How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To PDF

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How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To PDF

Postby Wirral Writer » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:02 pm

Please can somebody help me with a very frustrating problem regarding the Word Processing text program in Open Office 4.1?

When I exported the book I had just completed in the text program to a PDF, I lost the original odt. text file which I had saved in Open Office 4.1. This has never happened to me before whenever I have exported similar odt. docs into a PDF file, so I don't understand what has suddenly gone wrong here.

I have tried EVERYTHING to retrieve my lost Open Office text file, from System Restore to doing numerous virus checks. However, I still cannot locate the lost odt. file on my system. All I have been able to do, via System Restore, is to change my computer back to the nearest restore point, which was the 9th Jan 2019. But the only problem there is that the book I had been working on had only, by that time, reached 17 chapters, whereas the completed book file I lost had a total of 50 chapters. So rather than having to start from virtually scratch again, cutting and pasting all the lost chapters back into the 17-chapter copy, I would rather find the lost file, as it would save me a lot of work.

So if any of you can help me retrieve my file, I really would be very grateful.

I hope to hear from you.

Many thanks.
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby John_Ha » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:55 pm

AOO did not delete your file so it is user error - something you did wrong.

The proper answer to you problem is for you to restore the file from your most recent backup ... but presumably you don't backup your work or you would not be here.

Unless you deliberately activated the Save data file versions option, and you installed Windows Backup, and you use Backup, System Restore is useless for you because it restores system files, not data files.

 Edit: See below for how Previous Versions appears to work 


1. Did you edit a new file > create the PDF > close AOO without saving the file? If so, the file is lost.

2. Did you actually save the file? If so go Start > type *.odt in the search box (or *.doc if you saved it as a .doc). Click See more. This shows all .odt files on your PC.

3. If you saved the .odt (or .doc file) see [Tutorial] How to find and un-delete AOO temporary files for

a) detailed instructions on how to recover your file as it was when you last opened or saved it, or as it was when it was last saved with AutoRecovery;

b) how to find previous versions of the file in the folder it is located in, but which have since been deleted;

c) how to un-delete the temporary files AOO wrote while you were editing the file, and then deleted. This will recover your file as it was when you last opened or you last saved it.

4. Search with google for a file conversion site like zamzar to convert your PDF to a .odt, a .doc or .docx file. Be prepared for a lot of tidying up.

5. Think about using the Master Document concept, where each chapter is a separate .odt file, and all files are called into the Master Document.

As a new poster you will find much useful information in the Writer FAQ, the Writer Tutorials, the up to date Writer guide and the Writer Manual. May I suggest you bookmark the pages.

Press F1 to access the Help screen and search for your problem

The chapter headings in the manual are:

1 - Introducing Writer
2 - Setting up Writer
3 - Working with Text
4 - Formatting Pages
5 - Printing, Exporting, Faxing and E-Mailing
6 - Introduction to Styles
7 - Working with Styles
8 - Working with Graphics
9 - Working with Tables
10 - Working with Templates
11 - Using Mail Merge
12 - Tables of Contents, Indexes and Bibliographies
13 - Working with Master Documents
14 - Working with Fields
15 - Using Forms in Writer
16 - Customizing Writer – Keyboard shortcuts.

When a pop-up window opens, click the Help button for extensive help on that function - it is often more comprehensive than the manual.

Showing that a problem has been solved helps others searching so, if your problem is now solved, please view your first post in this thread and click the Edit button (top right in the post) and add [Solved] in front of the subject.
Last edited by John_Ha on Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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See the Writer Manual, the Writer FAQ, the Writer Tutorials and the Writer guide.

Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby RoryOF » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:27 pm

I agree with John_Ha: OpenOffice did not delete your file - something else happened at system level.

If you have the PDF file you could pass it through an OCR program, which will convert the file back to editable text, albeit in need of some (or much) reformatting.

As I'm not a Windows user I cannot give advice based on my own experience. However, I suggest you start at
http://www.freeocr.net

I have used the Tesseract engine that application uses (albeit under linux), and it is quite reliable.
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby Wirral Writer » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:34 pm

Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I no longer have the PDF version of my odt book, as I deleted it. Am just in the throes of acting on the advice of the previous poster and have downloaded Recuva in the hope of finding my lost odt. But so far, no damn luck!
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby RoryOF » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:37 pm

If Recuva undeletes your PDF file, try the OCR route, or send it to me and I'll do it for you.
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby Wirral Writer » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:41 pm

What is really puzzling me is that every time I write a book in the Open Office Word Processor, I make sure to click SAVE every few minutes as I am working on the book. This has ALWAYS gone through with no errors whenever I have exported the odt file to PDF format. However, on this occasion, something went wrong in between that export step, and I just CANNOT, for the life of me, determine exactly what it was.



RoryOF wrote:I agree with John_Ha: OpenOffice did not delete your file - something else happened at system level.

If you have the PDF file you could pass it through an OCR program, which will convert the file back to editable text, albeit in need of some (or much) reformatting.

As I'm not a Windows user I cannot give advice based on my own experience. However, I suggest you start at
http://www.freeocr.net

I have used the Tesseract engine that application uses (albeit under linux), and it is quite reliable.
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby Bill » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:43 pm

IIRC, Windows 7 saved previous versions of files by default, but I don't know what a System Restore may have done to those previous versions.

How to Restore Previous Versions of a File in Windows 7
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby RoryOF » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:02 pm

Do you always use and show the file extensions (.odt, .pdf)?
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby John_Ha » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:45 pm

Use Recuva to restore the deleted PDF.

Note: It is probably best to follow the Microsoft web page on Recover lost or deleted files [with Windows 7] - it gives very different advice from the Dummies web page.

That being said, I have never found it work. I am sure I have read somewhere that it relies on the files having been saved with Windows backup.

 Edit: I have tested Restore Previous Versions on Windows 7 and got it to work. It presumably works on W8 and W10 as well.

The sequence is

1. Create a file test.txt. Edit it with Version 1 as text. Save it as test.txt.
2. Edit test.txt so it now reads Version 2. Save it.
3. right click test.txt > Restore Previous Versions ... There are no previous versions.

This is because a Restore Point has not yet been taken.

4. Create a Restore Point (right click Computer > Properties > System Protection > Create. This Restore Point saves the current copy of test.txt
5. Edit test.txt so it now reads Version 3. Save it.
6. Right click test.txt > Restore previous versions. I am now offered one file. When I choose Open it says Version 2 - ie it is the file as it was when the Restore Point was taken.

So it appears that:

1. A Restore Point saves one copy of a file.

2. If a file is edited after that Restore Point is taken, then the copy saved at the last Restore Point (and any previous Restore points) is available to be restored.

3. The space available for saving Previous Versions is limited by the space made available for System Restore to use. I cannot see old versions of files I have know I have edited so I guess that the space available for previous versions is quite limited and once System Restore runs out of space, it deletes previous versions of data files to make room for the Recovery Point. Thisn is the only way I can rationalise that I don't see multiple copies of old files. You can configure the space made available for System Restore in System Restore.

4. In order for Restore Previous Versions to work the Volume Shadow Copy service must be enabled. See How to Enable Volume Shadow Copy in Windows 7

previous version.gif
I actually worked with test file.gif
 
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:30 pm

Have you also checked the backup folder of your profile reset your OpenOffice user profile?
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby John_Ha » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:38 pm

Wirral Writer wrote:Unfortunately, I no longer have the PDF version of my odt book, as I deleted it.

Have you looked in your Recycle bin? All "normally deleted" files, as opposed to overwritten, files sit there.
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Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby Wirral Writer » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:15 am

Hagar Delest wrote:Have you also checked the backup folder of your profile reset your OpenOffice user profile?


Yes, have just checked the Backup folder in Open Office. Nothing in it.
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Re: How Can I Retrieve Lost Text Document After Exporting To

Postby RoryOF » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:39 pm

If your recovery operations did not find your file, be it in .odt, .doc or .pdf format, and you have a printed copy (of, say, the .pdf); it is possible to scan that and then pass the scans through an OCR application to convert back into editable text format. The target format for the scan will depend on the OCR application used - .tif or .png are usual, but the precise format to select ought be checked before starting to scan.
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