today, I learned about Microsoft Word auto-recovery files.

If Microsoft Word crashes and can’t auto-recover the document, find the autosave file. The location is given in File->Options->Save. Sort the directory by date, and your autosave should be at or near the top. The file name ends in .asd. Copy that file elsewhere and open it in Wordpad.

Your text will be therein, stripped of all formatting but present.

In related news: I’m trying dictation. I know several authors who produce several thousand words per hour with dictation. I would like to produce several thousand words per hour.

Seemingly unrelated fact: I habitually hit the “save” button after typing every sentence. Note the key word: typing.

In more related news: installing Dragon 15 has made Microsoft Word lock up three times today. The third time, it couldn’t auto-recover the lost text.

And I hadn’t even thought about saving. Because I automatically hit “save” every sentence.

Beware your habits. They will cause you pain when you change.

Also: computers are terrible. I need a stenographer. Who understands MS Word styles.

7 Replies to “MS Word auto-recovery files and Dictation”

  1. If you happen to use Dragon 15 with Chrome/Firefox, I’d suggest the “Lazarus: Form Recovery” extension. Given the way it’s locking up things, you might need it. 🙂 And seriously, this extension has saved my butt numerous times.

  2. Especially onboarding the new sysadmin, I often find myself thinking “that seems like superstition, I don’t have to do it that way.”

    Then, I find out that *yes*, there was a good reason to do it that way. That fussy little habit avoided trouble. I had just forgotten that.

    This type of thing isn’t good for avoiding “but I’ve always done it that way” syndrome.

  3. Do you need to use Word?
    As you’re self-publishing mostly, you probably don’t need to use some Word-template?

    Back in the day, I wrote my Diploma-Thesis with LyX (on FreeBSD). Worked great. The whole thesis, all the dia-drawn diagrams fit on a floppy disk. In fact, the whole CVS repo with all the versions of everything fit on that floppy.

    I have no personal experience with Siri on Mac (my 2012 Mini doesn’t have a microphone and I haven’t upgraded to Sierra – but people who use it are apparently quite pleased with it (for dictation).
    It’s quite usable on my ancient iPhone 4S (given its age and relative computing power, compared to today’s smartphones)

  4. Sadly, I do need Word. Most self-publishing platforms and tools expect files that originate from Word. They expect bug-for-bug compatibility. And the more complicated the formatting is, the more Word bugs you expose.

  5. That alone would take the fun out of writing for me.

    I did a pre-print review of a book of a co-worker once – it was in Word, but I didn’t really have to write much and I didn’t care about the formatting (which was easy, I don’t own a copy of MS-Word, probably fsck’ed up the formatting pretty bad).

    Does Knuth write in Word these days, too?

    I think I’d still write in something different than Word, just for peace of mind. Have you tried IA-writer or any of these “full-screen, no-fluff, no-fancy, text-only” writing apps?

    If you can’t get Word out, try to get the words out without Word 😉

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