Take Snapshots of Entire Document

I searched but did not see a request exactly like this; forgive me if it is a repeat.

I love the idea of the snapshot feature and what I saw in the tutorial on it – but it would be glorious to have it as a feature for an entire document, or in my case a screenplay.

As a screenwriter, I obviously find it convenient to write in scenes. I do not find it convenient to take snapshots of each scene to compare versions, as there are many of them and they are often quite short.

I can understand that implementation of a whole-document snapshot feature might be difficult. I supppose it would involve creating some kind of “Scrivinings” feature in the snapshots, as exists on the writing side. But it would be fantastic to be able to use the compare function inside Scrivener.

My workaround now is to compile and export a .pdf of periodic copies I create and place into the Research folder – and then use Acrobat Pro to compare them.

Thanks for listening!



Expand all the folders/documents in your draft, select them all, then take the snapshot.

As you go, you can periodically do this to maintain snapshots. Even better, you can just take snapshots of the documents that have changed. In outline view, sort your documents by date last edited, find the first one where the snapshot is older than the edit, select the rest and then take the snapshots. I do this about once a week to maintain a record of the progress on my thesis.

I did notice you could do this, but it’s a poor substitute from being able to scroll through a 100 page screenplay and see all the changes in a comparison to another document. Beyond the issue of convenience, I might take a line, or an exchange between two characters of a few lines, and move them from one scene to another. I do this a lot. In the current system, I wouldn’t have the ability to move around quickly to see the differences or to search within a single document for those lines and to make a quick comparison: do I like them in the new spot or should I move them to the old?

Given your description, is Snapshots really what you want? It seems you are not talking about tracking changes within a document, but moving text between different documents within a project. These are separate actions with separate uses and outcomes.

If you do use Snapshots to track changes, the editing in Scrivenings mode allows you to have as many documents open as you want. As you scroll down through them, their Snapshots will display beside each one.

If you want to compare different documents (rather than different versions of the same document) then you could either use split-screen or QuickRef. QuickRef allows you to have as many documents as you want, each in their own floating window.

EDIT: The other thing I often do is Cmd-Click different documents and edit them in Scrivenings mode. Allows me to edit them (as many as I want) in the same window.

I tend to split window when I want to move text between different sections, QuikRef if I just want to use them for reference and multi-selection of non-adjacent documents in Scrivenings if I want to ensure continuity between different sections. Having said that, I do sometimes use Scrivenings to move text between documents, especially if I see that what I’ve written in one is better in another.

Actually, a Snapshot of the full document is exactly what I want. I’d like to be able to look at changes and track them globally, with the freedom to move around and see them all at once. And then also compare that entire document with another entire version of the same document (something Scrivener can do for a single chapter).

This is a fairly basic and common need – and function. Word has it. Adobe Acrobat Pro can do it, and OpenOffice and Final Draft.

I love Scrivener – with almost my whole heart. But a small amount of me pines for it fulfill all my hopes and dreams… :slight_smile:


Sorry, no plans for anything like this currently. This would be a huge undertaking - so maybe for 3.0. :slight_smile:

All the best,

you effectively take a snapshot of the whole document every time you make a backup. you can then label them as Version X.

Perhaps this can be done with the OSX Lion auto save/version system. As far as I know only text edit and pages support this, but after playing with it, it does seem to be exactly what the OP is looking for. I am not sure of the API/Programming complexity that would be involved and I am sure it wouldn’t be easy to implement in the current version of Scrivener.


All the best,