how to switch to (or view) a previous version of a scene


I’m checking out Scrivener and I as I begin to use it on a project (warily) I’m wondering whether there is a way to easily view or switch-to a previous version of a scene I’ve created. I know the Snapshot feature can do this, but if this is the only way to preserve a version of one’s document then it seems a little cumbersome. I currently work in Word and when I open a copy of my manuscript say, for that day, I just Save-As with another date. If the Inspector can tell when the text has been modified (in the General pane) then you’d think that you could just roll-back to a previously modified version?

Again, this is all new for me so I appreciate any perspective. Perhaps I just have to get used to the format.

I think you have more choices with Scrivener.

You can Save-As, like you do in Word. (just tried it) So I don’t understand why you think Scrivener is more cumbersome, but maybe I don’t understand your question completely.

You can Duplicate a scene, and work on that new one, and give it a time-stamp.

Or you can use the snapshot feature. Added advantage of the snapshot feature is that you can even do comparisons INSIDE the program! See which changes you made, etc.
That’s a very valuable feature. In Word (or any Save As method) you would have to open 2 documents, put them side by side and look manually to see the changes.

Again, maybe I’m not understanding your question correctly, but it seems like you proposed one way of doing it with Word, while Scrivener has 3 ways out of the top of my head, including one that is similar to what you described with Word.


Please be careful with Scrivener’s Save As feature. It will create a new copy of the project, then continue working in the new copy. There have been cases where people misplaced work because they didn’t realize this, opened the old copy, and found that work done in the new copy had “vanished.” I’d suggest being very clear in how you name things to avoid this kind of confusion.

In addition to the alternatives sidderke suggested, you can use Scrivener’s File -> Backup To command to make a backup copy of the project to any location at any time. (Unlike the Save As function, after a backup you stay in the original project.) You’ll also want to check the options for Scrivener’s automatic backups, which can be found in the Scrivener -> Preferences -> Backups pane.

In answer to your question, no, keeping track of the modified date does not mean that the program (either Word or Scrivener) has saved a copy of the previous version. It simply means that the file has that date associated with it in the file system.


Thanks for the responses, sidderke and kewms. This is very helpful. I think that Save As in Scrivener would probably not be the best idea as I wouldn’t want to replicate the whole project for sake of protecting the contents in a particular scene. However, it’s nice to know that there are several options I may use.

Your existing method (the dated Save As in Word) is much more cumbersome than Scrivener’s Snapshot feature. It is also very inflexible. The date (of the snapshot) and a brief description make the feature in Scrivener much more useful. With the Word method you’ll have to open a bunch of files to see what you changed and in which one whereas with Snapshots you see at a glance what you changed, when, and (if you update the short description) why.