How to Create Snapshots on Multiple Documents in Scrivener

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One of the cool features in Scrivener is that it lets you take a snapshot of a document before making changes. This allows you to store a copy of the document at a specific point in time. But what if you want to create snapshots for more than one document at a time? There’s an easy way to do this.

Typically, snapshots are used to capture a copy of a single document or text item before you make changes so that you have a well-defined restore point to come back to should you change your mind. You can name each snapshot and compare it to the current text of the document.

But say you have suggestions back from a beta reader or development editor and you want to create a snapshot for each scene before making those changes. I call these milestone snapshots, where you’re marking a milestone in your project.

The concept is to select the text documents you want to snapshot and use the Documents menu to create them. A step-by-step guide is below.

Select the Documents

How you select your documents from the Binder depends on how you have your Scrivener project organized. You can use Label, Status, Keywords, or other custom metadata to search for text documents, so play with this until you find the right search criteria to select all the scenes / text documents of your manuscript (and ONLY the documents you want).

In my Binder, the text documents or scenes all have a Section Type of Scene, so in the Search drop-down, I select “Section Type” and enter the word “Scene” in the search bar. (Again, yours may differ.)

Once you see the list of your text documents, select them all.

  1. Click on the first item in the binder.
  2. Hold down the Shift key.
  3. Click on the last item in the binder.

Note: You can also select items from the Outliner or Corkboard view.

Create the Snapshots

With everything selected, click on the menu Documents > Snapshots > Take Titled Snapshots of Selected Documents and enter the title you want associated with this snapshot.

Examples of titles I’ve used include: First Draft, Pre Beta Edit, Pre Dev Edit

Note: You can do this without adding a title (Documents > Snapshots > Take Snapshots of Selected Documents), which will date stamp the snapshot with the date and time. But giving it a name tells you at a glance the purpose of this snapshot and helps you stay better organized.

Once you make changes in the document, you can see the differences between the text in the selected snapshot and your current document by clicking the Compare button on the Snapshot tab in the Inspector.

Happy Writing!

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