Cards are back, blank but headers

Now my index cards are back. They are blank except for the headings telling me chapter and scene.
How do I get to see the text again? Where did it go? :unamused: :exclamation: After I’ve had breakfast (It is morning here in my time zone in the USA), I’ll tackle the user manual. All 291 pages. lol.

I’m so sorry you’re running into some trouble here! Naturally, it shouldn’t be working this way–all your data is saved as you’re working–so some details as to how your project is set up on your computer and what exactly you’re seeing would help to troubleshoot the problem. In your previous post (which I’ve locked, so we can just have a single thread going for this to reduce confusion), you mentioned saving to multiple locations, including a flash drive. What’s the process you’re using for this? Do you use Save As frequently, for instance, or do you copy the project’s .scriv folder in Windows Explorer? Changing the filepath of the project folder while the project is open in Scrivener (so, e.g., moving it to another location, renaming it, renaming its containing folder) can all cause problems for the project because Scrivener doesn’t know it has moved and continues saving to the original location, resulting in a split of your project. This should be much more difficult to do in 1.5.3 than in previous versions, as Scrivener tries to be more proactive about notifying Windows that the folder is in use, but because of the database-like nature of the project–where you have a folder with many internal files, not all of which are loaded at any given time–you may have run into a situation whereby Windows let you move the folder even though it was in use. In that case, we’d definitely want to know so we can address this for an update! It’d also mean though that your documents should still all be on the computer; they’ve just been saved in a different location, so we’d need to restore them back into the project folder.

Before scouring into all of that, though, the first thing I’d suggest, without knowing all the details of what exactly happened when, is to check your backups. By default, Scrivener makes full backups of your project every time you close, saving the five most recent. With your problem project cosed in Scrivener, rename the project’s .scriv folder to something like “MyNovel-BadCopy.scriv” to prevent confusion and merging folders. Then:

  1. Launch Scrivener and open or create a project (a project must be open to access the menu).

  2. Select Options from the Tools menu.

  3. Click the Backup tab.

  4. Deselect “Turn on automatic backups” – this is just temporary, since you’re going to be opening and closing a lot of backups and we don’t need additional backups of each of those; turn this back on again when you’re finished!

  5. Click the “Open backup folder…” button to show the folder in Windows Explorer.

  6. Copy all the backups for the project to another temporary location, e.g. the Desktop (just somewhere to keep them, outside the backup folder, while you go through and open each to check its contents)

  7. Open each backup in Scrivener until you find a good version containing your work. If the backup is a zip folder, first double-click to open the folder, then drag the contained [ProjectName].scriv folder out to the desktop to extract it. (Contents of zip folders are read-only, so Scrivener won’t be able to open it until it is extracted.) As you do this for each backup, right-click the project folder after dragging it out and rename it something unique, to prevent Windows attempting to merge the folders if you have multiple with the same name. Then you can open the .scriv folder and double-click the “project” file to open in Scrivener as normal.

  8. If you find a copy you want to restore, you can simply close it in Scrivener then move its .scriv folder from the temporary location to wherever you normally house your projects, e.g. your Documents folder. Be sure the project isn’t open in Scrivener when you move it! Once it’s in the new location, open the folder and double-click the “project” file to open it again in Scrivener and establish its new location so it appears in the Recent Projects menu.

Once you’re finished going through the backups, be sure to re-select “Turn on automatic backups” in the Backup options!

Sorry the instructions are a little long, but hopefully they’re clear enough to let you do this and find a good copy! If none of the backups contain the missing work, you may be able to use the Windows file version system to restore an older version of the projet folder; this is available on Vista and up, and you can find details on the Microsoft support page (the link goes to Windows Vista; you can search on the site for the appropriate OS version).

If you’re using some sort of sync service like Dropbox, the most frequent cause for the sort of problem you’re seeing (where files essentially get out of sync within the project folder), these also usually have a versioning system whereby you could restore files from the last x many days.

Without anything else to go on, I can’t suggest much as far as why this occurred. Moving the project while it was open could certainly cause problems, and working with the project in a synced folder also can cause problems if the project isn’t fully synced between machines before being opened or just through a sync glitch (a lot of people have been having trouble syncing Scrivener projects with Google Drive). I recommend reading our knowledge base article on best practices for syncing projects between machines if you are working this way. Otherwise, additional details on your operating system, where the project is saved, how you’re saving multiple copies, and a description of the problem–when text disappeared, any steps you remember taking before the problem occurred–would help discover the problem.