The Black Bag

Strategic Usage of Snapshots in Scrivener

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

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Scrivener LogoI don’t normally write about Scrivener more than once a week so I won’t bore everyone with the same topic. But a situation arose that I thought I should really address.

Yesterday, someone who reads this blog asked for assistance with a Scrivener problem via Twitter. I was very humbled to be asked so I responded with a few suggestions as to what might be the fix (not knowing the precise details). In the end, the issue was resolved on the other end which was great.

Frustration stress and writers blockHowever, the problem brought up a subject I had planned on addressing in the near future regarding snapshots. Basically, the snapshot function works as a point in time backup of a document in which you are working. While Scrivener does make backups when you exit (unless you change this setting) and you can make backups whenever you want, a snapshot serves a more immediate purpose – a quick backup of current work to which you can easily rollback if necessary.

So, if you are going to make big changes to a document it might be worth your while to make a snapshot before doing so in order to get back to where you were without much trouble. Likewise, when adding blocks of content or trying to fix a problem it might be wise to make a snapshot to prevent lose of any current work.

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So how does it work? First turn on the Inspector by clicking on View, sliding to Layout and clicking on Inspector in the flyout menu. You can also turn it on via your keyboard with this command: Ctrl + Shift + I. The Inspector will appear on the right side.

Scirv Turn on Inspector

There are six buttons on the lower border, click on the second one from the right the get to Snapshots.From there you click on the + button to add a snapshot of the document in which you are working. It will show the snapshot with a date/time stamp. This is important should you make more than one snapshot. Before attempting to fix a problem it Scirv Inspect Snapshotsmight be good to take a snapshot. Should the fix work a second snapshot might also be good to have just in case it is needed. In that case you would use the – button to remove the oldest snapshot after highlighting it. Finally, you can use the Rollback button to go back to a previous document version.

So next time you’re about to make major document changes, take a snapshot. Then if something unexpected happens you don’t need to panic, just rollback to the original version.

Trading Knives 1Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Book & Blog Block Party. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about the tour as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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Scrivener Tips Pt. 2: Compiling

Compiling Conundrums

I’ve recently begun preparations for sending the manuscript of The Bow of Destiny to my editor. The manuscript needed compiling which I had never done for a book. I had compiled for a short story so that was rather easy. For a book there were a few more details required than I had previously experienced.

Manuscript Expectations

I wasn’t concerned with the format of my manuscript since it was consistent. However, I did want chapters without titles and a header. My first attempt did not work as I expected. The folder names became chapter titles and labeled scenes appeared in the text. This is likely because I originally used a general template rather than one specific to a novel. But no biggie, I started poking around and found settings in the compiler to help me get the manuscript to the appearance I wanted.

Custom Compiling

First, click on File and then Compile to open the Compiler:

Scrivener Compiler

Compiler MenuNote all the different categories on the left menu. Click on Contents and verify that everything for your manuscript is selected. You can use these to change settings in the compiler. When you start making changes it will change the “Format As:” to Custom.

For my purposes, the necessary changes were made by first clicking on Formatting and turning off all the check marks for title. This removed folder titles being used as chapter names so that only the chapter numbers remain.

To change the layout of a section click on a level to highlight it and then on the Selection Layout button.

Selection LayoutHere you can edit the beginning layout of a section. In my case I removed any text I didn’t want and added a few details.

Next I wanted to change my header. To do this click on Page Settings from the left menu of the Compiler and then type in or change the header settings. My screen shot above also shows an example. Not that “Not on Page 1” is not checked by default. I checked that and made sure that page one was counter by checking the second box.

 

Saving and Presets

Choose Compile FormatTo save these custom settings click Save and Close on the lower right. When you re-open the Compiler and choose Custom from the menu these will remain. However, you can also save your custom presets by clicking Save Presets in the lower left.

Choose Compile Preset

Once you’ve saved a preset you can load it by clicking on the Load Preset button in the lower left and scrolling down the list of standard presets to My Presets and choosing the one you want based on your needs.

Load Compile Presets

I hope this helps when you compile a manuscript. There are many other settings so take time to learn those according to your project parameters. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.


To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomon

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

080916_1940_AWildNightR3.jpg

Screenshots from my blog project

Just as a note: I am not affliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.

 

 

Formatting Pt. 4: Creating New Scrivener Presets

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

In previous posts on this topic I covered formatting for an e-book. using styles in Word and creating bookmarks/hyperlinks using Word to enhance your manuscript for publication. But I also mentioned using preset styles in Scrivener so I’m covering that today.

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Much like with Word you can use preset format styles to easily change formatting in your Scrivener documents. These are located in the Format toolbar at the top of the editor:

Scriv Preset Styles

However, if you want to create additional presets to use while writing, here are the steps to do that:

1. Create some content with the formatting you wish to use or open a document in Scrivener that already has this formatting.

2. Make sure you’ve click into the formatted area you want to use for a preset.

3. Click on Format, Formatting, New Preset from Selection:

Scriv New Preset

4. Name the preset and click OK.

To use presets you have created click within the content paragraph or highlight all the content to be changed and select it from the list of presets in the formatting toolbar (see the first screenshot above) or in the Formatting menu click Apply Preset to choose what you want. You can also delete presets from the Formatting menu should you find you no longer need a preset. Once you have your preset(s) created you can also apply them to your document templates and project templates to get to work even faster.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyHave you used presets in Scrivener before? Do you have specific presets created that may help other Scrivener users?

I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Book & Blog Block Party. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about the tour as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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