Textmaker losing thousands of words.

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lynnec
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Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by lynnec » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:33 am

I bought Softmaker Office last year when it first came out as an alternative to Microsoft Office, and it suits my needs very well.
However, I have one serious and worrying problem, which I think might be a bug. It's happened to me twice this year so far. I'm a novelist, so I routinely write long documents, which Textmaker has been coping with very well, or so I thought.
Twice this year, I've had a nasty shock when I've opened the document from the previous day and found thousands of words missing and no way of restoring them. I backup to the cloud, to my computer and to an external hard drive, and none of these sources have any trace of the words I wrote. File History and the usual backups show nothing. It's as if I never wrote them in the first place.
That's a day's work, and not an error that can continue.
I'm working on Windows 10. I can't replicate the error, as it only happens every now and again. I've set Textmaker to save every five minutes, so the words should be there, but they're not.

martin-k
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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by martin-k » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:34 am

Lynne, we talked about this before, and it is still a total mystery.

The thing is: In TextMaker 2016, you can activate advanced backup and up to 99 levels of backup files. This lets you go back from the current version of the document to up to 99 previous versions. It is impossible that NONE of these contains the text you wrote.

It would be extremely interesting to get two documents from this backup: the one before the text disappeared, and the one immediately after. You can navigate through the versions with File/Revert to previous version.
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

lynnec
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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by lynnec » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:19 pm

It must be possible, because it's happening.
There are not 99 saved versions, there are 10 backup files per document. There are 99 undo steps. I opened every one of the 5 saved files from this document and they were exactly the same. None had the missing text.
The backups show the previous version, not the one with the added words. I set the backup to save every five minutes, but it's only the last saved version that gets backed up. Not the new work. Once I quit the program, the new words are lost and the backup reverts to the previous version.
Today I ran Recuva, and the minitool to find deleted documents, but it isn't there either. The program isn't saving the new work until save is invoked. Autosave is only saving the previous version.
I hit Control-S or Control-W and when the program exits, the words are gone.
Something I've just noticed, which is very odd - all the previous versions have the same timestamp. They are all stamped an hour before I actually finished work for the night, so about two thousand words before I stopped. They are consecutively numbered, but with the same time.
I do love the program, but I can't afford to use it while it's doing this. I don't have the time to keep repeating words I've already typed.

martin-k
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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by martin-k » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:29 pm

You are confusing the auto-recovery function with backups:

1. Auto-recovery saves the active document every few minutes to a temporary file. In case of power loss or crash, TextMaker will offer to restore the file on the next launch.

2. Completely independent from that is saving the document. Everytime you hit File/Save, the current content of the file is saved, and the previous version of the file goes to My Documents\SoftMaker\Backup.

If you open File/Revert to last version, it will show a list of previous file versions. How many are there, and what time stamps do they have? If you revert to an older version, does any contain the missing text?
Martin Kotulla
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lynnec
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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by lynnec » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:07 am

There are five relevant ones. The first, numbered 915 is timestamped 2.18. The next four, numbered 916 to 919 inclusive, all have the same timestamp, 2.22, and the same text.
All the other files in the backup folder hold the correct amount of text and are the right numbers.

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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by martin-k » Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:37 pm

So you have at least one file with the text, and at least one file with text missing? Could you send both files (the one immediately before the problem, the one immediately after) to forum (at) softmaker.de ?
Martin Kotulla
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lynnec
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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by lynnec » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:30 am

I certainly will, thanks for your help!

Files sent!

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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by lynnec » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:30 am

I never heard any more about this. And now - it's happened again. 5000 words lost, corrupted backups which this time won't open. Is it because Textmaker can't cope with long documents? The older versions of Word had this problem, too.

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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by sven-l » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:03 am

Lynne, I am sorry to hear of your ongoing troubles. You are the only user ever to report such issues. We take this very seriously, but it is hard to figure out what is going on.

Martin answered your e-mail from 17.12.2015 on 18.12.2015 but we haven't yet received an answer.
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lynnec
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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by lynnec » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:50 pm

I think it's the length of the document. Textmaker doesn't seem to cope with long documents. I took great care with it but it still managed to corrupt itself and the backup. It's something to do with a malformed header, or so an error message told me.
I love the program, but if I can't trust it, I can't use it.
I'm a novelist, and most of my colleagues use Word. As more novelists use it, this problem might occur more often.

lynnec
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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by lynnec » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:30 am

sven-l wrote:Lynne, I am sorry to hear of your ongoing troubles. You are the only user ever to report such issues. We take this very seriously, but it is hard to figure out what is going on.

Martin answered your e-mail from 17.12.2015 on 18.12.2015 but we haven't yet received an answer.
I answered, and I sent the files, but heard nothing further. This time I think it might be something to do with a malformed header. I copied the file to the desktop (docx), made it an archive and opened that. Inside there is an 81kb document, which is about the right size, but when I open it, all I have is two pages of hashtags. Opening it in Notepad gives a stream of gobbledygook, nothing that can be saved. I've tried a number of Word recovery programs, and none of them can open the document, either in its original form, or in the archive format.

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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by sven-l » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:27 am

We are sorry that you seem to have ongoing troubles with TextMaker. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do without being able to reproduce that issue here. We have hundreds of thousands of users working every day with TextMaker. Among them a lot of authors that work with very large files. No one of them reported a similar issue. It might also be that something is wrong on your machine (a hardware issue, a problem with the OS or even a virus) but nothing we can reproduce and hence there is unfortunately not much we can do here.

If you want a refund, please contact sales(at)softmaker.de. Thank you!
Sven Leßmann
SoftMaker Software GmbH

seasidepb
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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by seasidepb » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:52 pm

Hi Lynne - I still wouldn't trust Word for long document writing/editing, but here's a possible alternative. Have a look at Scrivener for Windows as an organiser/container for your novel. It also has an editor mode where you can write directly, though I think Textmaker (suitably customised) offers a nicer environment for putting the words together. So use Textmaker for composition and as you get to the end of your day's writing cut and paste what you've done into a Scrivener folder. Once you've done that Scrivener offers a better set of tools than any word processor for reviewing the overall shape of your novel, moving chapters or sections around, as well as storing notes and other bits of research. It's not expensive either - 40 USD last time I looked (and no, I don't work for them in any shape or form). Maybe this will help - Paul

lynnec
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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by lynnec » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:53 pm

Thank you, Paul! I do have Scrivener, but I can't stand the interface. Too untidy, and it tries to organise me in a way I don't like.
Word is fine, especially the latest versions, and it handles large documents easily, but I won't rent my software, and the cost of buying it outright is outrageous.
At the moment I'm moving LibreOffice, which works well enough, except for a few niggles. But I prefer Textmaker - apart from the way it loses work sometimes! After the second time it happened, I was really careful to save the document as a new document every time, and to keep a lot of backups, but it happened a third time.

plexor
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Re: Textmaker losing thousands of words.

Post by plexor » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:09 am

@Lynnec,
Vanishing text. Been there had that too! :o
A few years ago, I wrote a rather complex cross between a novel and a technical paper. Wrote it in Microsoft Word, worked on the file many times and one morning it and all memory of it, had vanished. I switched over to using OpenOffice and later, to LibreOffice. the only problem I have ever had with using LibreOffice, was the same problem I have discovered using TextMaker - which I have just discovered and it seems to be very impressive. So far.
My biggest disappointment although one anticipated, is that Dragon NaturallySpeaking, while able to dictate text into TextMaker has virtually no ability at all as an editor. (No form of correction at any time and no recognition of misspelled words). #-o Neither does any other program I have investigated. It is Microsoft Word or nothing, to be able to use speech to text recognition. An extremely annoying admission by Nuance, the owners of the incredible Dragon program. [-X
Lynnec, You are certainly not alone!
Do investigate using LibreOffice, whose only real fault for me is the difficulty in using Dragon.
But anything is better than using the bloated and dangerous Microsoft Word.
I am just sorry to see that soft maker has done such a good job on replicating Microsoft Word that it has the exactly the same deadly problem. :o So glad I did not find out the hard way.

(All of the above was dictated using Dragon, but every alteration and error had to be done by hand.) :( )

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