Question About Scrivenings Mode

Hi, I’m a new user and I’ve been searching the help menu, the videos, Scrivener for Dummies and everything else I can find for an answer to a very simple question. I’m sure I must have missed it somewhere.

I want to be able to use Scrivenings mode to take a bunch of my small files and play with them, right? To try to edit them together in different ways. But what if I make changes I don’t want and want to revert to the original files? Or what if I like what I did and want to save it as a new document somewhere else and keep my little original files in the binder as I had them. I haven’t found any clear info about these questions:

Do my original files stay intact (or can they) when I make changes in Scrivenings mode?

How do I take my Scrivenings edits and create a new document with them if that’s what I want to do?

Thanks! Hope you can answer.

Scrivenings mode assembles multiple files into a single view. It does not create new copies of the files. Any changes made will affect the originals.

If you want to experiment with different versions, you can either take a snapshot and/or a backup before changing anything, or you can make duplicates of the original file(s) and work with the duplicates instead.


Also, if you haven’t played with the Snapshots feature yet (it is featured in the tutorial, and the concept is very simple, you can apply it and start using it in minutes) give that a try. Snapshots work on a per-item basis, so if you wish to edit a portion of your Scrivenings session, unsure of whether the changes you make will be something you ultimately like, then just hit Cmd-5 to take a snapshot, edit freely, and if you change your mind, use the Snapshot pane in the Inspector to roll the changes back for that portion of text. This can all be done while you’re working in a Scrivenings session. You can swap versions of text out right in the middle of the larger text.

Update: Oops, I missed that Katherine already mentioned snapshots, but hopefully this longer explanation explains the concept a bit further.

thanks to both of you. Yes, I’ve been using Snapshots, which I love. Thanks for the clarification about the files changing everywhere when making changes with Scrivenings. One more question. Can I use Scrivenings to combine multiple documents into one permanently? By eliminated the breaks between my smaller sections? Or is compile the only way to do that?

There is a “Merge” command in the Documents menu for that sort of thing. It won’t merge a Scrivenings session directly, you’ll want to select the documents you wish to merge over in the Binder sidebar, and use the command from there.

And Amber, is that merge also a permanent change to all the documents? Is there any way to duplicate the whole manuscript section of the binder rather than having to snapshot each individual piece?

Yes, merging is permanent, and it will throw out such things that can only have one setting. For example if you have five items, and you’ve labelled them all different things, only the first item in the set will retain its label. Things that store lists of things be combined will be, such as keywords and snapshots, and text fields such as synopses and notes will be merged along with the main text. I would suggest trying it out on a few things before using it for anything important, to see what and how it works.

That is what the duplication choices are for in that same Documents menu. Duplicates are complete copies of the originals.

Thanks, Amber, this has been very helpful. One last question…is it possible to save this thread somewhere (out of the forum where I can find it) in case I need to refer back to it later?

Your web browser should have a bookmark feature, if that is what you mean. You could also drag this thread into your Scrivener binder from the URL bar in your browser, and it will be preserved there for future reference (though that won’t update, as archiving a page in the Binder is more for preserving something). If nothing else it would be a useful demonstration of how you can store web research in your project. :slight_smile:

I just did it. It worked! Thanks again.