How to have 2 versions of 1 project?

Hi, I’m new to Scrivener. I thought i was reading the manual correctly but I can’t work this out. I want to have my project, a novel, in 2 versions: the difference is in the order of the sections/files. In one they’re in the order i think they will finally appear; in the other in the chronological order of events. (The novel moves around in time a lot.) So i went to “new compilation”, copied all the files into that, and began moving files around in there. I thought they’d stay in the original order in the Binder. But when i went back to Binder, the files had been -re-arranged in that as well. So now i have to hope i remember how i had them originally. But i want to be able to go to another version where i can move them around (eg on corkboard) to keep track of the novel’s events in its own chronology. Would appreciate guidance on this. Thanks.

I suppose a simple way to do it would be to move all your documents into a folder in the Binder called “Chronological” or something like that, duplicate that folder (Cmd-D, I think) and rename the duplicate folder “New Order” or whatever. I’m sure someone will come up with something more elegant than that, however.


What is “new compilation”? Do you mean a collection? If so, files moved around in there definitely don’t get moved around in the binder, so you must have been doing something else too, or I must be misunderstanding you. The best way of doing this is certainly to use a collection.

All the best,

Thanks to both of you. Keith, yes i believe i did use “new collection” (sorry i used wrong term) using the tab for New collection above binder. In that new collection i moved the files around on the corkboard. When i went back to Binder they were moved around in the original as well. OK, i did something wrong. Better try again with another New Collection. Martin, thanks for your suggestion but seems as if New Collection is the go. Um, now how do i give New Collection a new name?

Can i put my additional question about that here? How can i make a new collection (of that’s the term) of only all the Synopses? That would enable me to see the novel’s real time chronology in one place while writing sections that move back and forth in time in the main Folder/s of the project.

Short answer: You can’t.

Longer discussion:
Synopses are always connected to the documents & folders they belong to. It’s also important to note that if you have a document called “Down the Rabbit Hole” and you add it to one or more collections, the document, its synopsis, notes, and all other metadata are NOT duplicated/copied to the collection(s). That document is the same throughout. If you change the text or the synopsis in your collection(s), those same things change in the Binder as well.

I gather that what you want is a collection where you can view everything in either cork board or outliner mode, so that you only see the synopsis (and the title). To do that, just create your collection, with all of the documents in your binder, in the order you want them. I recommend using the outline mode (select all documents in the collection then click on the outline icon), customized to just show titles and synopsis, and split the editor vertically so that the list of synopses is on the left or the right. Then click into the other editor window, and select your binder (or other collection), and use that editor in whatever mode you want.

Locking the In-Order collection’s editor will keep you from accidentally switching what you are viewing in that editor. Another option is using the option under View->Binder Affects to have the binder always default to the editor you want to do your work in.

Thank you so much for this patient and useful guide. So much to learn with Scrivener but i am impressed with its features.posting.php?mode=reply&f=2&t=19452#

Not to bombard you with information, but another tip that might help you specifically with chronology is custom meta-data (menu: Project/Meta-Data Settings). You can set up a field for time/date and then add that information to each portion of your manuscript. If you use a numeric date (and this can be simple as it is all up to you—if the entire duration of your story takes place in one month, you could just use day numbers) that is ordered in such a way to facilitate left-to-right sorting, in the Outliner you can add that column to your view and then click on the column header to sort. Sorting is best done in a flat view, rather than an indented view, and you can get flat views from search results in collections—so this doesn’t completely do away with what you’ve learned already. I’d say that using meta-data would only be a better choice if you might find that chronological information useful outside of a collection view, too. That’s the advantage of it really. With a pure collection order you have to view the collection to reference chronology, but if you think having a field printing that information even when you are in the normal binder view and editing pieces would be helpful then it would be good.

Just double-click in the title of the tab. That little colour rectangle to the right of the title is where you can change the tab colour if you wish.