Compare Documents

I have a book in Scrivener, which is in chapters. I have had one chapter edited (in MS Word) and I have imported that chapter back into Scrivener. I now have the original chapter on the left editor and the edited version on the right editor (vertical split screen). Apart from having to use a snapshot, is there any way I can compare these two documents? MS Word does this quite well but I cannot find any command in Scrivener to do this. If this command is missing, I would have thought that for editing purposes it is a must. If I have to use the snapshot feature, this seems a very clumsy way to do a compare.
Any help would be appreciated.
Best Regards

Short answer: No, there’s no other way to have Scrivener compare two documents.

Why do you think it’s clumsy to use snapshots?

I have a taken a snapshot of the edited chapter to compare it with the current document in the editor, which is supposed to be possible with the compare function. No matter what I do, I cannot get this to work. The help manual says to compare a snapshot with the document in the current editor, you select the snapshot in the inspector. Then, when I select the current editor window, the snapshot disappears from the inspector. Okay, I am doing something wrong, but I am just following the help manual and the steps outlined do not work. If you can help me do this, I would appreciate it. Or, if you can suggest a method for doing this, again, I would be grateful.
Best regards

Snapshots are like Synopses, Document Notes, etc… there is a unique one (or set) per entry in the binder. You can’t compare a snapshot from a different binder entry with the editor contents of a different document.

What you want to do is start with the original document, take a snapshot. View that document’s snapshot in the Inspector to verify it was properly recorded. Then select all text in the editor and delete it (yes, that’s right). Finally, copy the edited text from MS word and paste it into the now empty Scrivener editor. (Usually, when doing your own edits, you’d just snapshot a document and start editing the text directly in Scrivener, so that it’s not so drastic as deleting it all and pasting in a replacement set of text).

Now you have the new text in the editor, and in the inspector, you should still see the original text in the snapshot. You can then do a compare, restore (and in the process, take a snapshot of the new text) from any snapshot, copy selections from the snapshot and paste that text into the editor…

If you want to experiment with this functionality before committing to it in your project, I suggest starting a new blank project. Drag your original document from your real project’s binder into the test project’s binder (this copies the document from one project to another), and then try what I’m suggesting above there, to get comfortable with this approach.

Hi, Thanks for the in depth reply. After describing it to me, do you now understand why I call it clumsy? Okay, I will give it a go on a new project. Thanks again for your effort with that. I would never have figured that out.
Best regards

Comparing changes with a snapshot is pretty straight-forward if you’re doing the editing yourself, in Scrivener. Do note that I broke that down into careful steps. You could do it in 4 steps if you wanted it to be less tedious:

  1. Take snapshot of your document in Scrivener ( one click if you have the toolbar button set up)
  2. Copy all text from Word (CMD-a to select, CMD-c to copy)
  3. Select all in Scrivener document (CMD-a)
  4. Paste text. (CMD-v)

As with most things, breaking it down into written steps makes it look a lot more difficult and time-consuming than it is. I can do the above in about 10 seconds with both a project and a Word document already open, and it’s not like you’re doing that more than… once a day at most?

The point with snapshots is that you take one, go on writing and editing, and then compare after a while. If tou don’t like the changes you simply roll back.