SAVE and SAVE AS buttons

Again, on virtually any word processing or data management program, there are SAVE and SAVE AS buttons so you can save every so often and not lose your work. Why this doesn’t exist here on the top menu bar is perplexing.

Scrivener (on Mac) saves automatically after two seconds of inactivity (unless you change the default in preferences).

Personally, I don’t care much for buttons on the toolbar – I just hit Cmd-S (Save) or Cmd-Shift-S (Save As). I find it a lot quicker. Cmd-S is the universal Mac OS command for Save, so it works in every program (unless you are on Lion, where Apple seems to have had a brainstorm and made something that was very easy into something more complicated). I’m writing this on Leopard, so I can’t check the commands on Lion.

Cheers, Martin.

No, it’s not, as soon as you understand how Scrivener works. Scrivener treats every item as a separate document and saves it immediately and without having the user to do anything about it. When you write in Scrivener, what you write is saved at every moment (well, to be precisely: every 2 seconds). So, there is simply no need for a save button.

Computer users are only used to save buttons or save commands because in earlier days, computer programs had bad habits like not saving what you were writing. :wink:

Aye, because back in the day it took five minutes to save to your 5 1/4" floppy drive. Auto-save was absolutely out of the question. We can now save tens of thousands of words so fast you need special equipment to time it. Just a case where habit and convention move more slowly than the easing of the limitations which bore them.

This is how many programs in Lion work now. Saving happens automatically whenever you turn your head and look at something else. Using Cmd-S actually triggers “Save a Version” which is a bit like Scrivener’s Snapshots, except with a dumb interface. :slight_smile:

(1) To AmberV & mbbntu. Thanks for your comments and insights. I ask about a SAVE AS because I like to keep track of multiple drafts of anything I am working on (i.e., Draft 1, Draft 2, etc). I use SAVE AS to keep track of my progress. I don’t know if Scrivener has any edit functions that track changes (or if I even want to use them). However, I learned I can customize the toolbar so I may give that a shot.

I’m not sure what the heck is on my MAC’s operating system. I’m pretty sure it’s not Lion. The Cmd-s / Cmd-shift-S might work. I’ll see.

Thanks again.

You will in most cases be much better off using Snapshots to track the evolution of your document. It works in pieces, so you can focus on the parts that change. Snapshots (on the Mac, to be clear) can be compared between one another or the current state of the text. On Windows you can take snaps but you can’t compare them visually yet. Save As is something I would myself reserve for experiments or larger forks, because it replicates the entire project, even if all you are changing are a few scenes in a chapter. Might as well just mark those scenes with snapshots and work on them piecemeal. You might want to put the Snapshot tool in the toolbar—that really is the closest cousin to the old “Save and Maybe Revert” way of working that is more familiar to Word and other single-file editors. Scrivener’s method makes sure the leading crest of work stays up to date and saved on the disk, while letting you put down anchors on the way where you will, and since each new anchor creates a point where you can go back in a list and review the changes, it’s better than just saving over one file over and over as that only retains the prior version. It’s a bit more like Save As, in Word, but without the extra file management of having to come up with names and worrying about which is the latest. You can just hit Cmd-5 and keep typing. No fuss.

Cmd-S and Shift-Cmd-S do work on all Mac operating systems. The thing I was referring to in Lion is not relevant to Scrivener, sorry for the confusion. That was in regards to Lion’s new auto-save feature that is implemented in most of Apple’s consumer software now, including TextEdit and Preview.

And I do a different variation. I set Tools->Options->Backup:

  • Turn on automatic backups
  • Back up with each manual save

This allows me to make a backup when I want to (with Ctrl+S), not when I close Scrivener. My issue with that behavior was the number of times I would look at some files in a project and then close it without having done anything.

As far as tracking draft stages is concerned, I do File->Backup->Back Up To… This allows me to select a backup directory and a name for the backup file. That’s everything I need to save draft and submission stages somewhere in the directory tree associated with that project. (The Scrivener project itself is only one of the things I create for every project. For example, I have a standard scene progress spreadsheet.)

This is how I have things set up as well, though I have left the checkbox on to create a backup when I close as well, as I rarely open anything just to look. With larger projects I’ll use the exclude option in the File/Back Up/ sub-menu and just make extra sure to create backups during the day while I work with Ctrl-S. I also cranked the number of saved backups up to 25. I recommend anyone who backs up a project more than once a day consider doing that, even it takes up more hard drive space, because otherwise you can end up losing an important change made several days ago, with the default of five.

I also use the File/Back Up/Back Up To... command to make my own set of backups outside of the automatic area. I do this at the end of every day and just let those accumulate. I usually don’t delete them until several months have passed. I prefer this to using Save As because it keep things very unambiguous. There is only ever one project that is the “real one” so to speak. For the same reason I always use the zip function for all backups so I’m not tempted to just open them and start working in them.

It might seem as though there are an overwhelming number of ways to back things up, but I think writing software should have as many as is feasible so people can easily back up in whatever manner is most comfortable for them.