Problems with duplicate

I’m unable to duplicate my manuscript, I select it, and wither right-click there and select duplicate or I select duplicate>with subcomponents… in the documents menu. When I perform either of these actions nothing at all happens.
I have on a windows 10 laptop and on a Windows 7 desktop and both react the same way.
Maybe I’m missing something obvious,

Hello Rich, You won’t be able to duplicate your manuscript. Maybe the duplicate should have been greyed out so as not to cause confusion. The reason is that the manuscript (or draft ect, whichever template your working with, is your entire project. There is only one master manuscript, draft or whatever allowed. Otherwise this would effectively mean you have two projects running at once within the same Scrivener set up. Potentially a disaster…how would the program know which to edit, write to, ect. Although with one project open you can then open another and run them side by side. But they are treated as seperate projects.

The main use of duplicate is to duplicate documents, folders ect. There is only one master manuscript, draft or whatever allowed.

There are a few ways to make a copy of your entire project. See the help files or tutorial.

Thanks so much for taking the time t reply. I was watching a video by Jason Hough, and after completing his first draft, he took a copy of his chapters if you will, but not his characters or locations (I thought manuscript was the right word here, but I’m relatively new to Scrivener) and he put it into research, so he didn’t accidentally start editing it. His goal was to have a copy of his first draft handy for reference.

Is this even a good idea? If so, how would I do it?

Hello Richbann,
Easily achievable as his characters were in a folder which can be duplicated and placed in research.

If you are unfamiliar with duplicating and dragging document or folders around then I would suggest that you have a little practice. The tutorial is great, but it is still a huge unwieldy beast to learn. I would suggest if you are relatively new to Scrivener that you practice on a small test project.

Unless you have it set up, the easiest way is to open options in your existing set up and untick the box in General / Re-open projects on quit and then tick the box General / Show start panel when there are no projects are open. This gives fast access to you projects or easy access to start a new one.

From the panel select and start a new Blank project and call it something like test 1

When this opens you will have a lovely minimal project to play with. There should be just the Draft folder (this houses everything in your project and cannot be duplicated, although it cab be renamed. In some templates it is called Manuscript.)

There will also be one document called untitled, the research folder and trash.

Go ahead and make up the story of Jack and Jill for a bit of light hearted learning. Make some character folders, make some chapter folders and put a few scenes in there. Drag them around… duplicate some to research ect. It is easy with a tiny project rather than a huge one. Nothing can get damaged… just dump it and start again.

Remember you can just click and drag your folders or documents in the binder using the mouse or just use Ctrl and the cursor arrow keys to move a selected folder.

Have fun.

I’m of the mind that if you want to preserve your manuscript as a reference that can’t accidentally be modified with a project-wide search-and-replace, or an accidental edit of the wrong copy… compile to PDF and then re-import that PDF into the Research folder. You may have to fiddle with the compile settings so that every document’s title is included in the output, if that’s important to you. Alternately, you could compile each chapter individually and import them as separate documents if you want that level of granularity.

But to accomplish the duplication of your Draft/Manuscript folder, collapse all of the folders/document stacks that are in the Draft folder, and then select the first one. SHIFT-click the last item, and then… I’m not running a copy of version 1 for Windows, so you may have to go looking for the right menu item–I think it’s “Group” or something like that, and it’s function is to create a folder and move all of the selected documents and folders into it. On the Version 3 beta, the menu is Documents->New Folder From Selection, but I think it wasn’t called that before.

Once you find that menu item (maybe look through the manual), you’ll have all of your work in a sub-folder of the Draft folder. You can then duplicate that folder, and then move it elsewhere. Also, when you’re compiling, you can tell the compiler to use the new subfolder as the base folder for compiling; some people organize this way so that they can have mutliple books in a series all in the same project, choosing one to treat as the “Compile Target” and the others as reference.

Do make good use of snapshots, just in case you modify your copies.

ARGOED & RDALE: Thank you both so much for your time. So many good ideas that I’m going to use. It’s been a balance between spending time learning the interface, which I really like,btw, and just writing, Now I have 60K words, experimentation can be scary too, so I’ll put together a practice project. I’ll follow the pdf idea for my first draft and much more.


Here’s another way to approach it. I tend to occasionally, save my scrivener project to a new name. So, project2018 or project 2019. Or if more frequently, ProjectBeta1 then ProjectBeta2. The point is, I just do a save as and continue working on the new project. The one from before remains where it was and isn’t used again. It is exactly the way it was when I did a save as.

Sometimes I want to get rid of a lot of stuff I don’t need to carry forward, so I delete those sections on the new project.