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My friend experienced something I can't understand. She had a document saved locally on a Macbook Air using Office 2011, went in today and found it gone. The only sign it once existed was in Word's Recent Document area:

fail

I looked in the containing folder using finder, did an ls -la and saw no hidden backup files. I then went as far as running find / -name "Policy Paper.docx" without hitting anything. Recent documents show nothing more than this gap.

What in the world is there left to do?

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1  
I guess you could use a file recovery program to check for deleted files. But this is the reason you should keep regular backups of any file you care about. – David Schwartz Nov 17 '12 at 0:44
    
You might also do a search on the hard drive for the file name - could have been accidentally moved via Finder. – ernie Nov 17 '12 at 1:12
    
Great call ernie - that's what the find command does. Very much agreed David. Past that option at this time, so still interested in solving this particular issue as well. – mjb Nov 19 '12 at 20:48
    
Might be worth doing find / -name "STARolicySTAR" which would find similarly named files, e.g. if the extension has been changed somehow. Change STAR to an asterix character in that - I can't seem to make it show up here! – ed. Nov 20 '12 at 11:29
    
This link might help. – harrymc Nov 21 '12 at 9:14
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try to use Mac Word recovery software - "uFlysoft Data recovery for Mac", that is available on internet and see if it works.

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Open up Time Machine and restore the backup.

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As many mentioned, I can of course try to go recover from backup. No one addressed what the dotted box in Word showing a document that no longer exists means. There is no answer out there at this time - closing this one.

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The same thing happened to a user of mine, and I was able to restore the file using Time Machine.

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