Productivity

How to recover lost form data in your Web browser

The other day I spent a goodly amount of time writing a blog post. This blog post, in fact. As always, I composed it using PC World's browser-based tool, saved it, previewed it, then published it.

But somewhere along the way, a glitch ate my post. (Talk about the modern equivalent of "the dog ate my homework.") When I realized that it hadn't appeared online, I went back to the blog tool to investigate, and discovered, to my horror, that only the first paragraph survived. Everything else: gone.

I think this kind of thing happens to everyone: You spend time working in a blog tool or some other browser-based form, and suddenly things go wrong. Your browser crashes, the server times out, your Internet connection dies, and boom: all your hard work is gone.

In my case, I got lucky: I'd installed Lazarus. Available for Chrome and Firefox, this browser add-on lives up to its name by bringing back lost form data from the dead.

Lazarus automatically (and securely, with a password if you prefer) saves every keystroke you enter into any Web form, blog tool, comment box, or the like.

To bring back your data, just look for the little Lazarus symbol in the top-right corner of whatever field or box you were typing in. Click it, then choose the text you want to recover. Presto! It reappears like magic.

I've written about this little miracle worker before, and I'll no doubt do so again, because it has saved my bacon more times than I can count--including this occasion. I consider it an essential tool for Chrome and Firefox users.

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