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How to Set Up Backup 3 and Save Your Data
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Save Time (Usually) with Quick Picks

You can also build your own backup Plan by manually choosing folders and files. Apple has provided you with a simplified alternative to hunting through your hard drive for certain types of data by creating a hefty list of QuickPicks. This list gives you 22 different options to easily capture files such as "Mail messages and settings," "Microsoft Word documents," and "Pages documents"--just to name a few.

To get to the QuickPick list, choose any of the Plan Templates, such as "Custom." When you're presented with the detail pane, click on the + button below the Backup Items window. Click on the QuickPicks tab to reveal the list you have to choose from. Pick the items you want to include in your custom workflow, then click on the Done button.

To quickly build a custom backup, try selecting from the list of QuickPicks by clicking on the + button

One word of caution here. If you pick a category that has lots of files associated with it, such as "Microsoft Word documents," Backup could spend a fair amount of time scanning your hard drive before you're allowed to initiate the backup. Just something to keep in mind if you're in a hurry. Other QuickPicks, such as "Address Book," take virtually no scanning time because your Mac knows exactly where this database is.

After you've determined your list of Backup Items, then all you have to do is tell the app the Destination and Schedule (such as iDisk every day at noon) and click the Back Up Now button. You're off and running.

For Tiger Only: Use Spotlight to Find Files

If you're looking for a specific type of file to add to your backup, you can use the Spotlight tab if you're running Tiger. But be careful with this option; if your search is too broad, you could end up with tons of files to mark to add to your Plan.

Once Spotlight finds what you're looking for, it's up to you to mark them for inclusion. If you have just a handful of results, you can use Select All (Command-A), then click the "Include these items" radio button. But if you have lots and lots of results, Command-A won't work, because it only selects items visible in the window. If you have "more" results that aren't initially showing in the window, you have the reveal them before marking.

You can use the Spotlight search to find specific data to add to your backup

Click the Done button and your results are transferred to the Backup Items window with their associated file sizes, plus the total size of the backup, so you can choose the appropriate medium for saving.

I should also mention that you can locate data the old-fashioned way by clicking on the Files & Folder tab. This shows you the familiar hierarchal view of your hard drive, allowing you to hand-pick the files and folders you want to back up.

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