Office inconsistency beaten by a tortoise

If there is a Golden Rule of usability, surely it must be consistency. Internal consistency (i.e. whenever you click “home” you will always return to the homepage), external consistency (i.e. mirror “real life” – when I “send” a mail it goes to a “recipient” … when I do something similar I expect a similar behaviour.Experience has taught me when using Microsoft Office that I should continually save. Experience also teaches me that if I select “undo” that will reverse the change I have just made. Cool! In Word I make a change – save – undo and the change is undone. PowerPoint is in the Office Suite so I expect consistent behaviour. I expect to be able to save my document and still be able to undo any changes I made before I saved.

But Office breaks the Golden Rule and yet again looses all my work.

I wanted to send a single slide from a presentation to a colleague so I deleted all the other slides, and subconsciously hit control-S. I then realised that I didn’t want to save the document using the current file name, but should have selected “save as.” No worries, I can undo that delete… Only I can’t. And I’ve lost all but one slide of my PowerPoint masterpiece. Once again I’m cursing Microsoft.

What to do? No hesitation, straight to Tortoise CVS and a resolution to use source control locally on my documents. It’s not just Devs who check work in and out… Only problem may be when I come to share documents with colleagues – rather than calling documents v0.n, I’m always working with version 1.0. Now if I had a personal central repository that others could access…

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