Help:Draft Saves

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Save drafts while editing a profile. Do a full save when you're done.


Why We Save Drafts

  • To protect you from losing your work accidentally or because of a computer problem.
  • To tell other members that you're editing the profile and prevent them from editing it at the same time.
  • To simplify activity feeds so that it's easier for other members to see what you contributed to the profile today. If you make multiple full saves while editing, it is harder to understand what you contributed.

Draft Saves vs. Full Saves

In the "Save Changes" section of a profile's edit page you will see two buttons: "Draft Save" and "Full Save: Commit Changes."

Click "Draft Save" if you've made changes but you're still editing. This will save a complete version of the profile on our server in a special database of uncommitted drafts.

When you are finished editing for now, click the "Full Save" button. A full save commits your changes to the profile and creates a permanent "history item" that summarizes your changes in activity feeds. When you do a full save, include a change explanation.

We recommend that you don't leave a profile without committing your changes with a full save. If you find more sources or think of more improvements later you can do another full save.

Comparing Draft Edits vs. Fully Saved Data

Line by line comparison

When there is a draft — or at any time while working on a profile — you can see exactly what is different between the uncommitted draft and the fully saved live version of the profile. Look for the small link below the "Draft Save" button that says "[compare draft with saved information]."

You'll see a "diff comparison" table that parallels what you see when comparing fully saved versions of profiles in the change history activity feed.

Color cues on a draft

In addition, while you are working on a draft there are small color cues to help you identify what is new or different on the draft. A form field with uncommitted edits will have an orange box around it. Similarly, the text box will be highlighted in orange if the biography or sources have been edited and status buttons will have a light orange background.

Protecting and Preserving Drafts

Drafts are saved in a special database on our servers. They are just as safe as full saves, but they are only temporarily saved and protected. Here are more details.

Automatic draft saves

While you are working on a profile, drafts are automatically saved every 60 seconds. This is for an added level of protection, in case you forget to save.

A draft will also be saved automatically if you click the link below the save buttons to compare your draft edits with the fully saved information.

You can manually click the "Draft Save" button whenever you want.

Full protection for 30 minutes

Other members cannot edit a profile when you have an uncommitted draft.

This protection lasts for 30 minutes after your last edit. More precisely, it is 30 minutes after the last time a draft was saved automatically or manually with new changes.

This high level of protection ends after 30 minutes, or when you commit your changes with a full save.

Preservation for one week

If you don't commit your changes, e.g. because you forget or because of a computer or network problem, your draft will be saved for seven days.

If you return to the profile within seven days you will be prompted to reopen the draft or discard it.

If another member attempts to edit the profile they will also be told about your draft. It will be suggested that they contact you. They can choose to open your draft or remove or replace it.

Accessing drafts after an accident

We don't recommend intentionally keeping uncommitted drafts. When you are ready to close your browser window, do a full save.

If there was an accidental interruption in your editing, we recommend going to your contributions list and visiting the last profiles you were working on.

One draft per profile

There can only be one open draft per profile. You cannot maintain multiple versions of the same profile. If you save a new draft, it replaces your old draft.

Other members cannot have their own draft while you have an open draft. If another member who has the right to edit a profile attempts to edit it, they will be told that there is an uncommitted draft and we will recommend that they contact you. If it has been 30 minutes since your last draft change, the other member will be forced to wait. After 30 minutes, it will be up to them how they wait. They can open your draft and continue where you left off, or replace your draft.

Protecting Related Edits

The protections described above apply to directly editing a profile through its edit page and to edits through GEDCOMpare and WikiTree X. There are also protections on editing family and merging.

Protection from adding family members

You cannot add family members to a profile when you have an open, uncommitted draft. This helps avoid accidents and prevents activity feeds from having confusing out-of-sequence edits.

Before adding a family member, do a full save.

If you forget to do the full save, the system will alert you to the uncommitted draft and you'll be prompted to return to it or discard it and proceed to add the family member.

If another member created the draft and has modified it within the past 30 minutes you will not be able to add the family member. If the uncommitted draft was last edited more than 30 minutes ago, you can contact the member or choose to open the draft or discard it.

Merging profiles with drafts

When you are merging two profiles the system will check if either profile has an open, uncommitted draft.

If the draft was last edited within the past 30 minutes, it will need to be committed with a full save or discarded before the merge can be completed. If you are the member who created the draft you will be given this option. If you are not the member who created the draft you will need to wait to complete the merge.

If the uncommitted draft was last edited more than 30 minutes ago, it will automatically be discarded.

Deleting Drafts

Automatic removal

To summarize the ways in which drafts are deleted programmatically:

  • Drafts are cleared when the changes are committed with a full save.
  • Drafts replace each other. There can only be one draft version of a profile.
  • Drafts are cleared if a profile is deleted.
  • Draft created by a member are deleted if they close their account.
  • Uncommitted drafts are removed after seven days. This is very rare since members do not intentionally maintain open drafts.

How to manually delete a draft

You don't usually need to delete a draft. They are cleared automatically as described above.

You may want to delete a draft if you have changed your mind about the edits and want to start fresh or enable others to edit the profile.

To delete, click the small link below the save buttons that says "[delete draft and return to profile without saving]."

You can also:

  1. Close the browser window on the edit page. Your browser may warn you that will lose changes.
  2. Return to the edit page and select the option to discard your draft.

This page was last modified 12:59, 25 March 2023. This page has been accessed 39,542 times.