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(I ended up solving this, see my self-answer.)

I was typing in a Microsoft Word 2011 document on Mac OS X 10.8.2 that was originally four pages,
and saving every one or two pages, for at least fifteen pages. Then it started refusing to put
in page breaks, instead putting in two new lines and centering the cursor, so I saved again,
closed the file, and reopened it. When I did that, it only had the four pages that I started with.
I already tried "open recent" and searching in spotlight and finder for
autorecovery saves and for phrases that I had put in the document;
is there anything else I can try to get the rest of the document back?

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The actual problem was that Microsoft Word was just pretending
to not have the rest of the document when I opened the file.

Even though the scroll bar indicated that I was at the bottom of the file, I was
able to manually scroll down with the arrow keys to get to the rest of the file.

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  • this is a common feature of Microsoft Word which will only load and render the full document contents when you start scrolling down. In any case, I'm glad you resolved the issue.
    – Adam
    Mar 6 '14 at 22:58

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