Choose an existing Scrivener sync folder

I am having trouble choosing an external sync folder that already exists for the project.

I use the sync external folder feature, but occasionally I open my scrivener project and the sync pathway is erased. If I go to “sync external folder,” the location is blank. If I re-select the folder I used to sync, I get the warning that the folder is already used. Normally my scrivener project is the most up to date, so I can delete the external folder on the finder and start again. But right now, I’ve made a lot of changes to the various files in my external folder using text editors on my iPad. I really want to sync those files back into my scrivener project. (In the text files in the external folder, I am writing in the .fountain syntax for a screenplay, so copying and pasting from the text files into scrivener won’t work well at all. I really do need to sync the external folder so that scrivener can convert the fountain syntax to it’s own screenplay format.)

In the “question mark” instructions on the “sync external folder dialogue,” it says that you can safely ignore the warning dialogue and select an already existing external folder if you control the project and know it’s from the same project. (Which I do)

From the ‘question mark’ instructions:
" The only time you should choose an existing Scrivener sync folder is if you are certain it is for the same project, and that you have total control over the project (it isn’t being edited by anyone else with a copy of the project). It is safe to transfer your Scrivener project from one computer to another, and then use the same sync folder to share changes made on the second computer. While the project will save your sync folder selection, the second computer might have a different address to that spot and require you to reselect it. In that case, you will get a warning when choosing the folder, but you can dismiss the warning and safely continue."

But my only option is to hit “ok” on the warning dialogue, and it doesn’t choose my folder. The location window remains blank. I hit “choose” again, select my folder, get the warning dialogue, hit “ok” and I get the same blank location window. How can I choose an existing Scrivener sync folder?

UPDATE: I worked around this by bringing in all the documents from the external folder into Scrivener seperately. I then manually copy and pasted the text from each document into the coresponding original Scrivener document. I was able to get all my changes in, but it took a long time. What should be an automatic, 5 second process. So I’d still like to figure out how to do this if it happens in the future.

That needs to be updated then. It has not been that way for a long time. Initially we did just have a warning that you could click through, but hardly anyone actually reads these things, and in this case the result can make a huge mess if done improperly. So the ability to re-attach an existing sync folder to a project was disabled. We just had too many people messing up their projects, either for not reading the warning, or for not fully technically understanding what “same project” means (and to be fair, who should have to know that to safely use a program). A project ceases to be the “same project” the moment it is edited off of the original system, for purposes of how content gets wired up with a sync folder.

So what does that mean for you now?

  • If you intend to use the project from multiple locations, and need to use the sync feature from all locations, do what you can to make sure that the sync folder is addressed identically by path on all machines. This way you shouldn’t lose sync when switching machines.
  • If you do lose the sync folder, just drop all of the files into the Binder, sort by modification date in the Outliner, and copy over the stuff that has been editing since the last sync. It’s not automatic, but usually only a few files need to be updated anyway. There is nothing sync does that you cannot do, it just automates a bunch of steps. (Ah, I see you settled on that in your update.)