Collaborating with another person using shared folders - has anyone tried this?

I’m wondering whether it would be possible to collaborate on the same Scrivener file with another person (both Windows users) using either a peer-to-peer file synchronization solution like Syncthing, or something like shared folders in OneDrive. The considerations are:

  • Whether this would be possible with a tool like Syncthing.
  • Which cloud providers, if any, support this.
  • Whether having both of us work in the file at the same time would cause corruption issues (I don’t expect Google Drive level collaboration where we can see each other’s work in real time - I just want to make sure it wouldn’t be a disaster if we were both viewing the file or editing it at the same time. I’d work on one section and they would work on a separate section, so it’s unlikely there would be real-time overlap).

Has anyone done this successfully? It would be a dream to be able to collaborate in the iOS app as well - but from what I remember reading a year or so ago, it seems unlikely this would work.

yes, it would be disaster to view the file and work on it at the same time. Think of it as a relay race and handing off the baton. There is only one baton. Could do with dropbox. Or maybe safer to save project as a zip backup, then the other person can open the zip backup and work, then send back to you. Oliver Ellison does kScrivener webinars on this site and believe if look there is one directly about this.


In a word, yes, this is extremely likely to cause corruption. There is no supported way for two people to edit the same project at the same time.

It is possible, however, for two people to work on different copies of the same project at the same time, and then merge the results. Check the section in the manual on the Import → Scrivener Project command, and particularly the Import and Merge functionality.

1 Like

On that latter tip, which is in many ways the ideal way to collaborate as everyone can work on their own schedule and only need to re-sync on a regular basis, the caveat is that you need at least one Mac user involved. This feature still has not been added to the Windows version, and is not documented in the PDF you likely have available to you.

1 Like

@GoalieDad - That’s a good analogy. Thanks for the webinar recommendation - I’ll see if I can find it.

@AmberV - Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately neither of us have access to a Mac (this sounds like it would’ve been perfect though).

Would it cause corruption to have one person edit the file while the other passively views the file? (Without editing it). I’m trying to gauge whether the problem is editing the same block of text simultaneously, editing different blocks of text simultaneously (no overlap), or if simply having the file open on two different machines (even if both parties are just passively viewing it) would be enough to cause problems.

There is no such thing as passively viewing, as Scrivener remembers everything you do, down to what you click on, and where the cursor is in each text entry. But if you just want a passive copy to look at, you can of course copy the whole .scriv folder some place else offline and reference it. You don’t need two people looking at the same exact thing at the same time if neither is really changing it, or only one is.

If you just want the second person to “look over the editor’s shoulder,” so to speak, you can accomplish that via screensharing in your favorite video conferencing service.

1 Like