I was trying to recover an unsaved file (I never saved it, was working on the document from the start) and had my computer on for around 15 days. I think I just assumed that I saved it at some point since I was working on it for so long and every time my Mac went off, the file would pop back up when it switched back on, until one day, where it didn't.
My main problem was that the folder that saves all the auto-recovered files wasn't located in the place it was supposed to be. It was in some random hidden folder (which I wouldn't have been able to locate unless I turned on the show hidden folders command).
It wasn't even located in a Microsoft Office folder, as I said, completely random folders.
All I can say is – don't give up! If I can find my unsavedfile I'm sure you can too. Just make sure you locate that folder (Office 2011 Autorecovery) and go from there.
Sometime no matter how many different searches you try, the file name won't appear. If you're lucky it can sometimes, but with me it didn't. If you're looking for that latest version of your file, it's best to locate that folder and see what is has for you.
See if Time Machine can help you. If it was turned on, maybe the snapshots or the file itself might be there to help you through
Make sure you make your hidden folders visible. I cannot stress how important this is.
Try to leave no folder unturned, well, that's a lot of folders, but let the date created section help you through.
Just remain calm and keep trying folks, if you need to download an external software to help you locate your files then don't hesitate in getting that too. It all depends on how important the work you lost is. If it worth the time and energy to search back for it.