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/docs/community?hl=en
3/5/12
Original Poster
kpassig

Forced upgrade to new Google Docs - all revisions will be lost. Any way to preserve them?

I've been using Google Docs since 2005. I am a writer, I wrote all my articles and several books in Google Docs. I absolutely need the revision history in these (several hundred) documents, and I always relied on Google not to delete it without giving me at least the option to download it. Yet it seems this is exactly what will happen with the forced upgrade. Is there any way at all to preserve the revisions short of digging into the API and writing my own downloader?
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All Replies (15)
Andrea D
3/6/12
Andrea D
Oh, no -- I'd forgotten about losing the revision history, too. :(  This threatened "upgrade," if it happens, is going to leave a trail of upheaval in the lives of Google Docs's longest-established users.

As I've said in too many threads already, the change benefits a few people but leaves the rest of us worse off in every way. Let's hope the Google Docs product team can come up with an eleventh-hour solution for us.
Felicity_BB
3/6/12
Felicity_BB
No, there isn't.  Google Docs has been warning all along that conversion to the 'new' editor entails the loss of revision history.  It's just that this one is a forced conversion rather than the user choosing the most appropriate time to make copies of older versions and take the upgrade (which has a loss of other features mentioned in other threads, such as fluid width).
Gill
3/8/12
Gill
<<Let's hope the Google Docs product team can come up with an eleventh-hour solution for us.>> Yes, I agree.

The revision history of a document may indeed be a very important part of it.
Atharton
3/13/12
Atharton
I think we all need some thing better than Google docs. I suppose we should try some online database tools. I found this tool CollateBox http://www.collatebox.com/ . this can help most of us . Have a look at their video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KruqWWiw1s seems interesting.
Felicity_BB
3/13/12
Felicity_BB
Thanks, Jantkal!  Dropbox and Zoho and Evernote are other recommendations of alternatives people have made.
Google user
3/17/12
Google user
As alternative, which works both on Windows and Linux (and other platforms),  I'm considering the Dropbox+Notecase Pro  pair.
Google user
3/18/12
Google user
I wonder: when Google is going to do the forced upgrade?   Couldn't they show it in the red bar notice?
At this point, if they really have decided to do so, I hope they will do it soon.
This because I stopped adding notes on Google Docs (I'm kind of "frozen", waiting their move),  because I'm afraid of finding the docs upgraded,  without a backup of the old format, and have something changed.

Felicity_BB
3/18/12
Felicity_BB
Yes, it's the lack of communication that bothers me.  Is Google going to give a definite timeline?  Is Google planning on restoring fluid width/full view soon, or getting a new lightweight editor?  I'd like to be informed in order to make an informed choice, and we've all been asking politely here for further information.

Fluid width/web view is my dealbreaker for online document processing.
Margaret C.
3/18/12
Margaret C.
gmaggior, I've done the same thing for the same reasons.  I can't use google docs without wondering if the next time I log in my docs will be upgraded.  For the time being, I've downloaded my docs and am using a USB key.  It's not a long term solution -- I do want something cloud-based -- but the lack of information - even just a timeline for upgrades means I can't use Google Docs right now.
Google user
3/18/12
Google user
Hi Margaret,
from my side, while waiting for Google move, I'm temporarily using Dropbox  and writing some "delta/differential" notes (to be added later by cut&paste to the mainline) as plain .txt file  using a regular text editor.  This way I have cloud + OS/platform indipendency (being text files)  but I lack the simple formatting I need (boldface, etc).  Alternatively I could have downloaded all the documents as .odt or .rtf format  and edit them on Windows/Linux/etc using OpenOffice/LibreOffice and Dropbox. I'm however afraid that all this import/export could alter something in the docs. I was unable to find a good and light .rtf editor for Linux. The only good ones being OpenOffice/LibreOffice (a bit heavy) and Abiword,   but Abiword has some (reported) little bugs with importing highlighted (=different background color) text for now.  Still hoping in a fair solution by Google, because ye old classic Google Docs worked well for me  :-S
4 MORE
5/1/12
Original Poster
kpassig
Thanks to a friend, I now have a Python script for downloading all revisions via the Google API. Let me know if you need it, too. It's very basic and requires some willingness to install and adjust stuff, starting with Python if you don't already have it. And it's quite slow, probably due to API limits. Downloading revision history for the first 400 docs (of a total in the 500-1000 range) took me about five days. 
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