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It's Called "Revert To"

Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:02 pm
by Richard Serkes
After upgrading to Mavericks and the new iWork suite that goes with Mavericks I ran into a bit of a mess with Numbers. I keep all my iWork files on the iCloud so I can have access to them from any iDevice from anywhere that has I'Net connectivity. This is important to me, but maybe not to you. What I found out was when your personal files are not on your Mac but on the iCloud Time Machine isn't applicable. Let me be specific.

Yesterday I was finishing the November family financial spreadsheet using the new Numbers for the first time. I went about my end-of-month summary but in doing so I managed to delete an entire column of data. Things work a little differently in the Mavericks version of Numbers. My bad! Like I said I'm still learning about the new version of Numbers. But I thought that I was still OK because I'd just grab the previous version of the file using Time Machine. That's when I discovered that Time Machine doesn't backup data on the iCloud. Now I'm in big doo-doo because it would take me hours to reconstruct that column of data. I went to the iCloud itself but couldn't find an older copy there. I tried HELP in Numbers on my Mac as well as the iCloud Numbers and still couldn't find anything about a backup cache or a copy cache.

At this point I've just about decided to throw in the towel and start my onerous task of recreating the column when I tried the Mac Numbers HELP one more time. I don't remember what I typed into the query box but I got a message (and visual) telling me to go to FILE/Revert To to retrieve previous versions of my Numbers file. When I clicked on Revert To a new screen opened that looked a lot like Time Machine although not an exact copy. I was able to go back to a previous saved version of the Numbers file that still had the missing column data, select it and voila I'm back in business.

So it turns out that there really is a "time machine" for your iCloud files but it's hidden within each iWork application. It's a drop down menu item called Revert To and it saved my tushy!

Re: It's Called "Revert To"

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:20 am
by Stephen Hart
I'm glad to see that Revert To worked well with iCloud.

Remember that all your iCloud documents are also saved on your Mac. So they're accessible in Time Machine, albeit in a location that may seem odd at first. I don't know about versions saved here, but the previous document will be.

(Also note that in Mavericks you can choose to have the user Library visible by default. Finder window > View > Show View Options > Show Library Folder)

Re: It's Called "Revert To"

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:31 pm
by Richard Serkes
I never would have found that folder. Thanks for showing me (us) where it is. But the Revert To is easier. I would have named it something more obvious like Backup Copies or Previous Versions.

Also, the Microsoft Office apps have a "backwards button" that lets you scroll through previous versions just by clicking the button. It's very handy.

Re: It's Called "Revert To"

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:45 pm
by Stephen Hart
I only meant to point that out in case the revert doesn't work. Finding "lost" backup files in some obscure folder is a strategy of last resort for iCloud, iPhoto, Aperture, iTunes, etc. I think Apple meant it to be that way.