Where is my just typed chapters?

I just opened a file project saved from yesterday and continued to spend over an hour writing and then suddenly those new words disappeared. Help! I am trying to find comments in the forum but nothing seems to relate. What have I done???

Hi AnnieE. Welcome to the forum.

Lets look for those new words.

Is the content you lost from today or from yesterday?

Is the whole document missing from the binder, or do you have the document but with no text in it ?

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Thanks for prompt reply. The missing words are from today.
I opened the file saved from yesterday and it was all ok and continued writing.
Everything I wrote today is not showing up anywhere and just disappeared.

You have a document in which the new words you typed in today are missing from right ?

If so, go to that document, click once in the editor (anywhere in the text), and then, holding the Ctrl key, hit “Z” a couple of times while keeping an eye on the editor.

Stop when the text reappears. If… it reappears.

Unless you somehow or another turned it “off”, Scrivener will save you work automatically. By default it will save upon 2 seconds of inactivity, e.g. you are not typing. It’s not every 2 seconds, but every time it detects you are not typing (or “inactive”) for 2 seconds. Best to keep that turned “on” and use the default 2 second setting. Then the risk of losing stuff is minimised.

You can also use the “save” menu option (or the keyboard equivalent) when ever you feel the urge.

If your text reappears, great, select that part that was earlier missing, and copy it to the clipboard (Ctrl+C).

This done, since all those Ctrl-Z would have taken you to an earlier state and that you might be now missing whatever you typed in after those words had disappeared from the editor, hit Ctrl+Y repeatedly a good couple of times. (Until it does nothing anymore.)

Then paste (Ctrl+V) the text that was missing (and that is now in your clipboard, if you followed my instructions) back to where it belongs.

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Tried all these instructions with no luck.

Do you remember a specific sequence of words you had typed in that part that is now missing ?

Any sequence of say, three or four words.

Click here:

and type them in (no misspells).

Could be anything you remember typing. “The three of us”, “Once upon a time”. Anything you’d remember.
Scrivener will then list all the documents/passages containing this.
Clicking in the list will take you to that passage.

Otherwise, make sure you followed my previous instructions in the right document.

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I typed in exact phrases that I had written previously in the search bar but nothing came up. I think something must have wiped it out.

When you’ve hit Ctrl-Z in your document, was anything at all happening?
And are you sure you were doing it in the right document?

Nothing happened with the Ctrl + z
and I am sure it was the right document.

Then I regret to tell you that if nothing happened, you likely lost your text for good.

Lets work on preventing it from ever happening again.

My guess is that you are on a laptop, with a trackpad, and that you accidently selected then overwritten part of your text.
If that is your case, you need to block the trackpad.
See this thread in which I linked to a very convenient app to prevent this :

You may want to equip yourself with a good clipboard manager:

And last, I’ll encourage you to learn about snapshots and backups from the manual.

The only possibility otherwise left, but it is kind of far fetch, is that you’d be using “save as” rather than the normal save/backup procedure, and that having multiple versions of your project (which is bad), you would have added to, and would currently be looking at, the wrong one.

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Thanks for your help. I will certainly take all this info on board

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Recommend you set up a backup system.

Step 1: Create a new folder for backups that is different than where your main project file is saved. Under Preferences > Backup you can then select that backup folder and when it will backup. Suggest to check Manual save, increase from 5 saves, and check the date addition to the file name, and the compressed zip options. Now test it. Is it correctly creating that backup zip file every time you meet a condition in your backup settings (eg close project, open project if you checked that, manual save)? Good.

Step 2: Now that you have confirmed it’s working, I suggest you set up something like Google Drive or another preferred cloud provider to backup your new local backup folder instantly. For example, if you are saving the most recent 10 copies of your project in your new local backup folder, it will mirror them on your Google Drive project backup folder immediately. Now test it to ensure it is syncing backup zips correctly every time your project saves when you have told it to backup.

Step 3: Look and will notice that the Google Drive folder automatically sends the oldest copies to its Trash so the local backup and cloud backup folder are always identical. Google Drive keeps them for 30 days in Trash so you now have that as third disaster in recovery option in an emergency. Local. Google Drive. Google Drive trash.

Step 4: Finally, if it is an important project (PhD thesis; your latest best selling novel) it’s good to backup a scheduled manual backup of your most recent backup file (eg once a week or your preferred schedule) into an offline Long Term Backup folder on a USB drive or other drive. Now you have separate weekly snapshots, for example.

Notice how you now have multiple backups, in multiple locations, on multiple platforms, both local, cloud, and offline. That’s your objective when setting up a backup workflow.

I use a similar system but with the addition of Dropbox where my original project file is always synced in the cloud so it can be accessed on multiple devices. My local and Google drives then store my mirrored backup zips, and I have a manual step for Long Term Backup snap shots on a standard schedule. I may eventually automate this last step but I like having it detached from my automated syncing workflow across platforms so it’s completely separate and safe from some unanticipated corruption in my automated workflow.

This may seem like a lot but it’s really not at all. And many will choose not to do Step 4 though it’s a best practice. Everything is automated except the last Long Term backup folder step. And all you have to do is get in the habit of routinely checking that your local project folder, local project backup folder, and synced cloud backup folder are saving in unison.

Good luck!

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Is there any chance that you were writing in a folder, and that you have been looking for your writing in a file?

If so, try clicking on the folder icons to see if any writing is contained in any of those.

I hope you recover your writing.