Incremental Saves/Versions

I’m full of stupid questions this week! This one is about how incremental saving works. I’ve been a little confused about some things that I get pop-ups about, but felt like asking after seeing this thread about getting an unsaved file back.


According to the Krita Manual, incremental saves “are saves of the file you are working on with a new number, leaving alone the existing files on disk” and incremental backups “are copies of the file as it is on disk to a numbered backup, and while your file is saved under the current name.”

What this looks like on the directory and in Krita (from my experience) is that if you do an incremental save, a new file that has the name fileName_00X.kra is saved and Krita opens the incremental file in your current session (X counting up as more incrementals are made).

My workflow with Incremental Saves:

I’m putting this section in just in case it turns out I’m not using incremental saves properly. I’m using Krita 4.2.8 on Surface Pro.

I’ll start with a bit of a sketch then immediately save the file (ex. sketch.kra). Once i’m satisfied with it, I’ll make an incremental file to move onto lines (ex. sketch_001.kra). If I make a new decision or branch off before I move onto colouring, I’ll make a new incremental file (sketch_002.kra). Repeat until I finish the piece. This lets me have what is both a time-line and a decision tree in my file structure, so that I can run back to previous points.

My Questions:

  • If I save an incremental version then close Krita, the incremental file doesn’t appear in the open-recent menu. Is there a way to make it appear immediately? It seems to make sense to me that it would appear, since the latest increment would be the most recently opened file.
  • When I close an incremental version before saving (even if it’s not in the same session as when I made it, as in I opened it later), I’ve had it ask me if I want to save the original file (ex. if I edit sketch_001.kra and try to close without saving, Krita will ask if I want to save sketch.kra). I’ve confirmed that I didn’t have the original file open. Is this normal? Is the original file being mutated if I save the increment?

There’s no such thing as a stupid question because every question results in a learning experience, for someone :slight_smile:

Re. Your first question: It seems not but you can always ask for this to be done as a ‘Wishlist’ report. However, I think this is deliberate policy or you’d get a load of incrementally saved files in the list.

Re. Your second question: If you answer ‘yes’ to that question, it will be sketch_001.kra that gets updated, not sketch.kra, assuming that you were working on sketch.kra in the first place. sketch.kra never gets updated until you do a Save.

If you open an incremental version then work on it and do an incremental save, it increments the number and adds a suffix ‘a’ to it. If you carry on doing that sort of thing then you get suffix ‘b’, ‘c’, etc. If you do work and close, it will ask if you want sketch.kra to be updated and again, it updates the incremental version if you say ‘Yes’.

Personally, I find all that confusing. It’s fine for a straight historical timeline.
For a decision tree type of organisation, I prefer to do Save As sketchA.kra to give an obvious distinctly named ‘branch’.

Note: Please check all the above by simple tests because this may be a stupid answer.


Would be good to remove last ones when adding the new one :slight_smile:

I would really want to get the newest one on the list as well… and @Lynx3d said they want it, too.

Yeah, I use this feature a lot, but it’s because of how it works, it’s only good for linear history. I always use Save As when I want to make “a new branch”.

I got scared once that the file history didn’t mention my versions. Since then I prefer the “Save Incremental Backup” function.
But I just wrote a fix for that and created a merge request, which I wanted to do months ago but forgot about.

And like suggested I also just use “Save As…” now when I start a new phase, at that time I usually clean up a bit too, like remove reference images and guides I no longer need, merge some layers, or delete sketch variants I won’t continue for now etc.

Oh and when closing an usaved file, it shows the document title, not the .kra file name, that can be a bit confusing too, because it gets set automatically when it’s empty, but not not overwritten afterwards.

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