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It's essential for us to prevent situations where projects get lost after a crash.


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I recently had a terrible experience working on a branding guide. Despite saving the document manually, I started noticing a lag in the copy and paste function. Ignoring this issue, I continued working until I finished. However, when I tried to export the document as a PDF without saving it manually one last time, it froze. Frustrated, I force quit the document and when I reopened it, only the restore window appeared with just the first page of the 32 pages I had worked on. The file was nowhere to be found. It wasn't in the project folder where I had been saving it, and it wasn't even listed in the "show all recent projects" section of the Affinity app. I tried using macOS time machine and even purchased an app that locates missing files, hoping to recover the document and save myself from redoing the entire project. Unfortunately, nothing worked. The project had disappeared completely, as if I hadn't worked on it for those four long hours. Some may argue that I may have done something wrong, suggesting that maybe I didn't name it correctly, or perhaps I accidentally deleted it, or maybe I opened a PDF file instead of an Affinity document. But the truth is, I created a new document, diligently worked on it, and saved it manually every hour. However, after the crash, it vanished without a trace. All I had left were the screenshots I had taken for the client, but those pages were no longer accessible. The document simply did not exist. I believe there needs to be a better way to ensure that one's work is saved in case something like this happens. And yes, I ended up having to redo everything all over again.

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I agree this should not happen, and you have my sympathy for the lost work.

To mitigate this in the future, if you aren't already doing it, I would recommend you use Save As under a new name each time, rather than just doing a Save.

It also helps to make sure you're saving to a local disk and to a directory that is not managed by a Cloud service (iCloud, Dropbox, etc.).

If you have a lot of work invested, therre's a more "paranoid" way of doing the Save As operations:

  1. Starting with a file named X
  2. Save As X1 then immediately Save As X2.
  3. Open X1. If it opens properly (with the data you expect), keep working on it and Close X2.
  4. Next time you want to save it, Save As X2, then immediately Save As X3.
  5. Open X2. If it opens properly (with the data you expect), keep working on it and Close X3.
  6. repeat as needed.

If you ever get a time when the Open step (3, 5, ...) doesn't work, you still have an open copy and you can try saving it again, someplace else. But in any case you should be able to go back one version if you had to.

(If I'm feeling very nervous about whether the Saving is working, I might even, at step 3, reOpen X2 after Closing it, to make sure I've got a good backup version. Then Close it and continue working (step 4),)

((And no, this level of paranoia/worry shouldn't be needed.))

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
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9 minutes ago, PaoloT said:

A safe way to deal with this issue would be if the Affinity apps made a backup copy of the open document, preferably on each save

I'm not so sure. If they can't make one file save properly and reliably, what makes you think they can do this for backup files?

If your files are important, take care of your own backups.

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2 minutes ago, LondonSquirrel said:

I'm not so sure. If they can't make one file save properly and reliably, what makes you think they can do this for backup files?

If your files are important, take care of your own backups.

That's my thought (for now), exactly.

And while the naming scheme proposed by @PaoloT is a good one, if one is having problems with reliability or has something complex enough to want to be sure of the backup version, the current version must be closed and the backup Opened. And the only way to accomplish that safely, as far as I know, is with two Save As operations.

(This is one place where a Save A Copy operation would be nice. It would do the Save (under a new name) but leave the working file with the same name. Then you could Open the copy, and if that was successful you could Close the copy and keep working.)

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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35 minutes ago, LondonSquirrel said:

If your files are important, take care of your own backups.

Oh, I appreciate your suggestion, but I actually have a well-established backup setup already.  I've implemented an automated workflow where all my files are duplicated to external drives, and I also have Time Machine running in the background. It's a reliable system that ensures my design files are consistently backed up and protected.

To further fortify my backup strategy, I've also integrated cloud storage solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive. By syncing my files to the cloud, I add an extra layer of security and accessibility. Even if something were to happen to my local backups, I can confidently retrieve my files from anywhere with an internet connection.

So, while your advice is thoughtful, I've already taken proactive measures to safeguard my work. Thanks for the input though!

See my comics: dearmascomics.com

Heard my Radio Show: mimegaradio.com

Ask for my services: albertkinng.com

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6 hours ago, albertkinng said:

I believe there needs to be a better way to ensure that one's work is saved in case something like this happens.

I once suggested that Serif allow backup index files to be created on every save, a technique that is often used and very easy to implement.

Although this proposal was evaluated positively by the moderator three years ago, Serif has not yet implemented it (or anything else).

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