November 2, 2016

Draft Control Is a Safety Net for My Writing

Draft ControlDraft Control

Draft Control on the Mac App Store
Price: 39.99

Doesn't happen often.

You try out an application and it becomes a crucial component in your workflow almost instantly. You wonder how you worked without this tool in your arsenal. Draft Control is one of those.

"Draft Control works alongside your word processor, tracking changes over time. Every change is archived, searchable, and restorable."

It is simple in its implementation. You assign a document or a folder of documents to Draft Control. It tracks changes to the document/s. You get to see every change and restore every change. That is it.

It supports the following formats:

  • Microsoft Word (.docx)
  • Pages (.pages)
  • LibreOffice, OpenOffice (.odt)
  • Scrivener (.scriv)
  • Mellel (.mellel)
  • Markdown (.md)
  • Rich Text (.rtf)
  • LaTeX
  • All plain text formats (including but not limited to: .txt, .tex, .html, .css, .json, .fountain, etc.)

macOS has a feature called Versions which does something similar. It gives you a look at different iterations of the same document. It is not as useful as Draft Control and not widely supported by applications. Ulysses, Pages, and Mellel supports it. But they are the exceptions. None of the established text editors for instance have adopted this feature from the OS. In my research, the only text editor who supports the OS versions feature is CotEditor. Notably, Scrivener, a tool which is popular among writers, gets support from Draft Control and doesn't support the macOS feature.

Draft Control supports iCloud and that makes it possible for you to have the same document tracked by two computers. You can work on the same document in two machines and the changes are tracked by Draft Control for both of the computers through iCloud. Draft Control also supports documents hosted through Dropbox, Box or Google Drive.

Draft Control makes it possible for me to work on my document without worrying about losing any of the additions/changes I make to it in the process of writing and editing. It gives me the ability to go back in time and undo edits and additions and revive sections which I rewrote and now think were better in their original form. It is my safety net. I can't imagine writing without it.

Draft Control has a detailed help page here. I am not going to repeat the information available there. Please read this section to get complete use out of the product. It is a pleasure to use a well documented product.

I recommend Draft Control heartily for anyone who cares about keeping track of changes to their documents.

A review copy was provided by the developer for this review.

macosxguru at the gmail thingie.

writing versions macOS

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