Snapshot questions?

Even after going through that section of the manual, I can’t figure out how to take a snapshot, can someone explain it to me?
And when you take a snapshot of a document, does it include a backup for the whole project or just that one document?

There are no snapshots in iOS Scrivener

Great…can you recommend any similar ways to protect the files on an Ipad?

You can backup the entire project to zipped file from the projects screen.

Press Edit, select a project, press Send a Copy (on bottom 2nd from left). From there, send the zipped file wherever you like: email, cloud service, etc.

I store mine on OneDrive, with my desktop backups.

I tried that once, but couldn’t restore the zipped file to scrivener when needed.

Do you own a PC or a Mac?


One would unzip the file using a utility for doing so (most often simply triggered by double-clicking on it in Finder), extracting the project from it, and then opening the project using Scrivener.

There shouldn’t ordinarily be any issues with the procedure. In fact I don’t use Dropbox, and this is very often the procedure I use (in conjunction with AirDrop) to get work back to the Mac.

I tried it via FileApp…do I sent it over to the Apple file app before unzipping it?

I don’t think you can do it on an iDevice. You have to do it on your Mac, in Finder, so the unzipped project becomes a package again and can be moved back to the sync folder.

Provided one has a utility that can unzip files and send folders to other apps on their device, this is no problem. This could be used to restore from a backup or transfer a zipped project from another device.

FileApp indeed does do just that, so maybe a step was missed (and to make sure we’re on the same page here, I’m actually talking about FileApp, a free app, not Apple’s “Files” thing, which doesn’t have many features and I don’t think can even unzip files let alone send them anywhere). Here is what I tried:

  1. First I created a test .zip by tapping Edit in Scrivener, selecting the Tutorial, and then tapping the “Copy to FileApp” icon.
  2. Switching over to FileApp, I navigate into the Downloads folder and located the timestamped “Tutorial 2018-08-03 17-47” file.
  3. I tap on it, and it asked if I wish to decompress it. I do so.
  4. I now have a folder called “Tutorial 2018-08-03 17-47”. I drill into that, and inside I find the “Tutorial.scriv” folder.
  5. I swipe left on it and tap the More option. This provides an “Actions” button, among many others.
  6. In the Actions sheet, I select “Open in Scrivener”.

A copy of the tutorial is sent and automatically opens. I now have two copies of the tutorial, the original and the one I just restored from backup.

Perfect! I did miss a few steps. Thanks!

Question about Snapshot -

How do I tell which version I’m working on, if I’d rolled back to a previous snapshot?

E.G. - Took a snapshot before making changes. Make changes, and take a new snapshot to make changes yet again. I decide I want to disregard these changes and roll back to the original snapshot - How do I know that is the version I am working on, especially if I revisit that document days or weeks later?

Thanks in advance.


I guess another question would be, is there a way to view/review or have the changes made in snapshots highlighted for comparison or easy reference in any way?

Snapshots are named copies of your text that have been set aside and cannot be edited. You cannot work “on a version”, as that would defeat the purpose of having an immutable snapshot set aside. There is only one editable copy of your text, and that is what you see in the main text editor.

As for comparison, you’ll find documentation on the matter in §13.6.4, Comparing Changes with Main Text, pg. 336. Optionally, §15.8.4, Comparing Changes in the Editors, may also be of interest.

Thank you Amber.

I am going through the tutorial - and it seems that if I roll back to a previous snapshot, I am then working on the (what I’ve taken upon myself to label), “version”. So If I’d rolled back two snapshots, and I come back at a later time and see 3 total snapshots taken. How am I to know which “version” I am currently working with? I can’t assume it’s the latest version, because I’d rolled back to a previous one? or am I completely missing something here, I’ve tried it, and my scenario plays out … I’d rolled back to a snapshot prior to the latest one taken, But I see no way to tell which I’m working with.

Let’s say snapshot one has a character Steve in it. (Or numerical data that is not so easily recognizable)
Snapshot two has Phillip
Snapshot three - Andrew
and snapshot four has Craig.
I roll back to the version (snapshot two) of the document that has Phillip in it. But the most recent snap shot is Craig … So if I return to this document, how am I to know which I am working with - because it’s not the most recent - it could be any rolled back snapshot (version)

I feel I’d gotten long winded
Thank you.

If you Roll back, then you are back at that point in time. It’s like doing a major Undo. The project only has one version of the text you are working with. The snapshots are like saved copies of older versions. When you Roll back it’s like if you opened an older version and then saved it by overwriting the current version.

My feeling is that in some way you’re viewing Scrivener’s snapshots feature as more complex and sophisticated than it is.

Forget Scrivener for a moment.

Imagine you’re writing a scene in a text document, called Big Fight. You write the scene with Steve in it. When you’re done, you decide to make some changes, but first you make a read-only copy of your text document, and call it Big Fight - Steve. Then you go forward with changing the Big Fight doc, by changing Steve to Philip, and tweaking some other things. When you’re done, you’re still not 100% happy with it, so you decide to make some changes. But first you make another read-only copy of your text document, and call it Big Fight - Philip.

You continue to make more changes to the Big Fight doc, renaming the character yet again to Andrew and then to Craig, making read-only copies Big Fight - Andrew and Big Fight - Craig along the way.

Now you’ve got one working doc (Big Fight) and 4x read-only copies.

If you wanted to revert to the Andrew scene, you’d copy the text from Big Fight - Andrew into Big Fight. If you subsequently modified Big Fight, it would no longer match the read-only copy, but you could determine what you changed by using the handy-dandy text comparison app that you happen to own. :slight_smile: If you decided you liked this revised scene with Andrew, but wanted yet again to try something different with Craig, you could make another read-only copy of Big Fight and call it Big Fight - Andrew v2. Then copy the text from Big Fight - Craig into Big Fight, and revise Big Fight as you like. Etc.

How would you manage your changes if you were using this approach? Obviously naming the read-only copies appropriately would be helpful. You could put a short summarized description at the top of Big Fight of what’s in the scene, changing this description whenever you change the scene, and the description would be transferred to the copy when you make your read-only copies. You could keep a separate log outside the documents, maybe a list of docs with a summary description of each. There are probably a dozen other ways to handle it. But it’s up to you to decide and manage with whatever method works best for you.

What I’ve described above is exactly how Scrivener snapshots work.

Hopefully that helps you have a better understanding of this feature.

That does help Jim, Thank you very much - and I believe you were right on me overthinking it…

Thanks again to all


This is the one feature missing in iOS Scrivener that causes me to consider buying a MacBook after all for writing when not at home.

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Same here. I want to get something super portable, and I would enjoy getting an iPad anyway…but the snapshots feature of Scrivener is around the top of my list of reasons I started using the program in the first place. I love the freedom it gives me to edit things without fear of losing anything, and to easily compare where my projects have been at various stages. I want to see backstory I’ve trimmed in context.

The iPad is great, and I’m excited that there is a mobile version of Scrivener…but I don’t know if I can get around the fact that there are no snapshots, as I use this feature a lot. Plus, I’ve wasted a bunch of time reading stuff in the forums about sync and avoiding issues with it - I think I’d rather just have a machine I can take anywhere with a built-in keyboard and the full power of the desktop version.

Macrumors reports there may be an Apple event this month where a new more affordable MacBook is unveiled. Waiting til then to make any device-buying decisions. :slight_smile:

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