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I downloaded an essay for editing earlier today, worked on it for roughly four hours, and the program crashed. Many changes have been made since the download.

I haven't once saved the document so it's in the temporary files. Is there a way to recover the file with the saved changes?

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Did you download the file to a folder on your Desktop (or somewhere else)? Word should have created a temporary file, it should also ask you to restore it if you start it again. – slhck May 6 '11 at 4:56
Also, see if you can find it here: /Users/username/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office version AutoRecovery/Autorecovery save of filename – slhck May 6 '11 at 4:59
I opened the temporary file directly from word, so the file was not on the desktop, but the temporary file folder. I believe word doesn't save if it's in that file? – Paddy Johnson May 6 '11 at 5:00
There is an autorecovery file saved at 12:36. I assume this means that if I force quit word, I'll be able to recover it? – Paddy Johnson May 6 '11 at 5:08
I don't know when you last opened/quit Word and what time you have. But yes, I'd try that (and maybe make a copy of the autorecovery file first). I just posted this as an answer, maybe it works. – slhck May 6 '11 at 5:10

Office for Mac should save autorecovery files at /Users/username/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office version AutoRecovery/Autorecovery save of filename.

If Word is still running or hanging you need to quit it before trying to open the autorecovered file.

And that all being said, press Cmd+S a bit more often! It's Word for Mac, after all.

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I just had a similar problem: opened a Word document from within Entourage, edited the document for a while and saved it with a new filename. ( while not paying attention to the directory name ..)

Afterwards I couldn't find it.. Word's File -> Open Recent -> menu option did not show it as one of the files I had recently opened. Oops, slight panic.

I realised it probably stored it in Entourage's download directory, and indeed it was located there. So in case you're using Entourage for your email check:

/Users/<username>/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/Outlook Temp 
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As discussed here I found the autorecovery files in:

/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery
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In Word for Mac 2011, if you hit save without specifying the directory, the file will be in the Outlook Temp folder. The easy way to get there is click File>Open, click whatever folder is shown, that will bring up a list including "Recent Places", and Outlook Temp will be listed... Your file will be in that folder.

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