Comment copied to all documents, crashes program

A comment in the first document in my Draft folder is taking over my project. It’s copied to every document that has text, both in and out of the Draft folder, and is applied to the entire body of text in most of those documents. Trying to delete the comment from any of the documents, doing anything to the text in these documents, or moving the document in the Binder crashes the program. This essentially renders the program unusable.

I first noticed the issue about a week ago while running, but it’s still there with I’m running Windows 10.

Could you please send us your project or upload in this thread a small demo project showing the problem. From your message we cannot deduct enough information to reproduce it and fix it.

I’ve sent an email. Thank you!

Hi imaginepageant, I checked your project and found multiple issues caused most likely due to careless use of cloud syncing services. Let me mention some of the obvious problems:

  1. Your project folder contained a FULL copy of another project with a different name.
  2. Your project folder contained file structure from Scrivener v1 and from Scrivener v3. Most likely due to project upgrade in a Dropbox folder, but Dropbox is turned off. After starting the sharing service, it all gets messed up and old and new project structures are available inside the project folder. I am guessing only from the results I see in the project you have sent.
  3. Your project folder contained MULTIPLE conflicting very important to Scrivener files from February, April and July.
  4. The conflicting files were generated from multiple machines as the files contained the name of the machines in their names.

All this means that you have edited the same project on multiple computers at the same time without fully syncing the Scrivener project before editing.

I put the above sentence in bold to emphasize strongly that this is a very bad thing and very bad things might result from it. We have mentioned this multiple times in the forum and on the web. This is true for Scrivener v1 and for Scrivener v3, so it is not new and not specific to Scrivener v3.

I am afraid this is a major self caused problem. Many users use successfully cloud sharing services, but one should be extremely cautious and follow strict protocols when using cloud sharing services. I would strongly advice against using a cloud sharing service for your work based on the project I investigated. Not using a cloud sharing service for all Scrivener projects is our general advice to all users. If you decide to go down this track, we assume the user is well aware of the challenges and knows best how to solve them.

The best way to go forward is restore your project from a backup. Multiple comments is the least problem I would worry about in your project at the moment.

Hi tiho_d,

Thanks for pointing out the problem in such a demeaning and accusatory manner. It’s really helped me see what a careless idiot I am, and that I should perhaps focus on fixing my personal failings instead of my project.

I wonder how I managed to use Scrivener for ten years without a single issue before trying the Windows beta? Simply amazing how my stupidity never managed to catch up to me until now.


Hi imaginepageant, please take my apologies if my post sounds accusatory. My aim was to show the errors I have found and not to sound accusatory. I decided to post my reply in this thread(and not in a private reply) as it will reach a much broader audience and hopefully help them avoid these problems in their work. I also wanted to stress the importance of the errors I have found in your project. It is a miracle that you have not experienced major troubles and data loss earlier as your first conflicts date back from April. Having a project folder within another project is also another major cause of worry that you should investigate how it happened.

The problems are not caused by using Scrivener for 10 years, but the way you move your projects between computers using cloud sharing services outside of Scrivener. These services are very popular for the last few years. As I wrote above, these problems will hit you also using Scrivener v1, if you are not careful.

So once again apologies, if my post sounds too strong, but please take my advices seriously to avoid future troubles too.

Which is exactly when I started using the Windows beta. Seems like an awfully big coincidence that I had used Scrivener for ten years, and synced multiple projects with Dropbox for most of that time, without encountering any major issues, yet as soon as I start using the Windows beta, suddenly a “major self-caused problem” has corrupted my project and made the program unusable.

I’m not saying I am not at fault—I admit that I can be forgetful in ensuring Dropbox is synced and Scrivener is closed before opening it elsewhere, and I will certainly be more mindful and diligent with this in the future to avoid further problems. However, perhaps there is an additional factor with the beta itself that turned a syncing conflict into a much larger problem. I sincerely hope this will be looked into instead of the issue simply being swept under the rug as a user error.

Thank you for your assistance and for your apology.

@imaginepageant, I sent a (much!) lengthier reply in email, but it looks like the comment and crashing problem is caused by a corrupted interface file; deleting this fixed the problem when testing the sample project, so I hope it will do the same for you. This file just controls the project-specific appearance settings–if the editor is split, where labels are shown, whether groups load in corkboard or outliner, that sort of thing–so deleting doesn’t lose any of your project’s data, it just puts the project back to the default view. You can then set it up again the way you want it, crash-free.

  1. With the project closed, open its .scriv folder in File Explorer.
  2. Drill down into the Settings folder and delete the ui.ini file.

You’ll still want to clean up the extraneous matter in the project folder, and I went over that in the email, but I thought I’d share this part for any forum readers curious to know how the weird comment issue resolved. ;)