Tracking deleted text?

Hi all,

I have searched around but not found out if there is a solution to my problem, so I thought I’d post a question. I’d like to use a function such as Word’s “Track changes” but for BOTH newly written and deleted text (and it’s the latter I’m struggling to find a satisfying solution for).

I have found colour-tracking of new text (I found it here … anges.html), but I’m still struggling to find a smooth way to track/“keep” deleted text. In another post ( I read I read about snapshots, Inline Annotations and Strikethrough, but none of them fulfill my needs (as I understand, please enlighten me if I’ve misunderstood!).

As I understand Inline Annotations and Strikethrough you need to mark the text that you want highlighted (and thereafter you can choose to delete all such text etc), but I’d like Scrivener to automatically react when I delete text and “keep” that text but keep it marked, such as in Word when you use Track Changes. I’d also like to be able to keep that marked text when compiling, which is why - as I understand - snapshots don’t fulfill my needs either. (This is for sending drafts of my thesis to my supervisors and wanting to be able to show clearly which changes I’ve made)

Does anyone here know if there is such a function in Scrivener?

Many many thanks in advance!!


There is a Compare Documents function in Scrivener, but not a “live” track changes function. Still, I can see two good ways to achieve what you want.

I am going to guess that you are sharing your thesis with your advisor chapter by chapter in the form of (compiled to) Word documents. If that is correct, then maybe the simplest solution for you is just to use Word’s Compare Documents function. Given the new and the previous chapter doc, Word will compare them to construct a marked-up third document of just the sort you are wanting.

Of course, Scrivener has an exactly similar compare docs function, comparing a doc with one of its snapshots. The marked-up comparison representation normally lives in the inspector, but (on my platform anyway) it is possible to “raise” Scrivener’s compare document into the Editor pane. If you do that and then Print or Print-to-PDF you will get that marked-up output. The limitation of this, since it is rooted in the snapshot system, is that you can only do it for one doc at a time. So, if your thesis chapters are split into multiple docs in scriv, you would need to produce this output piecemeal.* Using this second strategy you could only share with your advisor in the form of hardcopy or pdf.


  • With the right amount of forethought you can work around this limitation – though since this is your thesis we are talking about you would want to keep your wits about you if you do something like the following. Suppose, down in your Research folder, you made a folder with a dummy doc for each Chapter. Then, when you are going to share a chapter with advisor, you get the whole chapter up in your editor using Scrivenings Mode if the chapter spans multipl docs. But now select the chapter text in the Editor pane and copy, then paste it into your dummy doc for that chapter. Snapshot that, and then output that and share with advisor. NEXT TIME, do the same, but this time when you have pasted the merged doc over the old dummy doc content. Notice you now have a merged version of your whole revised chapter in one doc, and that doc has as a snapshot the previous version of that whole chapter. Now you could follow the suggestion above to send you advisor a marked up version of your whole chapter.