Best way to use Scrivener files on PC???


At home I use and love my Scrivener on my mac, but at work no macs allowed. Often during lunch I have time to work on writing projects and I’d like advice on the best way to do this on my PC. I’ve noticed that when I save my Scriverner file to flash drive on Mac, when I open flash drive on work PC, file has become a collection of folders with txt.rtf files. Is the easiest thing to do, just edit the .rtf files save to original place, and when I open again on Mac I’ll be back in Scrivener??

Is there anything I have to watch out for so I don’t mess up things. I’d appreciate any tips anyone might have. Thanks a lot in advance.


I would advise you don’t do that - you may not do any long-term damage (although I guess you could corrupt your project in Scriv) but you will be screwing up your project structure, big time, and if you use something like Word to edit those RTFs Scriv may not be able to read them when you get back home. (Keith would know more about the specific dangers, but suffice to say, it’s really not a good idea.)

Assuming “take a Mac laptop with you to work” isn’t possible, you simply won’t be able to use Scriv, or the project, at work. So no revising existing documents unless you export the relevant file first. That doesn’t stop you writing new stuff, however, and your best options are:

  • Write in Word or Notepad, then save the file to a thumb drive (or email it to your home address). You can then drag them straight into Scriv when you get home.

  • Use Google Docs, which you can access from both work and home, and either export to your desktop (then drag into Scriv as above) or just copy and paste.

Yeah, definitely don’t edit those documents like that - that is sort of editing them “behind Scrivener’s back”. Probably the worst you will do is make it so that Scrivener won’t be able to search for the new text. But you can’t create any new documents there - Scrivener won’t find them.

By far the best thing to do is use File > Export > Files… Export them out as RTF, edit them at work, then bring back in whatever you have edited.

All the best,

Anthony and Keith,

Thanks both of you. Not the answer I hoped for, but then no surprise–the PC disappoints at every turn.

I’m a tech writer for money and pushing hard to get us to change to Mac, but since Adobe just dropped support for FrameMaker (the preeminent tech writing software) for Mac (a little shortsighted I think seeing the rise in Apple’s fortunes), that doesn’t seem likely.

I’ll try the export/import routine and see how well that works. Thanks. Michael

BTW, Keith–I’ve used about every word processor novel/fiction structuring piece of sw over the past thirty years, and I LOVE Scrivener–the best combination allowing structure and intuitive flow I’ve seen. Thanks.