Accessing Dropbox Files

I use Scrivener on a Mac, iPad and iPhone. I sync with Dropbox, and the syncing works smoothly without issues.

However, I’m finding that the iOS versions of Scrivener don’t seem to play very happily with Dropbox.

Specifically, when I have a file on my Dropbox somewhere that I wish to add to a Scrivener project, the file browser that allows me to select files to add is unreliable.

After selecting the down-pointing arrow icon in the binder, and choosing “Browse…” option, I can reliably access files “On My iPad” , on iCloud Drive or Google Drive. Selecting Dropbox, however, is not reliable. Sometimes it opens correctly, but not always. Sometimes it hangs, and (if I’m patient enough) the Dropbox file browser opens. But not always. Sometimes it fails completely.

Any thoughts?


This would be a Dropbox/iOS issue, outside of Scrivener’s control. Scrivener is just using the hooks that iOS provides.

Note that this is a different mechanism from project synchronization, which iOS Scrivener handles internally via the Dropbox API.

I think Katherine is quite right about this, and I can tell you that I experience it often when trying to use Dropbox files in a similar browse-and-open manner in other iPad apps.

In theory, Dropbox should just transparently download any file it manages, out of the cloud at the time you need it. But indeed this doesn’t always happen.

One thing you can do is go into Dropbox itself, and view the file in Dropbox itself - its own viewer. If the file is sizeable enough, you’ll see some animation from Drobox as it downloads it.

Once that download activity is finished, you should find the file present in Scrivener as well.

Dropbox offers/pushes a subscription-paid feature to have your files ‘always available’. This seems just what you’d generally not prefer on any storage-limited device, and as well, I think there was none of this problem with auto-retrieval before they implemented this new subscription-taxed system. For what it’s worth.

Scrivener’s internal/API access shows Dropbox can indeed operate seamlessly, and of course these days iCloud does as far as I know effortlessly.

So, could you put your images etc. on iCloud perhaps? You can have that ability even on Windows, using the iCloud app there which Apple provides…

Best fortune, as I always think it :slight_smile: