Documet outside of project

This has been discussed before but I never got a clear answer.

If I want to work on a scrivener document outside of scriv, just with wordpad on the rtf file, do I need to close down my project, or just make sure that the document itself is not open in scrivener?


Close the project completely.

Slàinte mhòr.

That is a sure way to create a problem with your Scrivener project.

A better approach is to export the section from the binder that you wish to work on. When you’re done, you can import it back in, or copy and paste into the editor.

If you do this sort of thing routinely, then have a look at §13.1, Synchronised Folders, in the user manual, starting on page 120. This utility is designed for this precise kind of workflow, where you want to routine edit parts of your project with external tools (usually remotely, through some kind of sync system), and have those changes monitored and synced back into the project automatically.

Thanks, Amber, for your suggestions, but I don’t think they would help. The export/import method will, I think, produce a rtf file with a new number, thus divorcing it from synopsis, notes, etc. and I think that the sync procedure will still require me to do my editing within scrivener, that is a scrivener project parallel to my original.
Because of my declining vision, I can work with a sophisticated magnification and reading program called Zoomtext that is not fully functional within scrivener. That is, it can magnify everything, but it cannot “read” the words in scrivener in order to be able to read them aloud to me or to track audibly my mouse movements similar to the better-known problem that scrivener has with the Dragon dictating program. Dragon can dictate into scrivener, but it cannot read words that it has not dictated, and so it cannot be used for editing…

what I do now is close my project, open the desired RTF file in WordPad and then just save it when finished. Next time I open .the project the revised file is there where it should be. what I would LIKE to do is keep the project open during this process, so that I can refer to other parts of my project while working on one document. So my basic question is, is there any way to do that?

As noted above, and in the documentation, the sync method is designed for editing outside of Scrivener, using regular files. You open an RTF file from the disk using whatever tool you prefer. Working with a sync folder will let you keep the project open as well. I would suggest at least skimming the section in the documentation that I pointed you to.

This feature is designed precisely for what you are wanting to do. Most people use it with Android or some other kind of sync, to edit files from within the project on the go, but there is nothing stopping you from using it with other programs on the same computer. It all works on very basic technology—modification dates and simple files.

In a word, no. The Sync with External Folder method is the only supported tool for editing Scrivener’s component files other than with Scrivener itself. All other methods are unsupported and entirely at your own risk.


Thanks, All. I’ll look at Sync again.

So, this is the recommended method to work with a grammar editor like ProWriting Aid, not simply closing the project, using the grammar checker, and re-opening it like I have been doing?

One sync folder for each project. No need to close the “real” working project.

It’s scary to switch to something new when what you’ve been doing has worked without any issues.

It is, regardless of what tool you are using, the official method for integrating binder content with third-party editors. The only exception I would make are tools that have been specifically designed to open and modify Scrivener projects directly. There are not many of those however.

If you’ve been routinely modifying the internal data storage then you very likely have a bad search index at this point. You should run the search index rebuild in the Tools menu.

Yup! Though of course it would be a good idea to leave the resources you are editing externally alone, in the binder. If you change a sentence in Scrivener within a file that is being modified by another tool, then sync will be faced with the conundrum of not knowing which version is what you really want. The option in the sync settings dialogue, to take snapshots before syncing them, is your safety net for this kind of mistake. You can find the modified sentence in the snapshot and integrate it back into the copy updated by the grammar program.

The command to sync a project with its external folder is File ▸ Sync ▸ with External Folder Now.

Thanks again to All for your info and suggestions. I have now tested the Folder Sync method on an old, defunct project and it seems to work well for me. Before setting it up on my main project, I have one more question. Is it okay to place the external folder on a removable SD card, so that I can work on the folder version on desktop or laptop? I realize the danger of opening the “real” version if the card is not present Are there any other hidden risks to doing this?

That’s perfectly safe to do. The folder sync feature works purely off of modification dates, meaning any method of transferring the folder that retains those dates should be safe to use. You could even in theory zip the folder up and send it via email to someone else, then later unzip their changes back to the same folder—so long as your zip tools don’t mess with the modification dates.

The only really danger you need to worry about is having two different projects using the same sync folder. The software should warn you about doing this. “Different projects” in this case refers to even the same project located in two different places. You wouldn’t want to put the sync folder on Dropbox and try to use it to keep two different machines in sync, by way of example.

Now if the card is not present when you load the project, Scrivener will automatically disengage the sync folder from its settings. So that is something to be aware of.