Following another Microsoft Office foul up, I read a tip that everyone needs to know. When we create/open an Office file, it automatically generates a sister file like this:

original_file.xxxx
~riginal_file.xxxx

That’s fine and let it be BUT, when you have finished your work and close your original file, the tilde version should be closed and deleted automatically. Since we are dealing with Microsoft, we cannot guarantee that the tilde file will be closed and deleted. You WILL find many tilde files on your system.

Why is this a problem? It’s a problem because, if you open your original file and the previous tilde file still exists, you could end up like me: a 12 page Word file with MANY formatted elements, all if which had gone. That meant until I realised that I needed to close the file, delete the tilde file and then reopen my original file I would have to reformat the ENTIRE document.

So, if you open on Office file that looks nothing like the one you last saw, close the file, go to the folder you are working in and delete any offending tilde file that should not be there. Try opening your Office file again.

Duncan Williamson

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