Document versioning?

I’m new to Scrivener. My problem is that while some writers are confident that they KNOW which is the best version to keep as final, I’m not - I make lots of versions, re-work, re-write, and then work towards, ahem, perfection.

In order to do this I need to keep earlier versions of documents.

Microsoft Word makes this easy. I save my documents with slight name variations as I go along: “Nemesis 01” “Nemesis 02”, etc. If I print out “Nemesis 02” and it isn’t up to scratch, I can always go back to the earlier version.

There doesn’t seem an obvious way to achieve this in Scrivener. I’m not talking about saving entire projects, or splitting out individual documents as separate projects. I want to keep the individual document within the project, but to have easy access to different versions of that document.

How to achieve that?

Ue the snapshotting feature. It will basically save versioned copies of each document individually.

You can access this through the inspector - click on the little camera icon at the bottom, then click the + sign to take a new snapshot. Through this pane you can also browse the snapshots you’ve already taken (a preview will appear in the lower pane), roll back to another snapshot version (just remember to take one of your current set up first) and compare versions, which will highlight changes between your current document and the snapshot.

You can also press cmd+5 to take a snapshot of all documents currently highlighted in the binder. I personally also use the setting in Preferences > General “take snapshots of changed text documents on manual save”, which means that every time I save my project through cmd+s it will take a snapshot of each document that’s changed since the last time.

There’s more about snapshots in both the interactive tutorial, which is definitely worth running through, and the help manual.

ETA: Oops, just noticed you’re on Windows, not Mac. There’s a few differences there, though for the most part this applies - you won’t have the compare versions option, but you’ll still have the preview in the lower pane, ctrl+5 will take a snapshot (not sure if it’ll do multiple files at once), and you don’t have the ‘auto-snapshot on manual save’ option.

You can also just duplicate your draft folder. I did this with my thesis and ended up with (I think) 3 entire drafts in there. I also had numerous individual chapters that were sent to my supervisors for feedback and then re-imported into my Research folder.

I used snapshots as well, but duplicating drafts (even just sections of a draft) also preserves structure and relationships in a way that snapshots don’t. For example, if you merge documents or move documents, these changes won’t be represented by snapshots.

As the op is asking about versioning individual documents, Snapshots is definitely what he or she is after. Snapshots were designed for exactly this purpose - to store any number of older versions of an individual document.