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We recently had an incident were we lost some work in an InDesign file, although InDesign by default autosaves every minute. The issue we had is that when the program was closed it prompted us to either: cancel, save or don't save.

By mistake we clicked don't save. What seems to happen if you do this is that InDesign will delete its autosaved / reconvert files so it's as if you never worked on the file at all.

I don't think there is but is there a way to restore my lost files after I hit don't save?

Is there a way to get InDesign to either autosave back to its original file or create a separate backup file (either over written or versioned)?

Or is there another way (obviously clicking save would be helpful, but mistakes happen which is where you need a proper backup/autosave rather than a 'recovery'autosave)

6 Answers 6

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What you could do is use a cloud service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, etc.

These create online backups automatically, and usually have versioning, which means you can restore previous versions. So each time you save, it will create on an online backup. If something then happens to your file, you can just restore the previous version.

Even Windows offers a system of versioning that's well worth looking into.

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  • Or even use git/mercurial to version the files like software developers do with the source code. It's manual, but it's also a rock-solid solution
    – paul.ago
    Sep 22, 2015 at 18:33
  • True. (I use Bitbucket for all my code projects.) But since these are for code, the storage limit is usually around 1GB, which isn't really all that much for, for example, Photoshop files. GitHub has an additional disadvantage that your project need to be publicly accessible in the free version. Bitbucket's standard is private though.
    – PieBie
    Sep 24, 2015 at 6:41
  • Well, you can use git/hg without a remote repository or use a local repository (eg. shared folder on a file server/NAS or an external HD). So you would commit every change that you make and every now and then push the repo to the fileserver so you have a full backup of the repo
    – paul.ago
    Sep 24, 2015 at 8:01
  • Of course, you are right. But a remote repo has the upside that it's in the cloud, so you wouldn't lose your work even if you HDD crashes or your server gives up the ghost (I've seen it happen too many times, unfortunately). But the level of security is entirely up to the OP of course.
    – PieBie
    Sep 24, 2015 at 8:37
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in short, NO. But you can experiment with save a version, you might even assign a shortcut so you can access it very fast through the keyboard. Or try to backup the temp files folder. Located on Mac OS X: Users/[User Name]/ Library/Cache/Adobe InDesign/Version[#.0]/ InDesign Recovery

But the best way to protect your work is to save often and make backups!

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You are looking for a version backup. I'm looking for the same thing. Similar to what web designers use. I came across this script:

http://www.indesign-faq.de/en/save-with-backup

It does what I'm looking for but - you need to force the script to run. What I want is something that will automatically produce a back up file when I save the document.

... its a start

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  • "you need to force the script to run": that's why the blog post suggests assigning the usual hotkey for Save.
    – Jongware
    Dec 15, 2014 at 16:07
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There's no way to make InDesign do it. But there's plenty of ways to make the Finder/Explorer do it. Hazel on the Mac and Belvedere on Windows, for instance, can fix this problem for you, by automatically copying the file at certain intervals to a new folder and giving it a timestamp.

Hazel and Belvedere (and these are just two apps in a larger category of file folder automators) can take instructions from the user as to what to do with files in a specified folder. You can, for example, have the app watch a folder called "current InDesign job" and have it copy out the INDD file and paste it elsewhere, perhaps called "current InDesign job backup" and add a timestamp. You can configure how often it does this, too, so hourly or daily backups of the file could be made. You could then append that instruction to include an auto-delete of older backups. It's neat.

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I know I'm necroposting, but you might be interested in Pixelapse (in case you haven't found it already). It's cross-platform and it supports many file formats.

Some benefits:

It uses visual version control and collaboration workflow for open source and private design projects. Every design iteration is automatically backed up as you work. Whether it's a small tweak or a large revamp, you can isolate and compare design changes quickly. Every single version of your design is saved. It is compatible with most popular design software including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Fireworks, Graffle and Sketch. It uses industry standard AES-256 file encryption at rest and SSL in transit, so your data is safe.

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  • Hi abc123, would you care to elaborate? When the link changes or dies, your answer becomes quite obsolete. We like answers that 'explain themselves', even without having to click a link. Thanks!
    – PieBie
    Sep 24, 2015 at 8:39
  • It uses visual version control and collaboration workflow for open source and private design projects. Every design iteration is automatically backed up as you work. Whether it's a small tweak or a large revamp, you can isolate and compare design changes quickly. Every single version of your design is saved. It is compatible with most popular design software including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Fireworks, Graffle and Sketch. It uses industry standard AES-256 file encryption at rest and SSL in transit, so your data is safe.
    – Dragoș
    Sep 24, 2015 at 12:29
  • Thanks for adding the info! I've put it in the body of your answer so people who happen by in the future will immediately see the info.
    – PieBie
    Sep 24, 2015 at 14:20
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A workaround: I have put a backup program to the PC of one person who sometimes made for ex. this error. A file based backup program can have several backup profiles which are run in the background with different schedules. One profile can search certain file types and make frequent backups with keeping also a couple of old copies. That program was "Second Copy" and it was in Windows, but surely there are others, maybe even in the OS for the advanced users. Believe, a fully automatic backup pays itself sooner or later.

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