It means that you should have many more than just one copy of a file. YOu may not have done this, but best practice is to make regular back up copies of your file and to keep lot's of copies. Then, in a case like this, you can use recover to check your back up copies--starting from the most recent copy until you get a copy that recover does not report any problems when recovering. You can then save a copy of this file with the clone option to get an empty copy of your database. You open it up and import all data from your recovered copy into this back up clone.
If the recover process fixed your file and indicates that it is "ok to use". Odds are good, but not 100% that you can just use the recovered file, so if you do not have an undamaged back up copy, you'll need to use the recovered copy and monitor it's behavior carefully to make sure that it is working OK.
Here's a link you may find useful for the future: Saving Sequential Back Ups During Development
So I was actually maintaining a backup on dropbox but of course it's been a couple of weeks and I'm not sure how I would cross reference it to see what I'm missing. You say "If the recover process fixed your file and indicates that it is "ok to use""... How do I know that? is there a check I can do to see if it's "ok to use"? I was using MacSpeech dictate and that went a little crazy and that's what caused it to crash so I suspect that the rest of the file should be OK.
Thank you so much for taking the time to help!
When you recover a file, It will either tell you it should not be used or that it's "probably ok to use". I'm not quoting the message word for word, but that's the gist of it.
Ok. Thank you!