Draft/ Chapter Snapshots, using existing features?

I’m wondering if there may be (as is oft the case with Scrivener’s few “missing” features) an alternate approach to accomplish what I wish Snapshots could do.

I’d like an easy/quick way to save drafts of a folder’s Included Scrivenings

  • i.e. a copy of the compile content of a manuscript/part/chapter folder
  • as part of the .scriv project & accessible from/linked to the folder for comparisons (similar to scrolling through snapshot comparisons)
  • ideally content searchable from within .scriv project
  • ideally title and or date these
  • maybe also saves (titled?) snapshot with each scrivening, but I suppose I could do this afterward if the scrivenings are still selected

Almost, but time-consuming: Compile, Choose folder to compile, find results in Binder, Drag compilation back into binder (save where?), interlink (how best?) manuscript folder & draft copy, delete Finder compiled file
—time-consuming, and how to associate the versions with the respective folder?
Quicker, but bulky (inspector info duplicated/multiplied, too): Select folder in Binder, ⌘D, Move duplicate to Binder Drafts folder, interlink (how best?) manuscript folder & draft copy

Any further ideas for a simple way to keep this kind of partial or complete manuscript drafts? Or another approach to making drafts?

Select folder in Binder. Get into Scrivenings mode. Make Editor active. Select All. Copy. Create new document. Paste. Name new doc same as source folder plus date. Stuff doc down in a dedicated place in your research folder for later reference.

It’s sort of the Scrivener equivalent of doing Select All/Copy Merged/Paste in Photoshop.


P.S. You could even use Snapshots on this composite doc and then paste a newer composite of your chapter text over it – that way you would be able to take advantage of Scriv’s Compare function for snapshots but here applied to whole chapter’s worth of text. This might only be marginally useful, though, since these chapter composites are not the master text you would want to be editing.

Thank you!!

I prefer to compile to PDF twice: once to get just an outline, and another time to output title, document notes, main text, keywords, basic metadata, etc… Then re-import the two documents for easy, read-only reference and searching.

That’s exactly what I want these for.
I setup text expander+applescript snippets to simplify the copying, pasting and snapshotting, before I read the pdf idea.
I like the conciseness of the snapshots, hidden away until needed, but this raises a question. Is there a way to search snapshots?

No, there’s no way to search snapshots, though I think Keith mentioned that the next major (paid) release could gain such a feature. But that’s not coming this year for certain.

I would absolutely take named snapshots of all your work at certain phases (ex: DRAFT 1), which can be accomplished by expanding everything , selecting all the exposed binder contents, and then using the feature that takes a named snapshot. But the PDFs are a great way to preserve what Scrivener doesn’t: the original ORDER of documents in the binder, as well as the placement of deleted, split, or merged documents at any given stage. And since snapshots don’t preserve document notes, titles, keywords, or anything but what is in the main editor, a PDF could be quite handy. Essentially, I suggest that you visit the Formatting pane of compile and check all the checkboxes for every row, fiddle with the title prefix /suffix to include anything else (see the Help->Placeholder tags for metadata placeholders) and to remove stuff that you find irrelevant or to differently format each piece of info so it’s easy to distinguish (synopsis in blue, document notes in italics, etc…).

All that could be overkill, but it puts my mind at ease so I’m not afraid to rip everything apart.

If you’re trying to preserve that level of detail, why not just take a backup of the whole project? That won’t allow line-by-line comparisons like Snapshots do, but it will preserve Binder order, metadata, and so on.


Because when I’m deep into editing or writing, I start making stupid mistake like editing the backup copy that I was searching through. Also, without a dual monitor setup, I can’t easily fit all the info I want in two Scrivener sessions. A PDF can’t be accidentally edited within Scrivener, and can be displayed in an editor split.

If a Scrivener project could be ‘locked’ into a read-only mode, then I might not bother with the beefed-up PDF compile.

Perhaps it argues for a Read-Only project setting.


P.S. I also can’t quite imagine wanting to duplicate all that project info while my project was still in progress. And I guess I think I would find the pdf’d compiling of everything including text and notes rather confusing and unweildy. No, once I am done, I am going to place a pdf of the final text into my project then zip the whole thing up - for posterity, natch.