The folder selector at the top lets you select what part of your Dropbox you want to inspect. You can choose any folder in your Dropbox, including your entire Dropbox. Revisions will display all activity in the selected folder, including any activity in any subfolders of the selected folder. Deleted folders can also be selected but are shown in gray.
Use the date selectors to set the time period you are interested in. The slider sets the time threshold that determines when individual edits are clustered together in the activity timeline (for more on grouping, see below). After updating any settings in this box, press Reload to reload the activity with the updated settings.
The main view of Revisions is the activity timeline. The timeline shows all edits to files inside the selected folder and within the selected dates, in reverse chronological order (latest edits at the top, oldest edits at the bottom). At the most basic level, the timeline is made up of atomic edits (individual creation, deletion, or modification of any single file). To see these, drag the group threshold slider all the way to the left (no grouping) and press Reload. To give a better overview of the activity, these atomic edits are grouped together. When the timeline is loaded, any activity that occurs with a temporal gap no larger than the selected threshold is combined into a group. The grouping can be manually adjusted: Select a single group (or a set of groups by shift-clicking) and click Ungroup to split into atomic edits. Select two or more groups and click Group to combine the selected groups. Note that large groups (involving eight files or more) can be scrolled using the scroll wheel or the trackpad.
To build up your activity timeline, Revisions needs to index the version information of all your Dropbox files. If you have a large number of files in your Dropbox, this can take a while even with an excellent network connection. Progress is displayed under the activity timeline. Note that you can use most functionality of Revisions even when indexing is on-going. Once indexing is complete the app keeps itself up-to-date when running and will only need to index the differential changes on each launch.
You can easily view, download, restore, or diff (view changes) of individual files. The buttons immediately to the right of the filename function as follows:
view - Displays the selected version of the file in the system default app for this file type.
download - Downloads the selected version of the file to a location you specify.
restore - Makes the selected version of the file the current version on Dropbox (and if you have the Dropbox desktop sync client active, also updates the copy on your disk to this version)
Above, what "selected version" refers to depends on the edit type. For created files, this refers to the state of the file after all edits in that edit group. For deleted files, this refers to the state of the file before any of the edits in that edit group. For modified files, the user is asked to select either the version prior to, or the version after the edits in the group. Temporary files (files that were created and then deleted inside the span of the edit group) have no buttons. Ungroup to perform any file operations on such files.
Finally, for modified files, you can view the detailed edits by clicking the diff button. This will open both the version prior to the edits in the group and the version after the edits in the group, allowing you to compare the files. If you have a diff program installed and selected (set in Preferences), and if the file type can be compared using the selected diff program, the details of the edit is shown using the diff program of your choice.
Sometimes things go wrong and you need to undo a set of changes you made to your files. With Revisions, that's easy: Using the Group undo button at the far right of any edit group, you can undo all the edits in that group. This will restore any file mentioned in the edit group to the state it was in prior to the edits in that edit group. The app will warn you if any of the files has been modified after the selected edit group, because restoring such a file to the earlier version would also undo any such later changes.
One of the signature features of Revisions is that you can obtain a copy of an entire directory (including any subdirectories) at the state it was in at a user-specified point in time. To do this, first wait for all indexing activity to finish, and then select the folder you are interested in using the folder selector at the top. Finally, move the pointer over the small space between any pair of adjacent edit groups, and click on one of the folder action buttons that appears, to download or restore a folder to that particular point in time.
Who edited what files?
The editing user is displayed at the top of each edit group. For groups containing edits by more than one person, each editing person will be listed. In such cases you can ungroup to see more details. In the Preferences dialog you can assign a nickname to each user, this nickname is then displayed in the activity timeline.
Filter (ignore) certain files and folders
You can filter certain files or folders from display in the activity view, based on file- or foldername or extension matching. This is useful if your Dropbox contains certain folders or certain types of files that are updated often but are not of primary interest to you. From the preference pane you can access a simple interface for setting up the necessary filters. You can decide to filter out a specific folder by matching its filename exactly, or you can for instance have Revisions ignore all files ending with .temp. In addition to basic filters, Revisions allows filtering by regular expressions matches to the full paths of the files, for pro users with specific needs.
Setting your preferences
In the Preferences window you can set the following preferences.
Launch on login - Launch the app automatically when you start up your mac. This is recommended as it makes Revisions available in your menu bar whenever you need it, and it will be able to index any edits to your Dropbox in the background.
On app startup, remember - Makes Revisions remember the selected folder and dates as they were set when the app was last quit.
Dropbox account type - Set this appropriately to let Revisions know the length of your available history. All free and most paid Dropbox accounts have 30 days of history. Extended Version History is a feature available to Dropbox Pro accounts for an additional fee. All Dropbox for Business accounts have unlimited history.
Allow Revisions to send anonymous usage data back to the developer? - Such data is needed to fix any errors, optimize the app's performance, and improve Revisions. No personally identifiable information (such as account names or email addresses), no files or file metadata (such as filenames), or any other sensitive information is ever sent. Nevertheless, the decision is yours. Thanks for your help!
Viewing details of edits - Select how to compare two different versions of the same document. Revisions currently natively integrates with Araxis Merge, BBEdit, Changes, Kaleidoscope, and TextWrangler, and you can connect other file comparison (diff) software by a custom script. Alternatively, you can choose to simply have Revisions open the two versions separately and let you do your own comparison.
Setup nicknames - Revisions can show the name of the editing user next to the edits. Such names can, however, be long or cumbersome. Here, you can set a shorter nickname for each user.
Setup filters - Set your filters, i.e. files or folders for Revisions to ignore. See above.
Keep panel open until explicitly closed - Makes the Revisions panel stay open even if you click outside the panel. The panel is explicitly closed by clicking again on the menu bar icon.