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Accidentally Saving Over Work

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 :spaz :faint

This might seem like a stupid question but does anybody have any tips on how not to lose work?

I have been working on 3 illustrations simultaneously and have needed to have all 3 open to switch between frequently. In the midst of furiously working away I have not once but TWICE accidentally saved an illustration with the name of one of the others which has then given me 2 versions of one illustration and completely obliterated the first.

Both times I have luckily had an old version of the illustration saved elsewhere but each time this has put me back several hours as I need to go back a few steps to wherever the first other copy was left.

Please tell me somebody else does this and I am not just a complete ninny? Any tips on how to keep work organized and separate while working on it?
#1 - September 11, 2017, 08:30 PM
Books & Cats & Cups of Tea.

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I;m a writer, not an illustrator, but I have done the same thing. The best I have come up with is to save (copy) all the files at the end of each day onto a USB stick. At the very worst,  I will lose one day's work if it happens again...but I am VERY careful now!
Best of luck. (I hope others have some better ideas to offer too.)
#2 - September 11, 2017, 10:58 PM
My Australia - National Library of Australia (April 2018)
I've Got Eyes! - Amicus Ink (August 2018)

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Not much use, I presume, but I've always saved my documents at least twice and numbered them.
#3 - September 12, 2017, 04:33 AM

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I email everything of importance to myself. I'm on aol which, I pay for, but have many documents saved so it's worth it to me. But you don't need an aol account. Scary to even think of losing work.
#4 - September 12, 2017, 04:44 AM

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Also not an illustrator. Never "save." Always "save as" and add a number so you know which is the latest.

Take a breath and read before you press the button. Rushing  gets us into trouble.
#5 - September 12, 2017, 08:11 PM

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I think my new idea will be to have two actual folders. At the moment, although I save several copies of things at different stages with different titles, they all sit in the same folder. I hope that by having a 'wip' folder and a 'backup' folder separate it might slow me down enough to pay close attention to where and how I am saving things.

I definitely learned a couple of valuable, if incredibly frustrating, lessons from that one!
#6 - September 12, 2017, 11:45 PM
Books & Cats & Cups of Tea.

I find the same problem with 3d modelling (not children's book related), but my program has a tendency to crash causing me to lose work if I've not been proactive about updating. Can you not click "save" rather than "save as".
#7 - October 10, 2017, 08:34 AM
Oliver Piotrowski

Rhyming Chapter Book - Critique Request
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=85240.0

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Save will save over the work. Save as allows you to preserve the original and keep the new copy.
#8 - October 10, 2017, 09:20 PM

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Save will save over the work. Save as allows you to preserve the original and keep the new copy.
Debbie is right. Usually, what I do is save every ten minutes or so. However, I also sometimes copy the text, just in case.
OT: on a course I was taking in 2003 the tutor used to purposely pull the plug to get us into the rhythm of habitually saving our work.
#9 - October 11, 2017, 05:34 AM

There were a lot less replies visible when I typed that out, so it now looks like I'm asking why he should use save as. I fully agree that keeping a selection of incremental backups is far superior to just overwriting the file.

My point was, if Christopher is saving over the wrong file while working on multiple images, then he must be already using "save-as", then selecting the wrong file and over-writing it. In this specific scenario (working on multiple documents and accidentally saving over the top of the wrong one), then using "save" instead of "save as" would prevent it.

The best scenario would probably be to grab an incremental save plugin for whatever art program is being used. These work just like "save", but create incremental file names. You then click incrimental save, and you've got the best of both worlds.
#10 - October 11, 2017, 07:00 AM
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 07:03 AM by 01i »
Oliver Piotrowski

Rhyming Chapter Book - Critique Request
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=85240.0

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Oli, I've never heard of the incremental save option. That's way cool. Is it just an art thing?
#11 - October 11, 2017, 08:14 PM

The word "incremental" is part of the standard terminology for back-ups, so it's very possible that the functionality exists for any program where it would be useful. It all depends on if somebody has thought to write one, and made it available online. But without knowing what software you use, it's impossible for me to say if someone has implemented a method of incrementally saving in that package. You'd have to look.

If one exists, it shouldn't be too hard to find. If you google `+"incremental save" +photoshop`, you'll find several discussions where somebody posts photoshop script code for implementing the functionality. Those create an incremental save script that you'd bind to a keystroke, that you manually press to do the increment. If you replace +photoshop with your program, you'll find out.

If there's no incremental save option in your package, but there is an autosave feature, you could use that too. Or, if your application has scripting, macro or plugin functions but no autosave, you can probably make one (again assuming a quick google doesn't find that someone already has).

Autosave can be even better because you don't have to remember to do anything. You could run a constant (or recurring) file-system backup to move changed files, and then when an autosave happens, next time it runs it'll see the change and move the file.

There are several paid backup programs out there that can watch a folder for live changes, or you could make something work yourself, for free, by using robocopy (a file copy program that comes in windows), and task scheduler (which also comes with windows). For mac users I'm not sure what the equivalent programs are, but I'm sure if you google "robocopy mac alternative" or "task scheduler mac alternative" I'm sure you'll find something to point you in the right direction.

Using a task scheduled and backup, you could robocopy all "changed" files from a working directory to a backup directory every 10, 15, 30 .. or whatever you want minutes. Combine that with a dynamic filename (such as a datetime suffix), and auto-save and you've got an automatic incremental backup system for any program.

There's obviously a window that exists where data can be lost, but to a certain extent, you can control the size of that window.

Robocopy (or paid backup) can also be used without auto-save, but you obviously need to be proactive about saving. Even then you could set a scheduled task to pop up a reminder to save, and set it to go off 30-60 seconds before the robocopy backup is due. You could even include the reminder as an integrated part of the robocopy script itself.

There's plenty of options, if you know where to start looking.
#12 - October 12, 2017, 07:13 AM
Oliver Piotrowski

Rhyming Chapter Book - Critique Request
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=85240.0

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Oli, FWIW, most of us just use Word or Scrivener. It has been a few months since I've used Scrivener, but I think it autosaves fairly often, along the lines of every few minutes. Is Word's Save function (as opposed to "Save As," which generates a new file)  the incremental backup  you're referring to?
#13 - October 12, 2017, 09:42 AM
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 09:45 AM by AnneB »

Anne, an incremental save would usually create a file with a unique identifier, such as an incrementing counter or a timestamp. The point would be to be able to refer back to older versions and undo changes. Word's "save" function just overwrites the file with the same name.

E.g Instead of Filename.doc, you'd have Filename001.doc, Filename002.doc etc or Filename2017-04-03-09:36.doc

I'd say it would be more useful from the point of view of artwork than manuscripts. It's probably over-kill with a text file. I don't use word myself, but I'd guess track changes would make incremental backups superfluous.

That said, there are macros out there to make word do a propper automatic save (rather than just update for autorecovery), and to do numbered documents too.

e.g.

http://www.gmayor.com/automatically_backup.htm
http://www.gmayor.com/save_numbered_versions.htm

[edit]

Ohh, that posted without needing an admin to authorise it :)
#14 - October 12, 2017, 10:10 AM
Oliver Piotrowski

Rhyming Chapter Book - Critique Request
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=85240.0

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