It's Called "Revert To"

Discussion of issues related to OSX 10.9 (Mavericks) and all earlier versions of OS X.
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Richard Serkes
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It's Called "Revert To"

Post by Richard Serkes » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:02 pm

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!
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Stephen Hart
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Re: It's Called "Revert To"

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:20 am

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)
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Richard Serkes
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Re: It's Called "Revert To"

Post by Richard Serkes » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:31 pm

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.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: It's Called "Revert To"

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:45 pm

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.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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