Seemingly lost files

Yesterday I started adding files to my main document. I then saved it as a document with the main title and the words incl diaries. I added these files by copying and pasting the bits that I wished to include from the diaries . This morning when I tried to open that file, it opens containing lots of individual documents - many of which were not included - but it doesn’t start with my original file and then continue with the copied and pasted sections. In the original file, the ‘last opened’ date which should have been yesterday was 15 November. (Now it is today’s as I opened it to see if it had the beginnings that I added the diary sections to. Again it is a file with multiple documents.

How do I get back to my original document with the others as separate items? Where might I look for the document I was working on?

Help please.

I’m a little confused by the use of the word “document” and “file” to refer to seemingly different things. To make sure we’re on the same page, with Scrivener we refer to the big thing with a window as a project, and individual entries within its binder sidebar as documents (or sometimes files, but not as often since that can be confused with the kind of thing you store in Finder).

That aside, if I do understand you correctly, it sounds like you opened a really old version of your project. Use Spotlight to look for other projects by this name, and while doing so it might be a good idea to make sure the names of these older versions are unambiguous in their purpose. “My Notes - OLD COPY” is pretty easy to avoid accidentally opening and editing.

My project was named ‘Trish life writing’. The documents that were stored in the sidebar were bits that I had been working on at various times. For instance there was a story about a house fire, another about my mother’s death and a third about my son’s death plus others. I then transcribed my handwritten diaries into further documents and saved them by the dates they covered: Brown diary, Journal 1983 on, etc.

On the preceding three days, I had opened my project file and at various times copied and pasted parts of the diaries and the document about my mothers’ death, as additions to the originally started project to make a coherent whole. I highlighted them all and formatted them as he same font and size and saved them. Yesterday evening I added the second diary and then saved it as ‘Trish life writing incl diaries’ just before I finished work. When I opened that file this morning instead of having the nicely uniform document which had been edited together with the second diary entries in a different typeface ready to be edited into the whole, I now have a series of all the documents in the sidebar put into one project file in random order and the original writing and the copied and pasted stuff is missing.

When I tried to open the ‘Trish life writing’ project, expecting it would be the original without the second diary added, it wasn’t. It seems to have also become a series of documents as well.

A screenshot of what you’re seeing might help, but the first thing I’d check for is the header bar along the top of the sidebar. Does it say something other than “Binder”, like maybe “Search Results”? If so, click the X button on the left side of this header bar to remove the search filter or collection view.

Here is the screen shot. It says Clippings (composite)

In that screenshot, the project you are viewing is called “Trish life writing incl diaries”, not “Trish life writing”. Maybe you already looked and didn’t mention it, but earlier I asked if you had searched Spotlight for newer copies of this project, and if not that’s the first thing I would try. Searching Spotlight for “Trish life” should be good enough.