Cooperative working

Most of us will eventually share parts of our texts with an editor, a revisor or a co-worker. Would be great to have an option to invite this person by email to work with us in the same file.

This changes would heavily use the snapshots feature.

I see two possibilities of implementing this feature:


Implement a cloud that would host all of our files and this way we could invite people to work “online” with us in the same file.


Leave the “share” part with the user, so after saving my file I would open my email and share the file with my co-worker. Probably much easier to implement and yet useful.

Vision of the co-worker:

Whatever this person do needs to be recorded (snapshots) so later I could see what exactly has been changed. Would be great if I could really see everything, not only text. For example, if this person changes the file/directory structure, I would like to be able to see it.

Vision of the main writer

On the other hand, the main writer needs to have control of everything that has been changed, so initially I think these features need to be available:

  • See side by side files (main writer version, co-worker version)
  • Diff (what was changed)
  • Someway to accept, accept with modifications or decline changes

Of course there are many technical things that needs to be explained, but this post is not meant to be technical, maybe if this feature makes sense, we can later discuss the technical details.

What do you guys think about it? How do you normally handle this task nowadays?

Thanks and best regards!

If you search around the forums you will find that this sort of thing has been discussed many times, and various ideas have been put forward over the years. There are some reasonable work-rounds.


If you’re on the Mac, then there is a way of doing this at the moment using External Folder Sync - you sync the files you wish to share with a collaborator to an external folder, e.g. in a shared Dropbox folder, and sync any changes back to Scrivener. Snapshots are automatically taken of the changed documents, so you can use the snapshot “Compare” feature to view any changes, and a list of changed documents gets presented to you as a collection.

More extensive co-operation - for instance by sharing a project that is open at the same time - is hugely difficult from a technical perspective, especially when you bring the hierarchical binder into the mix. It’s something we have on the list to look at for a future version, but there are so many things that can go wrong that it’s not something we can enter into lightly.

All the best,

Thanks for the reply KB!

I am also a software engineer and I understand the level of difficulty this feature requires.

Thanks and best regards!

ps: can someone post the link or keywords to what have been discussed already?

Keywords to try might include: collaboration, online or on-line, realtime or real-time, dropbox, Google Docs, …

Links to a couple of such threads, not necessarily the best and certainly not the only ones regarding the subject: