Can a Project be Duplicated?


I have a completed manuscript set up in folders with scenes underneath. That MS is in one tense. I want to change it to a different tense in one copy but keep the original in a second document. In other words, I’d like to have two exact copies of the same MS. I don’t want a duplicate in a compiled copy. I want the files and folders in my duplicate. Does anyone know how to do this?


Do you really want two different projects for this, or would having a duplicated Draft folder be good enough? The latter is the usual way to do things. There is no penalty for duplicating your entire draft folder and setting it aside in the Binder for later reference. You can only have one Draft folder, so there is no risk of getting double-output when you compile. If that all sounds good to you, then you’ll need to work around a limitation that exists at the moment where you cannot duplicate the Draft itself. This isn’t a huge problem, just make a folder in your Binder, select the entire Draft MS and drag it into that new folder. Now select that folder and press Ctrl-D to duplicate it. This might take a few seconds. Once it is done, you should have two copies of your MS. Drag the contents of one of those folders back into the Draft and delete the empty container folder from the Binder. Now edit way in the Draft, safe in the knowledge you’ve got the POV backup in your Binder, and all of the benefits of the research material you’ve collected available to both.

If you really do want a whole different project file, then the easiest way to “fork” a project in a new direction is to use the File/Save As command. The name you choose here will be the new live project that you continue working in, so name it accordingly. You’ll now have two “.scriv” folders each with their own material. Just remember that if you make significant changes to your background material and research files, you’ll need to keep the old project up to date as well if you intend to use it in the future.

Amber, thanks for the response. I have a clarification question for you. You ask if I really want a duplicate project. It sounds as though there’s something odd about doing this…? I have to say that it doesn’t matter to me which method I use – except that the project backup sounds 10,000 times easier than the draft. However, if there’s something in the project option that might compromise my original document by doing it, I’d choose the draft.

Hi Jane,

There’s nothing wrong or unsafe with making a full copy; the question was more geared toward whether you still wanted shared resources for your two different versions of the draft. If you’ve imported various research articles, for instance, and have written up character sheets and information about your settings and so on, you might want to update that in the future and have it be updated for both versions of your draft–so you might not in that case really want two projects, since you’d have to go into each project to make your changes whereas if you just duplicated your Draft contents in one project, there would only be one version of your research material. Even if you’re only keeping the original version as a backup safeguard, in case you get halfway through your re-tensifying and decide you liked the former way better, if you’ve kept it all in one project you won’t have to worry about other outdated documents when restoring the previous version.

There’s no harm in making a full project copy, though, and you can always just open both projects later and drag items from one project’s binder to the other’s if you find you need to.

Ha, yes. Well normally it’s easier. Like I said there is a “bug” right now in that you can’t easily do this. Normally, you should be able to just select the Draft item in the Binder, hit Ctrl-D and then go on about your work. You’ll end up with a second Draft folder that you can rename to something appropriate.

The advantage of this is, as said, all of your auxiliary information—character sheets, research files, ideas, project notes—all of that stays in one single spot. If you duplicate the project itself, then you have a situation where if you go on to modify a character sheet, the other project that you duplicated from is not updated—because it is its own project file. Meanwhile if you have multiple drafts in your project, you could easily change your mind later. Maybe you decide the book would be best if told from two interwoven POVs. You’ve got both versions of the draft right there—so you can use the two of them to weave a multiple narrative. You could do that if you had forked the projects into two folders, to be clear, but I think it would be easier if you could, say, load POV #1 in the left split and #2 in the right split.

So, it’s not odd per se, especially if you are used to a word processor style way of working. After all if you want to do a POV rewrite in Word, you need to duplicate the .doc and that’s that. But in Scrivener you can very easily have two, three, six manuscripts in your project. So why not utilise that advantage, since that means they can all use common resources?

Of course, there might be cases where duplicating the project really is best. That is why we have a Save As feature, after all. :slight_smile:

Post-MM: Heh, well I got beat to the answer but I’ll leave it up since there is some non-overlap.

Thanks Amber and Jennifer for the solutions to my current problem. There’s also a lot of good information that’s going into my “When I’m totally oblivious” file. :slight_smile:

One other option you may not be aware of: if you’re pretty certain that your present-tense draft will never make it into your final (past-tense) draft, then you can use the snapshot feature instead of duplicating all of your documents. Just take a snap-shot of each document before you begin editing (and optionally label it as being written in the tense you originally used), and the begin the re-write. You’ll still be able to get back to the original version of the document, but it won’t be cluttering up your binder.

I came here with a similar question. I think I’ve followed the directions above:

I created a new folder in the project and called it DRAFT ONE.
I closed folders down so I have just the one bar labeled MANUSCRIPT.
I clicked on that, got the drop down box, and clicked on DUPLICATE.

Absolutely nothing happened.

I’ve done it a couple of times. I’ve waited varying lengths of time. I don’t see a duplicate of the manuscript appearing anywhere. What am I doing wrong?

I went back in and tried duplicating only PART TWO of the novel, which is its own folder within the MANUSCRIPT folder and this instantly created a duplicate which I could move to DRAFT ONE.

This serves my purposes since, like the OP, I’m playing around with major changes in tense which only happen in PART TWO…but I am curious if there’s a size limit to what Scriverner can duplicate, since the entire novel was also within a folder that refused to duplicate.

There isn’t a size limit, but an issue with what you tried to duplicate. As noted in the previous discussion above, you cannot duplicate the Draft folder itself (whether it is called “Manscript” or “Fruit Bats” is all the same). You can duplicate normal folders though, which you confirmed.