Snapshot contrast and compare

I looked around and didn’t see this. Before jumping to Scrivener, I was using another package on my mac. One feature it had that I now miss with Scrivener was the ability to browse your snapshots/versions of documents and see the differences.

I’d love to be able to look at a snapshot and have the text highlighted if it differs from the current version. I find I look at a snapshot and scroll 'round and around trying to figure out what changed and why I took the snapshot in the first place. Sometimes it was only a few words in the middle of a paragraph but it changed an idea substantially and I had taken the snapshot in case I wanted to revisit my earlier intention.


Umm … That sounds like a “well, maybe, sometime … version 5 perhaps” kind of request to me. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that that would take quite a bit of programming.

A bit of a kludge, but what you could do is export both the snapshot and the current version to txt, then open them both in TextWrangler – or some other app that has the provision to compare versions – and use that to find the differences. In TextWrangler, it makes them easier to find if you hard-wrap the texts and add line numbers before you do the find differences, as it gives you the line numbers for the points that are different, but doesn’t highlight them.


Another small help: Jot an annotation at the top of your document before you take the snapshot. In the annotation, explain to your future self why you are taking the snapshot.


Good ideas, both. The latter regarding the annotation will be easier/faster. It would be a great feature, though. :slight_smile:

Thanks to both.

Yes, this is definitely a distant future thing. What was the other package you were using? I know Word does this, but then that has whole teams of programmers working on it (as opposed to just one :slight_smile: ). It would be a bit of a mammoth undertaking, so… maybe, in version 8 or something. :slight_smile:
All the best,

It was CopyWrite by Bartas Technologies. I switched from it when I found Scrivener and haven’t looked back save perhaps for the snapshot-comparison feature. Not enough to make me go back but enough to make me wish Scrivener had it.

Anyway, thanks, KB. Great product. Thanks for making me spend money on two different packages within 90 days of each other. (Not to mention the time spent converting from one to the other–cut and paste, cut and paste, wash rinse repeat… Maybe a software conversion tool is needed. :wink: )

If you install the Mac OS X Developer Tools, you’ll get a nice little app called “FileMerge”. It easily, and attractively, displays the differences between two text files.

Curious. I’ve never seen any such feature in CopyWrite. I re-downloaded the demo again today but still I can’t see any such feature. CopyWrite just has “Versions”, which work exactly like Scrivener’s “Snapshots” - they just let you freeze old versions. It doesn’t offer any form of comparison between versions as far as I can see. What am I missing?


Intriguing. I see that it works with rtf files. I wonder if Filemerge might not just be freelancing, but instead substantially tapping into some routines for the purpose nestled away in the OS somewhere and that might, you know, also be available to an adventuresome Cocoa programmer…:wink:


Not in the near future. :open_mouth:

Sounds right to me.

The near future is quite overrated anyway. As all the science fiction writers here know, the distant future is much cooler. So many more toys. 8)


I also posted recently on this topic in this forum under “In lieu of track changes…”, if anyone is interested. Sorry for the topic duplication.