Collaborative work

Hi everyone,
Brand new Scrivener user.
I was wondering if it’s possible for several people to work together on the same document. And if so… how?
Thanks for your help and have a nice day.

Scrivener is not designed for multiple writers to work on the same project at the same time. You’ll need to develop a process for coordinating access.

For example, if you each will be working on different documents, then one of you (A) can work in the master version of the project, while the other (B) works in a copy of the project. When (B) is done making their changes in the copy, one of you can integrate the changed docs into the master version.

That’s just one idea. Search the forum for “collaboration” for other ideas. This topic has been discussed many times (here for example).


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The basic constraint is that more than one person cannot have open or work in the same Scrivener project file at the same time.

So, for example, you could locate your project in a shared Dropbox folder, but you would have to work out a system so the two of you were working with the project at a different time.

There are other approaches for making a go of it (for example, a sync to external folder function with has some utility for collaborators, etc). The advice to search to forum for discussion is good advice.

(Disclosure: I don’t do collaborative work myself.)

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Thanks for your answer. I wanted tu be sure that scrivener was not designed for collaborative work.
Thanks for the link towards the other discussion :pray:
Have a good day

Thanks for your answer.
Have a good day

The approach suggested by @gr works well. I’ve used it. Three suggestions/requirements:

  • that both authors (or all) should ensure the folder holding the Scrivener project(s) is “offline”. Scrivener cannot work with parts of the project “online”
  • when each author done working on the project, they allow Dropbox to fully sync up the files to the server, then inform colleagues ready for others
  • Next author has to ensure the Dropbox sync is complete before working on the project, allow Dropbox to sync, then inform colleagues.
  • rinse and repeat
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I have been using Scrivener to collaborate for years, but with the advantage that we are 7–8 hours apart, which means it is easy not to be working on whatever project at the same time.

I think if I were collaborating with another Scrivener-user in the same or nearby timezone, I would probably opt for the master+subsidiary project approach, with one of us controlling the master and the other working on a separate version for merging; the approach is discussed more fully in another thread. Even using that approach, it is still essential to co-ordinate who is working on which binder document(s) each time, as if both work on the same one(s), conflicts will arise.

A couple more observations:

  1. Take a snapshot of each document with existing text before you do any work on it, and when you have finished. You can prune old snapshots periodically to prevent ballooning project size.

  2. Whatever approach you take, set the number of backups high and back-up on both open and close, as that way you have a backup of the current state before you do any work. Working with my collaborator, we each needed to preserve the state with each other’s changes before working so that in the event of a failure of some kind, we didn’t lose the other’s work.

  3. It seems to me that the last step in sync’ing after closedown is the removal of the user.lock file, which ensures that two people can’t have the same project open at the same time. In my experience, the menubar item on Dropbox or Sync signals when all has been uploaded, but removing the user.lock seems to take place after that point. So it is important to wait long enough after closing Scrivener before shutting down (or putting the computer to sleep) for that to happen. If that file isn’t deleted from the server, when anyone tries to open the project, an alert comes up saying it is open on another computer, even if it is the same computer on which it was last open (spoken from personal experience!).


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Thnaks for those advices. Great ones !
Have a good day

Thanks Mark. Good advices.
We have to be precise with our process :wink:
Thanks again and have a good day

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