Incremental Auto-Backups


I had a thought this morning. Right now, Scrivener will auto-save your Project for you every few minutes, or however often you tell it to in Preferences. Right? And it will also auto-backup your project (even .zip it for you, if you like) whenever you do a manual save (or on project open or close), and can even limit the number of backups. What I would like to ask for is another option — the option to do AUTO backups. That is, every so often (at a different frequency than auto-saves would happen, for obvious reasons), Scrivener would automatically save (and .zip, if you wish) a backup of the current Project to its specified backups directory, manual save or no, open/close or no. I think this would be a good feature, and would add one more layer of protection for our projects.

—Andy H.

We experimented with a timer option a long time ago (2.0 beta), but it ended up being a bit annoying in practice, since background threading wasn’t safe, and it meant having to halt whatever you were doing no matter how much an interruption that may be. Maybe it would be worth looking into it again some day, as back then SSDs weren’t really popular or as fast as they are now, and maybe some kind of “Defer” button could remove the annoyance of being mid-sentence when a 30 second backup kicks in automatically and makes you wait.

Meanwhile however, we did add a compromise of sorts. The File/Back Up/Back Up Now button triggers the standard auto-backup system (just like any other trigger would do), which means external tools capable of triggering menu commands in other programs (Keyboard Maestro, AppleScript, etc.) could be set up to trigger backups on timers, system events, or whatever else you could imagine.

Also consider that although it snapshots the project in an open state (not really a big deal all things considered), any Mac with Time Machine hooked up is doing exactly what you’re looking for already, on the hour.