New to Mac and new to Scrivener

I am a total newbie to Scrivener. I am new to mac as well - have had my mac for about 3 weeks and Scrivener for 2 weeks. I am fumbling my way through it all and doing OK but something that has me confused is how Scrivener auto saves. When I write I am constantly changing my mind and back spacing over, or saving different versions until I am certain of the changes. I do not always want what I just typed to be saved. With autosave I cannot revert back so easily when I change my mind. I am used to windows (and I still use it for work) so I am sure I am showing my ignorance here. How do writers using Scrivener avoid this issue? What is it that I’m not understanding?

The answer to this is Snapshots. Think of them as being almost exactly like hitting Ctrl-S (or Cmd-S now that you’re a Mac user!) with the only difference being that every time you hit the shortcut (Cmd–5, by the way) you get that copy of the document you are working on saved permanently (you can of course delete them later if you wish, but that is always up to you). At any point you can return to it, even if you create new snapshots afterwards. If you want to review your prior snapshots, you can use the Documents/Snapshots/Show Snapshots menu command. This will open the Inspector sidebar to the correct tab, which will show you the list of available snapshots and a preview of its content in the area below. The important thing to note is that a snapshot only pertains the section that you are working on. This gives you fine degree of control over how your work is preserved. Make it a habit to take a Snapshot before you start working on any section, and then auto-save will become your ally.

For full details, check out §15.6, starting on pg. 220 of the user manual PDF.

One other thing you can do, for a little extra protection, is enable “Take snapshots of changed text documents on manual save”. With this turned on, whenever you do hit Cmd-S (which ordinarily doesn’t do a whole lot considering auto-save) every single document you’ve touched since the last save point will be snapshot for you.

It’s a good idea to get used to auto-save in general on a Mac. Many programs now work this way by default as a feature of the operating system itself. In fact with default settings, the whole Mac is meant to feel more like a “solid state” device, where you can just switch it off and be assured that everything will be exactly like you left it when you boot back up. It takes some getting used to. :slight_smile: