One of the most powerful additions to one’s computing arsenal that arrived in the early 2000s was automatic saving, particularly incremental saves that happened quietly and continuously. This means you don’t lose your work in progress between saves. But how can you bring back both explicit saves (Command-S or File > Save) and incremental automatic saves?

Apple offers a built-in feature for its document-focused apps, like Pages and Numbers, and a framework that some other developers tie into as well. You find it in File > Revert To > Browse All Versions. It resembles Time Machine, but doesn’t require that you are using a Time Machine backup.

mac911 restore old version pages IDG

You can browse through previous versions of documents you created without having Time Machine active, though the interface looks the same.

Select that option, and an interface appears that shows the current version of the document at left and the most recently saved version at right. You can use a timeline at the far-right edge to find particular older versions or click on receding windows on the right-hand side, which shows the previous version of the file or the one you’ve currently selected to view.

If you want to exit without making a change, click Done. With a version you want to bring back selected, click Restore, and that version becomes your current editable one.

This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Patty.

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Author: LaraZ