backup via email

I’m a new, very happy user–so grateful to Keith and Amber, and to everyone who has posted questions and answers to this forum. But enough brown-nosing–my question regards backing up my .scriv files. I have auto backups scheduled through my Backjack subscription, but am curious about whether I can also back up my .scriv files by emailing them from my Mac mail account to my yahoo account. I notice I can attach the .scriv icon to my emails as easily as if that icon only represented one Word document, which makes me think it is a viable backup method. Am I kidding myself or is the “emailing the .scriv icon from one email account to another” a viable backup method for my Scrivener project files?
Thanks in advance for any answers, and I hope the way I’ve phrased this makes sense!
Becky in Washington DC

Don’t email the .scriv file. On a Mac, it looks like an ordinary file, but it is actually just a special kind of folder. What you really want to do is use Scrivener’s “Backup Project To” feature in the file menu. Do that, choose a name, and make sure the little “Backup as ZIP file” is selected. That’s the file you want to send. Not only is it safe to transfer to any kind of computer, it will be quite a bit smaller than the original project file.

One point of concern. Some web mail applications are pretty aggressive when it comes to investigating the contents of ZIP archives. I do not know anything about Yahoo! Mail, but I have had problem with zip files using Gmail in the past. So you’ll definitely want to test and make sure that the zip file works and you get a valid Scrivener project after downloading it from the email attachment area, before you trust it as a backup.

Just curious, when you say “mac mail account,” you don’t mean you have a .mac account, do you? ( If so, I’d imagine there’s any number of ways you could copy your project files to your iDisk, both leaving them there for backup, or retrieving them from the iDisk to any Mac or PC.

If you meant something other than .mac, of course, nevermind. :wink:

Amber – are .scriv files intact copied to an iDisk? I don’t see why they shouldn’t be …

I don’t have a .mac account, so I actually don’t know if Apple’s WebDAV implementation supports bundles. It would be kind of surprising if it did not. But once again, the back up feature in Scrivener will produce a smaller file. Even if you have a large iDisk account, it will mean transfer times are quicker, and you can archive many more projects before running out of space. There really is no reason to archive un-zipped .scriv files, in my mind. It’s easy to make them, and easy to double-click and restore them later.

But, if you do want to just copy the .scriv file, make certain the Scrivener project is closed before copying it. That is true no matter where the .scriv file is being copied. Certain scores get settled when a project is closed. Moving projects around that are open can lead to grief. And as always, test before trusting any backup method. :slight_smile: Spending half an hour making sure that storage and retrieval work flawlessly can save one many tears.

Thanks, Amber.

Actually, one thing I’ve been curious about is whether you can leave a .scriv project ON your iDisk and access it there, so you can just open and work on your document from any computer that’s got your iDisk mounted on it. :slight_smile:

I just haven’t had a chance to try it out, though. Sadly it’ll be awhile before this freelance project is done and I have time for any writing again. :frowning: So I dunno if it’ll work at all, or if it’d be too slow in the access time to be really useful, or what. So, it’s an exercise I’m saving for another day. :wink:

I second Amber’s advice. I own a .Mac account, and I use it mainly for backups (and sending friends snarky iCards). I would not try to work from a .Mac file, however. It’s too slow, and you’re at the mercy of network traffic.

Instead, ZIP your Scriv file before uploading it. You may do it through Scrivener’s Backup Project command, or in the Finder’s File: Create Archive command. If you are working between two machines, make the ZIP file after each session, park it at .Mac, then download, decompress, and scriven away. Of course, you must work only with the latest version of the file. That’s why the dated titles of the Backup Project command are useful.

There’s also a way to set up a synchronized duplicate of the iDisk on your desktop. You do that through the .Mac command in System Preferences. It’s handy, but a space hog on the hard drive. It also slowed my backup software, until I told it to ignore that particular file

Amber and Cooner and Druid,
Thank you for your replies. In answer to Cooner’s question, I don’t have a .mac account, my phrase “mac mail” was just my imprecise newbie way of referring to the fact that I’ve got a pop account (not even sure that is the right term) on my Macbook.
I think I’m going to take a fourfold backup path (I feel quite Buddhist saying it that way!):

  1. I’ll “zip up” scriv files as Amber suggested before emailing them to my yahoo account–and Amber, thanks for the reminder to check out if it works. I’m happy to report my yahoo account handled the zipped files smoothly.
  2. My .scriv files are currently housed in “My Documents” on my computer, and every day (I know, I’m anal) my Backjack backups up everything new in “My Documents,” so the scriv files will also get backed up that way, into offsite, online storage, without the zip file, because I have the space on my backjack account to “hang loose” in that respect :slight_smile:
  3. I’ll back up to a keychain drive whenever I think of it.
  4. Can’t resist printing out my deathless prose into hard copies from time to time.
    Happy weekend everyone, and again, thank you!


Wecome to The Little Shop of Horrors :blush: sorry! I meant Scrivener :wink:

" …deathless prose…" I wouldnt mind having a go at that, unless its what I already do under a more derogatory name.:wink:

Take care



You might search for a discussion threat here for Mozy, which is a free backup service. You sign up, tell it which folders to back up, and at your command or schedule backs up your data (encrypted) to their servers.

It’s worked really well for me, and a I believe for other Scrivener users.

Good luck.