can't create new project binder

I’m fairly new to scrivener…I’m using it for law school and love it so far (writing/organizing papers, etc.). Hopefully this is the right place to post my error.

I currently am having a problem with opening a new project binder…I’ll try and walk through my problem.

I go to File>New Project
The “Assistant–New Project Binder” window pops up.
I type in a project name and click “Create”.
A message comes up saying: “Could not open project” and “No valid project could be found at the specified path”.
It seems like Scrivener thinks I am opening an existing project.

I would appreciate any help!


This sounds like a permissions problem. When you create a new project, what happens is that the new project is created on disk by the assistant, then the path of that project is passed to the Scrivener project controller, which tries to open the path it has been given (exactly the same as with an existing project) - so if the project wasn’t created on disk, then the error will be much the same as if you tried to open an existing project that doesn’t, er, exist (“an existing project that doesn’t exist” - please ignore the paradoxical nonsense!).

So, it seems that the file system on your machine is refusing to allow Scrivener to create the project. Do you have full read-write permissions for the location at which you are trying to create it?

Another user had the same problem here, and it was to do with ownership and permissions:


All the best,


I hope you don’t find the following insulting, but I think KB’s explanation, while accurate, may not help you “fix” your immediate problem. If you are a tech head and understood what to do to fix your problem ignore the rest of this post.

For purposes of trouble shooting, try making a new project on the desktop. If that works, your problem is that you are trying to create your project in a “forbidden” area (his might be a problem with disk permissions or your user account). If you CAN create a file on the desktop Try the test again using the “Documents” folder. To get there click the “house” icon in the left panel and look for the Documents folder in the file selector window.

If either of those fail, let me know and we can work on figuring out what the real problem is.

For the record, KB is the L&L “main man”. I am just a user.

Thanks for helping, Jaysen - but do you have any good reason for calling tommyaustin “Gabby”, or is that the part you thought he may find insulting? :slight_smile:

I have an excellent reason: I am an idiot.

The potential insult was the practical interpretation of your explanation. Lots of backgrounds on board, captain. Not sure who the fellow bit heads are.

Jaysen and KB,
Thanks for your help! I don’t know what was wrong, but by simply changing the destination to the desktop and/or the documents folder, it worked!(both destinations worked, actually). So I can at least create a project and click and drag it to wherever I need it.

I am definitely NOT a “tech-head”, but I do wonder if it had something to do with permissions. I had an error with my account a few months ago (I tried to change the name of my account, which seemed simple but almost destroyed my account) and I had to take it in to the “GeniusBar” at the apple store. The guy there did something funky with my account and said I may have future permissions problems.

Anyways, thanks again. Hopefully there are no further problems, but I’m happy to know its my computer and not my favorite application, scrivener.

~Tom aka “Gabby”

I am almost certain that the issue is related to the account change. It should not be too tough to fix for “tech heads” and I am surprised that the guys at the genius bar didn’t take care of this for you. I am sure no one here wants the down an dirty on the possible fixes, but if you have a little time i might be able to walk you through a few checks to clean things up.

I had similar problems following migration from my old PB G4 running 10.5, to a new IMac, running 10.6.2.
The root of the problem is a permissions conflict, that arises during the migration. KB says that it is either fixed in the latest update, or will be fixed shortly. Whilst we were tracking the issue down,
I used the ls -ld Documents command in terminal, and found the following rather strange (to me) code
drwx------ 21 Tokyo Imac staff 714 17 Nov 08:58 Documents
p3027-ipbf3506marunouchi:~ Tokyo Imac$
But could anyone explain, or point me to an explanation, as to why my computer has the code p3027 … and so on. marunouchi is a suburb of Tokyo, probably where the Apple store is based …
what is the 21, who in heck are staff, 714,

and do I need to change this code and the permissions for my own Documents folder.
thank you in advance.
Nigel McC

If you do the following in terminal grep -i tokyo /etc/password you will probably find that “Tokyo Imac Staff” is a user. I believe that there is a unicode character in there as well (p3027). If you use the finder to look in your home directory do we see a folder that starts with “Documents” but has “other stuff” behind it?

I certainly can’t find additional users. The user Tokyo Imac was created when I migrated the data over.
I get anything with grep, it could be a phantom user. but I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of unknown code in permissions of the root directory.

Not to sure what happens here, mainly because I don’t know enough Unix, here’s the screen shot, but thinking about re installing from the DVDs.
Screen shot 2009-11-17 at 1.23.12 PM.png

On the 14th the same thing happened to me. I, too, was told that I couldn’t open a project that I was trying to create. Two attempts. First with EMPTY PROJECT and second with NOVEL STANDARD MANUSCRIPT FORMAT. Both with the same result. I gave up and went on to something else. Each project eventually appeared in Finder, maybe :15 later.
I saved one & deleted the other. The survivor appears to function normally.
I tried again today -just to be sure-and absolutely no problem.

I still love SCRIVENER (user since August 08)! And I have convinced my sister (already a published writer) to give it a try.

Keith, thank you!

Just to clarify what happened to Nigel, in case it happens to others (this has nothing to do with permissions, so hopefully a user more knowledgeable in permissions than myself such as Jaysen will be able to further answer what is going on with Nigel’s computer - and a big thank you to Jaysen for being so helpful in such issues on these forums, too; he knows a lot more than I do about root permissions etc).

The reason Nigel saw the “Cannot find project” error after trying to create a new project, and which could happen to others until fixed in the next update, is as follows:

Nigel had moved to a new computer and had migrated all of the data from his old computer to his new computer. (If you do this, you may see the same error.) Migration moves not only all of your programs and user files across, but also all of your preference files and so on (as you would expect). When you use the New Project assistant, Scrivener remembers the directory into which you are saving projects by storing it in its preferences file (which is the normal place to store such things). This way, the next time you go to create a new project, Scrivener can set the default path for the project to the same place you chose to save a project last time. But if you migrate your data to a new machine, this means that Scrivener on the new machine, reading the preferences file that has been migrated, will be trying to use a path that remembered on your old machine - a path that may not exist on the new machine (even if it looks right, the underlying path may be different). And so Scrivener will go to create the project in a folder that doesn’t exist, fail, and report this error.

Obviously, Scrivener is just missing an extra check here. When you go to open the New Project assistant, once retrieving the remembered path from the preferences file, what it should do is check that it is valid, and if not default to the ~/Documents directory. I have added this check for the next update, and that should solve this issue for most cases.

Thanks and all the best,

Thanks for that Keith,
and I did manage 2 chapter drafts today, which is quite a relief after months of writers block.

Taking a second look at this, there is nothing wrong with the directory perms or ACL. Things “look” wrong because of the space in the uname used for the uid field. Use the -n option and you should have the right number of fields.

As to the p3027-ipbf3506marunouchi: that is the name of the machine. This is set either by you or by your domain. If you really want to change it let me know and I can point you in the right direction.

Thanks for the explanation. @mid August I transferred everything to my new MacBook Pro. Tho I have successfully created new projects since then.

The glitch was no big. I was just fooling around when I should have been writing, anyway, and was forced to do what I should have been doing. :slight_smile:

I always appreciate your quick responses.