Despite saving my work every five minutes or so, it really sucks losing five minutes of intensive editing (REALLY sucks losing 10 minutes of it) when the beach ball of death keeps appearing. It happens when I click on PDFs in my research folder sometimes. Unpredictable when. I wait a long time and it never fixes; I have to force quit and lose the work I just did. ):
MacOS Sierra 10.12.6/ 13-inch mid 2012 Macbook Pro
How big are the PDFs?
How much memory do you have, and how much free disk space?
How long does it take to load the PDFs outside of Scrivener, say in Preview?
I have found that this is not a problem with Scrivener itself, but a problem with the PDFS and how the PDFS have been originally created and set up for display. I have a very large Scrivener file currently (it’s sitting at around 37gig) and it’s full of a lot of my research.
A program that might interest you, that might help store and save this research, is called Curio 13. You should look into moving the large PDFs into Curio 13 so that you can save your data and so that the PDF generation no longer causes Scrivener to stall.
I know a lot of people like to just stick to one program, but for large projects, it truly is best to have your larger PDFs in a different program or in a folder that you can access externally.