95mb file size for 100,000 word .scriv file

I have 100k word novel whose Scrivener file is 95mb. This seems odd to me. How is it possible? It’s truly only text. There are no images, videos, audio files, PDFs, or any other kinds of files imported. It only includes Scrivener text files.

I did run a test. I have 25 chapters, each about 4000 words. I created a copy of my .scriv file and then followed this process:

  • Delete a chapter
  • Resave the .scriv file
  • Note the reduction in file size
  • Repeat through all chapters

Most chapters reduced the file size by 1-3 mb, but several reduced by roughly 5, 10, and even 15mb. To re-iterate, these are all basically the same in terms of word count, page count, etc. Not images or anything. Just simple 12 pt Arial text.

Any thoughts why I’m seeing so much variation?
Or why 100,000 words is adding up to 95mb worth of file?
For reference, a word document with 100,000 words is only 216kb when saved on a Mac.


How many snapshots do you have?


There’s something going on here, because I’ve had several projects with tones of images, pdfs, etc, and they only added up to 50-60MB. Text-only contents at this scale should be far below 10MB, probably less than half of that.

Do you create lots of snapshots? Every document snapshot is a complete copy of the binder entry’s text document (it doesn’t include notes, synopsis or other metadata). That can grow pretty fast if you make small changes to large numbers of files within a project and then take snapshots frequently. Take a look at the snaphshots pane of the inspector to see if you have a lot for the chapter/scene documents that you found to be taking up 15 or so MB. Also check the other panes, like the notes–is there anything in there that might be taking up a large amount of space?

Good luck!

SNAPSHOTS!! That was it. I have many. Too many. I didn’t even know what they were, but I see where / how they’re being created and have made adjustments. Thank you so much!!! :smiley:

Glad it was an easy solve!

FYI, with Scrivener auto-saving changes whenever you pause for a couple of seconds, there’s no need to hit CMD-S to save. It just happens. I’m assuming (again) that you had snapshots set to be created whenever you used the “save” shortcut, and you did that frequently as you wrote. If you’re at all able to curb that habit, the ability to trigger snapshots on modified documents can be quite useful–if you only use it once a day or whenever you do a big edit.

Can you delete the snapshots? I’ve been saving a lot of snapshots without realizing the implications. Thanks.

You can delete one or more of them in the Snapshots tab of the Inspector or by using the Snapshots Manager. It sounds that you want to remove a bulk quantity of them so the Snapshots Manager will be best. Regardless, to give you a better understanding of Snapshots, it’d help you to read both (they’re short in length) of the following manual (accessed via the Help menu) sections:
Section 13.6, Snapshots Tab
Section 15.8, Using Snapshots
The Snapshots Manager is described in 15.8.5; material includes its search, export as file and deletion capabilities, etc.