Version Control and Doc Compare

Scrivener for Windows does not presently have a way to automatically save different versions of the entire document (so far as I can tell), or to do document compare, so you can see what changes you’ve made. I’ve done a lot of research on the topic because I’m revising a novel for a publisher. I also figured out a way to automatically save my documents to the cloud. I summarized it here:

(I don’t have any affiliation with the services I cite. I mention them because they work, they’re free, and are important services for writers.)

Thanks for sharing! If you’re unaware, Scrivener does have a “snapshot” feature (Documents > Snapshot) to save versions of individual documents, which you can then view side-by-side with the current version, and you can roll back to any snapshot (older or newer–I guess that’s rolling forward) to revert to that previous version. We do also have plans for adding a feature to compare a snapshot to the current version or to a second snapshot to see additions and deletions.

I personally use GIT version control software to make versions of all the files in the scrivener project directory. That allows me to see the history of changes over time. It also allows for an external diff tool. For that I use BeyondCompare , which makes a sensible diff between RTF files - it understnads the format, and can show you your real changes, as opposed to a text file compare that shows all the rtf control characters.

If you don’t want to struggle with version control software, you can achieve the same effect if you make a back up copies of your entire scrivener project that includes a date as part of the name.
eg - you have MyMagnumOpus as the directory in which your project.scriv file resides.
You then COPY MyMagnumOpus directory as MyMagnumOpus_20130521 (appending today’s date), and take another copy each day (or even each hour if you’re manic about it :stuck_out_tongue:).

If you get a large external hard disk (USB, 1 or 2TB) then you can make the copies there, and you should have enough space to make a thousand copies for each of a thousand novels.

Great. Pleased to hear it. That is a big difference to the Mac version that personally I would love.

Seeing the additions and deletions would be a massive improvement.

Any eta on when that might realistically put in an appearance in the windows version?

It will be part of 2.0, but I can’t say yet when that will arrive–guessing within the next year, but there’s a lot that needs to go into it (some overhauls of existing code as well as just implementing new features), so it’s too soon to give any kind of definite estimate.

Use Word for Doc Compare:
Having accidentally done a load of edits on an earlier version of my manuscript on another computer, (Forgot to check which was the latest version in my Dropbox folder), I was desperate for a Compare feature. I suddenly found a use for Word again, I compiled versions of the two confused manuscripts as Word documents, then used Words’ “compare” feature to quickly show me which sections were different between the two versions.
So although Word can’t compete with Scrivener for writing, it can help out in a crisis!

Any update on this? I have completed my entire first draft (250,000 words). I am starting my revision process and am disappointed to see that the current windows version does not have any form of revision mode or even snapshot compare.

Can we get an ETA on 2.0?

I really love this software for writing, but if I am going to have to go through the hassle of copying each chapter into word so I can revise with track changes, that will be a deal breaker for me.

Please help!!!