Old and new novel side by side?

First of all, forgive me if my language skills are not sufficient, I am not a native English speaker. This is my first day with Scrivener, I am still using the test version… but I am quite overwhelmed, a very nice piece of software. MS Word sucks :mrgreen: (I guess you heard that before)

And forgive me if I ask a question without having read the whole (english) manual.

I am looking for a quick start because ideas flow quickly, no writer’s block at all. I really need to work now… now is today and probably the following nights.

My project is a novel. In fact, it’s a re-write and modernization of a novel from the 19th century. A weighty tome. I often have to look up and compare old and new version, maybe side by side. A lot of notes and research will be necessary, too.

How and where would you copy the old chapters, and how would you setup the system?

Hi cxo, and your English is working very well here - no need for concern.

I don’t use multiple editor panes as much as I should, so this is just advice for the long (US) weekend since Support will likely be enjoying it.

It seems what you would like can be arranged pretty simply, and still be quite effective - I think Scrivener has improved in this area.

  1. Import your original book pages into an item or items in the Research folder. This way they will be available to you, but automatically will not be included in any Compile outputs. If you make a mistake or change your mind about an item, just pull it to the Research folder.

  2. Click your first Research item, and it will show in the default editor.

  3. Now look at the menu bar showing just above your Research text. On the far right, you’ll see two small icons, with vertical or horizontal bar. I might suggest choosing Vertical Split first – you can always change this later. When you click the icon, you’ll see your text now shows in two panes.

  4. Click in the pane where you want your new text to appear - the rewritten novel. You’ll notice the menubar for that pane gains color - this is your signal for which is the active pane.

  5. Click on the file where you want to write, from the Draft folder. Or if there are none yet, click the Draft folder and then the ‘plus’ button, to get a fresh file. You can now edit text in that file in the normal way, while viewing the Research text in the other pane.

  6. You can copy and paste from one editor pane to the other, and do all the usual things of Scrivener inside either of them. Just remember to click in the pane you want to change, before you type or do other action, so that it happens where you intend it to.

  7. You’ll notice Scrivener does some clever things, like make the second editor pane more narrow than the main one, wordwrapping so you can see everything. You can change this though if you prefer otherwise - just mouse on the divider and move it, whether it is a vertical or horizontal divider.

  8. You’ll notice that Find will locate text in the pane you’ve made active, while Search will discover text in any possible file, whether or not it is open in an editor. Clearing the Search field will return your Binder view on the left.

  9. You can learn all the interesting things you can do with Binder, Search, and Collections when and if those become important to you – later!

  10. Be sure to notice that you can put just about anything you would like to into Research items - web pages, PDFs, pictures, etc… You can use those just as easily in the second editor pane, beside or below your main working text.

  11. As mentioned, you can toggle between vertical or horizontal editor split, or go back to a single editor, by using the small icons to the right of the colored menubar just above your active pane. If the pane is too narrow, these may be hidden, but you can access them from the double arrow which will appear to let you know that there are more menu items. You can hover your mouse pointer a moment above an icon, to get a text telling what it is for.

  12. Oh, yes. The other nice thing about all this is that Scrivener will remember all your screen arrangements, so that the dual editors will be there when you open it again. Thus you can feel free to shut down at end of session, getting an automatic backup of your work, and however you have set that up as you like to beyond the defaults. A recommendation for a novel especially would be to change the setting so that there are no limits to the number of backups saved. This and other settings are in Options>Backups.

Hope that gets you going during your writing enthusiasm, and good fortune on where you can take this. Always good to strike while the iron is hot, isn’t it.