(I’m using the Mac version of Scrivener, v 2.2)
Today’s Quick Tip is about a feature I never use, but probably should use. Snapshots.
Snapshots are a kind of like versioning, not a back up in the traditional sense. A software developer will write a piece of software and call it 0.1, then the next is 0.2, 0.3, so on and so on, until they reach a stable release of 1.0. You can do something similar in Scrivener with your Scenes. When you have a Scene that you’re thinking about changing up or rewriting in any way, you can take a Snapshot of the current version and reference it later, or even revert back to it.
They don’t actually recommend doing a Snapshot with your entire manuscript – that’s more like a backup.
So, let me put that all into context for you. If I have a completed draft of my manuscript and I’m going to jump in and do a complete rewrite or new draft, personally, I would save the new draft with a new name, preserving the old draft. Book Name versus Book Name New Draft, for example.
If I just want to rewrite a scene, or even a chapter within my draft, I could use Snapshot to preserve the original while I change things up.
Let’s take a look at my sample project:
Notice that I have Chapter 1, Scene 1 selected in the Binder.
To take a Snapshot of this Scene, I choose Documents > Snapshots > Take Snapshots of Selected Documents
Now, I can see my Snapshots in the Inspector by clicking Documents > Snapshots > Show Snapshots:
The text is available in the lower half. If you take multiple Snapshots, they’re listed in the upper half:
At the top of the Snapshots pane in the Inspector, you have some options:
The ( + ) and ( – ) buttons let you quickly take a new Snapshot from the Scene you are working on, or removing a selected Snapshot from the list respectively. Compare is a little more interesting. This Compares the existing Scene to whichever Snapshot you have selected. You can Compare by Paragraph, by Clause or by Word:
Clicking Compare shows you how the Scene has changed (new/different text is in Blue & Underlined):
Rollback will revert your Scene back to whatever Snapshot you have selected in the Inspector:
As I said in the beginning, I don’t use this feature much, but I can see where it might come in handy.
More Scrivener Tips coming (every Monday?)
Don’t have Scrivener? You can try it free here (no, I don’t get paid for pointing you at them!).