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How can I find the last edit made to a Word 2010 file?

Is it possible to find the last edit made to a Word 2010 file after the file has been saved and closed?  The machine on which the edits were made essentially doesn't exist anymore.  However, the file is on the same drive that it was on when it was being edited.  Naturally "Track Changes" was turned off :)

I'm certainly willing to look at a VBA solution if that's what it takes.

Thank you
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Hmm... you mentioned that the file is on a particular drive. Does it reside on a network drive? If so, you may have shadow copies enabled? You can check this by going to the folder properties of where the file is located, and click on the previous versions tab. If the machine that created the file was still existent, you may have been able to check the temporary saved location that MS Office uses for auto-saves.


Thanks smarturtle.  Yes, the drive in question is a network drive.  I did as you suggested and checked for previous versions.  Apparently that was never enabled.  But if the point of looking for a previous version was to do some sort of compare operation to see what the differences are, I already have other versions of the file I might use for that purpose.  It would be best if the compare could be carried out within Word itself since the file is encrypted.  But now that I think about it, it probably wouldn't be that hard to copy and paste plain-text versions of the two files and scan for differences, being careful to scrub up afterward.  There would also be a lot of differences to step through to find the one I'm looking for.   I was hoping Word time-stamped the edits you make to it or something, so I could just say "take me to the most recent one".
If the files are identical, and you attempt to copy & paste over one, you will get a prompt to merge changes as an option (in addition to the replace existing, or cancel paste options). So, I wonder if you make the font in your older file all red, and then the changes in the newer file that you merge will come in as normal black font--showing you the difference in the merged file between the colors? This won't show you the last edit, but, you will be able to quickly determine the differences... likewise, Word may automatically show you what the differences are post merge. I have not done it, but I do know that the merge is an option when attempting to paste over the same file.


I could not make the copy and paste procedure work.  What operating system are you using?

Nevertheless, the term "merge changes" gave me something to search for in Word Help, and I discovered that the Review tap contains a handy little "Compare" function to accomplish this.  I did not find what I feared was in that file, but I'm actually happy about that and consider this issue closed.


Comparing files as a substitute for a "last edited" function was a successful approach.  The precise method smarturtle described did not work with my OS, but **as is the case with virtually all EE questions I've submitted**, he gave me ideas and pointed me in the right direction.
NonComposMentis, I am glad that guided you toward the correct path. I am using Windows 7 Professional and MS Office 2010 Pro Plus. The compare option is the in-app way to achieve the same thing; so you've got it! It is also explained here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306484