Best way to sync multiple projects on many machines

Hi, folks.

What’s the best way to sync multiple Scrivener projects across multiple machines?

At different times, I create (and modify) projects across four machines in three locations. None of them is on the same network (wired or wireless). No rhyme or reason as to which machine I use to do what.

Optimally, I’d also like to maintain Word formatting when up- and downloading from Word across all the different machines as well. (I’ve noticed that Scrivener doesn’t especially enjoy ligatures, a major failing in my opinion.)

Ideally, I’d like to move back and forth between and among Scrivener and Word, on multiple machines, with a minimum of hassle.

I’ve been using thumb drives, which is not exactly elegant, though it seems to (sort of) do the trick.

What are other folks doing?

Thanks for any help.


If you do a search on the forum for Dropbox, you will find a lot of posts about it. There are one or two “gotchas” that you need to be careful about. Personally, I think I would just use the thumb drives. Scrivener uses the OS X text engine, so there is nothing they can do about ligatures – it’s all handled by the system, as far as I know. If I were you, I’d try and keep my writing in Scrivener as long as possible, and only use a word processor right at the end to polish the layout. Moving back and forth is a recipe for multiple pains in the neck, in my view. Scrivener doesn’t know anything about styles as implemented by Word, for example, so if you like using styles in Word (for tables of contents, heading levels, and so forth) you may run into a lot of work if you go back and forward. Ordinary formatting should be retained. But as I say, I’d try to keep things in Scrivener till the last moment, unless you are only working on short documents with a simple structure. A long book with lots of sub-sections would not be easy to move back and forth in one block.

Cheers, Martin.

I’m in the camp that doesn’t think Dropbox is all that risky. I just keep in mind that there’s a server out there which must be given all my changes before I leave one computer (or put it to sleep, or shut it down…), and when I sit down at the next computer and boot it up, I have to be sure an wait until all possible changes to my dropbox folder have been downloaded before I do anything.

If you operate like that, then you’ll be fine, and not at all inconvenienced. I do recommend that you do automatic backups on close, however. It just takes one slip-up to really confuse matters. I also keep those on dropbox, but that folder is also backed up on my Time Machine drive, so it’s available in multiple places with almost no effort.

I’ve been using Dropbox for years and never had any problems. I can’t say that about many things.

Finally got around to installing Dropbox on my computers and iPhone, and it seems to be working very well! No problems yet. Syncing three novels in various stages of completion and complexity.

(Still making my thumb drive backups, just in case!)

Just recently figured out I could use “Document Notes” to write snarky asides to myself… put “unofficial” references and such in there. Like “Sassco Electronics, 1015 King Street” when I want to remind myself what a building looked like in 1970.

Somebody had the idea to find Web pictures that look like characters. So I can have them staring at me from the Inspector as I write. Only problem with that is that there aren’t any movie stars who look like my characters. So, being a Photoshop “expert” (ha Ha Ha), I take hairdo from star 1, and eyes from Star 2, and place them on the face from Star 3 – and now I have an image that looks EXACTLY like my character.

Have I mentioned recently how much I love Scrivener? And you folks in this users’ group are great, too! Thanks to all.


I know this thread is old, but for others that are new to it (like me)…

I use SugarSync to keep my files in sync between machines. I do not use the magic briefcase, which works like Dropbox. I save the Scrivener files wherever I want on my machine, and then sync the folder that contains the project and my backups, so that every change I make is automatically synced to the cloud. I’ve been doing this between three Windows machines for a couple of years now (since early betas of scrivener for windows came out) and have never once had an issue - I just make sure I don’t have the same project open on more than one machine at the same time.

I’ve recently gotten a mac (yesterday) and my initial testing indicates this works perfectly for syncing between the mac and windows machines too.