How do I use snapshots?

 

How do I use snapshots?

I don't fully understand the snapshots feature. What are they used for? What can I do with them?

Answer

Overview

Conceptually, snapshots are a frozen point-in-time representation of your project. As such, they are useful if ever you simply want to go back to a period when your project was in a different state.

For instance, when writing your first draft, you might take a snapshot if you choose to change a major aspect of your story (such as changing the setting from one city to another -- something that would require a lot of edits in a lot of different places).

Or, during the revision process, you might save a snapshot before every single round of revisions, so you can go back and look at what was revised. You might save a snapshot before having an editor work on your project.

Or you might simply save a snapshot once a month.

Wordslingr also uses snapshots for some of its key features. The sharing feature makes heavy use of snapshots. If you want to get feedback from your friends or beta readers or anyone else, you create a snapshot (or the share dialog will create one for you). It is this snapshot that they see. You can continue working on your live project, and they will see the snapshot only as you created it when you shared it with them (this allows you to share multiple revisions with people over time). When they leave comments and suggestions, it will be on this snapshot, which you can later go in and view.

Using Snapshots

To open your list of snapshots, navigate to the Project menu and click on Snapshots. The snapshots dialog will appear:

SnapshotsDialog-Full

This dialog is divided into two sections: "Take a new snapshot" on top and "Existing snapshots" on the bottom.

Take a new snapshot

The "Take a new snapshot" section allows you to create snapshots. There are two fields, the "Snapshot name" which you can fill in and give a memorable name, and the "Include" field.

The "Include" field is a dropdown with two options. The first option is to include everything ("all files and folders marked for publication") and the second option is to choose which files and folders to include in the snapshot. You would mainly use this option if you are want to elicit feedback on a scene or chapter from a friend. You can share a snapshot that contains only what you are ready for your partner to read, and the rest of the project will be hidden from them.

SnapshotsDialog-ChooseFolders

Existing snapshots

SnapshotsDialog-Existing

The existing snapshots section shows a list of the snapshots you have created. It also shows the number of comments that have been made to the snapshot. These would be comments that were created by other people with whom you shared that snapshot.

For each snapshot, you have the option to view or delete that snapshot. Viewing takes you to the read-only view screen where you can see comments other people have made on your snapshot.