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Navigation: Prism files

Backing up Prism files

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Automatic backups

Choose automatic backups on the File & Printer tab of the Preferences dialog and Prism will automatically save your work. Choose to save based on a timer (every few minutes) and/or whenever you switch from one sheet to another. The backup files are also saved whenever you save your work, so the backup files can never be older than your project files.  

When you quit Prism normally, the timed backup files are deleted. In case of computer disaster, the backup files will remain on your hard drive. When you restart Prism, these files will automatically load so you can continue your work. Note a potential problem: After a crash, the automatic backup system works fine if you launch Prism as an application. But if you double-click on the file you were working on, then you open that saved file, not the backup that Prism saved elsewhere.

If you need to find these files, which have the extension .PZB, their location depends on which operating system you use:

Windows XP

C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Temp\

Windows Vista, or Windows 7-10


Mac OS

~/Library/Application Support/GraphPad/prism/7/Prism Backups

Manual backups of Prism files

Prism provides an unusual way to save backup copies of your projects. Click on the Save Special button in the File section of the Prism toolbar, and choose Save a Backup. Prism will save a copy of your project to the location and name you specify, perhaps to a network or CD drive.

Note the difference between Save As and Save a Backup. When you use the Save a Backup command, Prism doesn't rename the file you are working on -- it simply saves a copy of that project with a new name.

We recommend that you backup to the .PZFX format (rather than .PZF) because it provides a more secure backup. It is possible (with some difficulty) to extract your data from these files without Prism, even if the file is damaged or truncated.

Recovering files you forgot to save!

When you exit Prism Windows (as with any program), it asks you whether you want to save changes to every open file. Have you ever clicked No by accident and lost your work? Prism 6 saves the file anyway, in a special location, and keeps it for four days. You can open those “unsaved” files from the Welcome dialog of Prism Windows. If you delete the file, Prism will automatically delete the backup file, and not offer to recover it.

If you share a computer with others and don't want your unsaved work to be recoverable, you can turn this feature off on the File & Printer tab of the Preferences dialog.

Manual backups of Prism data tables

You can backup individual data tables using the File Export command. You can export to plain text tables (delimited with tabs or commas) or to an XML format. We recommend using XML format, even though it is harder to view, because it contains more information. XML format includes details omitted from the plain text formats, including about subcolumns, excluded values, and floating notes.




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