Snapshot Outline / Version

I’m slowly converting my work in progress into Scrivener, and there’s a feature I’d love to see.

When I’m working with flow in my standard process I make a new draft each time I do a reorder of the scene. So I have a V1, V2, V3 document, in V1, it may go ABCD, in V2 ABEC, in V3 EABDC. I flip back and forth to compare how the different versions work.

What I’d like to be able to in Scrivener is duplicate this process. At any time, take a snapshot that has the following information

1.) A current ‘snapshot’ of each document
2.) A snapshot of what documents are included in ‘draft’, and what order they flow in
3.) A ‘view version’ setting, that restores me to that version (read only) mode - even if it’s a single view-scrivenings like mode, so I can review that complete version rather than trying to piece it together from individual snapshots.
4.) A ‘insert in current version’ button that puts deleted scenes into the current (editable) binder.

Part of the reason for this is trying to figure out what to do with deleted scenes. I’ve got several bits that don’t fit into the current flow. If I delete them, they’re gone. If I leave them in as blank / do not include in drafts, it clutters up the binder/outliner. If I move them into research, I’ve lost their placement. If I export the version or use a separate project file for each, I’ve got to cut and paste to bring bits I want to restore back in.

As a second wishlist feature, I’d love to be able to tag/label/status and/or otherwise mark a particular snapshot for cases when I’ve removed/added a character/plot element - If I do a search for everything with the keyword “Bob”, I’d like to see all current things tagged bob, and all snapshots tagged bob (which wouldn’t be the same list).

Hopefully these fit the function you see for Scrivener, and will fit in some future version.

Hi Laura,

Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately snapshotting the whole draft is technically and conceptually very difficult. For instance, suppose you have the following structure:

Doc 1
- Subdoc 1
- - Sub-sub1
- - Sub-sub2
- - - Deep down doc
- - Etc.
Doc 2

Now, imagine that you take a snapshot of this structure, and then delete Subdoc 1. The file disappears from disk. What happens when you view the old snapshot? Subdoc 1 no longer exists and the documents inside it have nowhere to go. Possibly a temporary document could be created as a placeholder but it would have no text inside it. This would lead to another wish list item or support request from someone wondering what has happened to this document. :slight_smile:

Version 2 will, however, allow you to store arbitrary groupings of documents, so you could store all the documents in a draft in that order - the only caveat being that these groupings are flat list, so you would have to store your draft in a grouping as a flat list of documents rather than as an outline (of course your working draft would remain as an outline).

I’m afraid tags and suchlike are unlikely to make it into snapshots in 2.0, as that adds another layer of complexity on top of all the meta-data that is already there, sorry.

Thanks again and all the best,

I’d envisioned deleted items as being saved, under the hood as it were, as part of the version.

Thanks for looking at my suggestion - I’ll take another look at Scrivener in the next version.

But that would mean that anything you deleted wasn’t truly deleted, and the project could soon balloon in size…

Thanks and all the best,

Yep, you’d definitely get padding when you made an snapshot outline, everything in drafts would be copied at that point in time.

Again, thanks for looking.