Best Way To Sync Between Computers

Im looking forward to the iPad version to eliminate this step. I have a desktop iMac and a Macbook Pro portable system. Im traveling quite a bit these days and want to sync between the two devices so Im using the latest rev of my file. What is the best way to do this? Dropbox? I don’t see a feature that says where to direct saves. I saw one post that said to backup to dropbox so that is already in place but what about the primary file?

Consider just iCloud syncing between devices before the iPad version is ready?

The “best way” may be elusive, but I’ll tell you how I do it.

But first, what do you mean by “my file” and later “the primary file” ??
My guess is that you are writing everything in a single file
Ending in .scriv, and technically that is a Scrivener project.

The left hand Binder of that project will show many items,
each of which is a file. Hence many files make up a project
And you may create many different projects, according to your needs.
The project-files format is what makes Scrivener difficult to synch.

I think the safest method is to set up a Dropbox account.
And create there a folder called Scrivener Projects
When you stop writing, use the File: Backup: Backup to… command.
(Actually, you are backing up your project)
Direct the backup to your Dropbox folder,
And check the box that says “Backup as ZIP file.”
The backup is compressed, and it has a date/time stamp.
Which shows it is the latest copy.

At your other computer, open the Dropbox folder and
Option-drag the latest file to that machine.
That leaves a copy on Dropbox.
Delete the old project file, work in the new one
When done, reverse the process: backup a ZIP file to Dropbox.
I’ve also backed up ZIP files to Box and Google Drive.
Personally, I avoid iCloud since for me it’s been unstable.

The key thing is always ZIP the project; that’s the best way to synch secure copies.

Druid’s is the absolute safest way to do this. If you are risk averse when it comes to your writing, then this is the way to go.

Others do find it possible to just move the project to a dropbox folder and edit it there directly. I do this, following the guidelines from “Scrivener Everywhere” in the manual to prevent conflicts. There are some sync services that don’t do as well as Dropbox as reported by others (I haven’t experimented much myself). It could be just down to people not paying attention to the what the manual says and creating conflicts, but if you really want to follow a well-trod path, then Dropbox is the way to go. Just be aware that if you do move your “live” project to dropbox, you must be prepared to open the package format and look inside for “conflicted” files and resolve the issue with them if you (or the dropbox service) ever slip up.

Thanks for this helpful procedure, and I just need clarification on what is surely a clear explanation to more experienced users. When you say “Delete the old project file”, do you mean delete the copy that was left on Dropbox? Or delete the copy on the other computer after first “saving as”, so as to create a fresh template. It sounds obvious, because you wouldn’t want to delete the file that you just dragged into your other computer. In fact the whole point is to use the dragged file in the other computer as your new template for continuing work at that location.

Thanks for any clarification - I guess the general thought is that after the item is dragged from one computer to another, whatever copy is left behind should be deleted. That means only the very latest draft is still alive at any given point in time, with all prior versions deleted. Is this the intent here?


Here’s a graph of the typical synch situation:

A----------> Dropbox --------> B

Computer A passes ZIP file to DBox, Computer B downloads it.
At that point, B should delete any previous project file.
When work on B is done, reverse the process:
ZIP the project file and backup to DBox.
When transferring to A, delete or overwrite the previous file.

At least that’s what I do.
If you want to keep an archive of all previous files,
Then preserve the date/time stamp titles that Scrivener supplies.
If you do that, you may eventually use up your free DBox space.
My preference is to keep a simple title for the project.
Like “patagonia.scriv” and it’s the same on A, DBox, and B

You may do that by typing in the name in the dialog box
But Amber taught me a trick: click on that file name in DBox
And it’s written into the file name window of the Save dialog

So you think of DBox as a transfer station between A and B
With each computer having the latest version of your project file.
Hope that’s clear?