Writing History: Remove/Delete a date?

I love the writing history feature! Is there anyway to remove a particular date from the list and/or the “average words written per day” calculation? I pasted in more than 6,000 words on my first “writing day,” and that’s thrown the average way off (although it makes me look a lot better!).

There isn’t a way to do it in the front-end, but the file that stores this data is a simple XML file that can be easily edited in a plain-text editor:

  1. Locate the project in Finder, and right-click on it, selecting the compression option. This will create a quick .zip backup in case you need it.
  2. Right-click again, and select “Show Package Contents”.
  3. In the window that appears, drill down into the Files subfolder.
  4. Open the “writing.history” file in a plain-text editor (TextEdit will work fine if you don’t have another, just make sure to not switch it to RTF mode).
  5. You’ll see a bunch of lines in here all starting with “<Day…”. Each represents an entry in the list, with the date on the end for your reference. Look for the date you want to remove (YYYY-MM-DD format), and delete the line. Triple-click will fully and safely select a single line.
  6. Save the file, close it and reopen the project. You should now see the 6,000 word entry removed from the list in Writing History.

You can trash the backup .zip you created if you want.

Worked perfectly – thanks for the thorough instructions! What a great community of users. Thanks again!

Hmmm… I tried the same thing and when I reload the app, the rogue history item comes back again. I tried deleting the line, no luck. I even deleted the history file itself (this is day 1) and it somehow comes back with today’s total in it… I even tried editing the line to set it to zero words and zero characters. But somehow when I reopen the file, the 7000+ words counted are added back in. :confused:

(Like the user above, I pasted in 7000+ words of content from earlier word drafts into the project. But I don’t want that to count as actual writing production today.)

Has this changed since this exchange in May? Is there some other way to clear this item?

To get one obvious potential problem out of the way: you are trying this with the project closed, correct? If it is open then it will merely be overwriting your manual edit with the version it had in memory while open, when you reload.

Correct. I’ve saved the project, closed it, and then closed Scrivener before editing the XML file.

I’m wondering if maybe this won’t be an issue tomorrow after I’m done with Day 1? Maybe I can edit it after the day resets and it don’t keep messing with the count?

Thanks for that - it worked for me. I have a question and a suggestion. The question is why if it is an XML file, it does not have the XML extension (I am using Windows current beta, so found file under Windows Explorer.)? Not that big a deal, but had to then find Brackets my text editor to open it instead of Brackets being already assigned to open XML extensions. So just curious as to why no XML extension.

My suggestions is that I have been working hard to evolve a template and so I created a new project from the template, it dragged along all the writing history that went into the template. I can understand for the template project itself, that you may want to keep the writing history, but once you ‘Save As Template,’ maybe the option should be provided to keep or discard the writing history? Or when creating a new project from a template, that you are provided the option to keep or discard the writing history. It surprised me to find out that my new project had significant writing history dragged along with it.

BTW, I was able to get around it doing as you suggested which was to wipe out the entire writing history (every day, but left the file with the writing history wrapper) and then saved again as template and then when I opened a new project from the template, I had zero writing history which is what I expected.

I apologize if this treatment is different on Mac (being I found this on the Mac Board!) than with windows, but expect since it is a cross-platform file that is is handled the same way, but I know that is not true for each and every feature.)

Thanks for listening and considering the suggestion in some future release.

I’m not sure if there is a really good answer as to why the extension is not .xml in all cases. There are a good number of Scrivener files that are XML which use different extensions, like project template files in fact, exported compile settings, layouts, etc. I’ve never heard it said that all XML files need to end in .xml, though I understand Windows is a bit more restrictive when it comes to extensions than *NIX systems are, so maybe that’s advice that is platform-specific.

As for the project template system saving writing history: I’d post that in the beta forum as an actual bug. It shouldn’t be doing that for all of the good reasons you bring up. :slight_smile:

There is nothing about the Windows platform that dictates files that happen to be formatted in some variant of XML end in the .xml extension, any more than files that happen to be plain text files must end in .txt. What drives the file extension is the purpose that you put it to and which program you want those files associated with for specific default actions.

I will test out the Save As Template on both my Mac and Windows machines and once I have actual results and see if they work the same or differently, then I will raise as bug in the appropriate forum. Thanks.

I also really like writing stories. At the beginning of my writing it was difficult for me and I often sought professional help for service, but now I have become much better and more professional in this matter.

That’s fascinating. Would you care to share with us how your newfound professionalism extends from a particular website, like maybe one that will write essays for you?