DropBox Sync suggestion

I have a copy of the file on iOS and it is closed. I have the same file on my Mac and it is closed. I open the file on Mac and make edits and save the file to DropBox and close the file. I go back to iOS, and I open the file and make changes. If I try to Sync, then and only then, does it warn me about a previous version on DropBox. It might make more sense to either sync the file with DropBox at the very moment that the file opens or give the user the option to check for a recent version prior to making edits. I do see how it handles the CONFLICTS folder, but wow could this be frustrating to someone. Otherwise, any time a user opens the iOS version they have to remember to Sync (which is really DOWNLOAD) the latest version each time. This is really important for those who might save a file on the mac and later expect to have the latest version their phone if they don’t have an Internet connection.

Are you sure Dropbox on your Mac is updating correctly? Whenever I open Scrivener for iOS after making changes on another device (iOS or Mac), I immediately get a prompt “Sync Dropbox Changes?”

Do you updated to version 2.8 on the Mac?

I completely agree. I think most folks – especially those who are used to working on their Mac and their iPads using iCloud saved documents – have an expectation that this whole syncing thing would be automatic and seamless. Forgetting to hit sync and having the app create a bunch of those “Conflicts” documents can really become tiresome.

I wonder, does the option under iOS Settings -> Scrivener -> Sync Projects on Close address this?

The ‘Sync Projects on Close’ option would only matter if iOS Scrivener were actually closed. Simply switching to a different app or locking the device won’t do it.


This is not the behavior I’m seeing. iOS Scrivener should prompt you to sync if the Dropbox version is newer than the local version. Provided that the changes have been saved to Dropbox and you have an internet connection: if those things are not true, then how is the iOS version supposed to know that there are changes?


Making it all “magic” would be wonderful, and believe me, I spent months working on the sync code. Solutions such as iCloud do seem like magic when they deal with single documents like they do with Pages, because there is only one file that needs to update for the UI. In Scrivener, there are many interdependent files inside each project. There is simply no magic out there yet that would allow us to make this automatic and in the background all the time. Imagine your completely restructured binder file from the Mac automatically appears on your device… And then your internet connection goes down, and all the files that are in it aren’t available. And that’s a very minor problem compared to all the others involved.

The only way to support this would be to remove all of Scrivener’s research features and make it support text only, in a single, flat file.

It has to do with the current state of Scrivener on iOS. Here’s what happens:

  1. You are on the main iOS screen of Scrivener where the files are listed (your file is technically closed at this point). Don’t close Scrivener or let the device sleep.
  2. Go to Mac, make a change on Mac, sync and close the file on Mac.
  3. Go to Scrivener on iOS (it hasn’t closed or gone to sleep, the screen is still open and on from the last session).
  4. You can open your file on iOS, make an edit, and only if you sync does it warn you about previous version.

I think the moment you open a file it should do a version check. It seems to only do a version check if Scrivener is reopened again on iOS or if you change between screens on iOS. I see that it’s not a push when there are changes, so I think it might need one more version checking trigger when the file opens. It’s super minor, but it can be weird.

No one is talking about “magic”. I appreciate your hard work, it’s a suggestion from one programmer to another. :smiley: There may be a valid reason not to do it.

Okay, but why would you do that? If you’re sitting in front of the iOS version, why would you bring up the Mac version to make a change? And if you do – say you want features that the iOS version doesn’t have – then why wouldn’t you let the iOS version sleep?

Yes, I understand that synchronization is important, and that people want to test and see how robust it is. But honestly, a number of posts that I’ve seen on this first day look very much like people trying to find edge cases where synchronization breaks, not considering what their actual use behavior might be.

Which is not to say that we aren’t interested in hearing about the edge cases. We are. But don’t confuse an edge case with the actual experience of the vast majority of users – including our beta testers.


Yes, I am finding the same behavior. Thankfully, I don’t need to remember to sync the Project when I open it in iOS.

However, I think - I’m not sure, but I think - where I got caught once today was when I made some changes to a document named “Intro” in a Project (in iOS). I had simply shut the app down without syncing it back to Dropbox. When I opened the Project on my Mac desktop, the few edits I’d made to “Intro” were nowhere to be seen.

Hmmm I thinks to meself, whatever could this be?

So I went back to the iOS app, opened the Project and did not sync it from Dropbox. There was my modified-but-not-synced “Intro” where it belonged in the Binder. And in the Conflicts folder was the previous iteration of “Intro.” I deleted the conflict copy, synced back to Dropbox and quit the iOS app.

Happily, the edited version of “Intro” then appeared, as if by magic or Leprechauns, on my Mac desktop version of Scrivener.

So, important tip to self: be sure to sync your Project to Dropbox before exiting the iOS app!

To clarify this a bit, (I’ve been using this option a lot) ‘Sync Projects on Close’ activates when you return to the Projects screen. So, to “close” a project on iOS means to navigate back to the Projects screen. It doesn’t mean you have to remove the app from memory. :slight_smile:

I’ve found ‘Sync Projects on Close’ very helpful in making my syncing (almost) automatic.

I’m simply reporting what just actually happened to me - I made an edit on iOS, I walked away with my Mac and made some changes while talking to a colleague, I saved the file on Mac, go back to my desk and picked up the iPad, and it didn’t sync because it didn’t sleep. I assume that if Im already in the program and Im opening a file that is listed under “DropBox” that it’s going to do a version check and give me the latest version. Beta testing isn’t perfect, after all, people seem mighty confused with “Sync with External Folder”, too.


I have read all the entries but seem to have a different sync problem.

Admittedly I have only just installed Scrivener on my iPad and I’m still exploring the possibilities, but I seem to have a “one way” problem.

I have created a project on my Mac. This appears on my iOS device. When I enter words or changes on my Mac these ultimately appear on my iOS file.

But when I add words or make changes on my iPad nothing is synced to my Mac.

I have made no preference changes which is confusing me still further.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

This might sound like a dumb question, but are you tapping the sync button in the iOS app after making changes there?


Yes, I tapped the sync button from the start.

I have also attempted various combinations of syncing and closing Scrivener on both devices.

The changes work seamlessly coming down from my Mac, but nothing works going up from my iPad.


Yes, I tapped the sync button from the start.

I have also attempted various combinations of syncing and closing Scrivener on both devices.

The changes work seamlessly coming down from my Mac, but nothing works going up from my iPad.

The only other thing I can think of is this: when you initially set up your project in Dropbox, did you copy the project to Dropbox, make changes to the copy, close the program and, after messing in the iOS app (which would send any changes to the copy in Dropbox), open up the original project on your computer?

Are you clicking one of the buttons shown in a red circle when you finish editing on your iPhone/iPad? This sends the file back up to DropBox and it will then appear on your Mac.


Another possibly dumb question–have you updated to Mac Scrivener v 2.8? Not having the latest Mac Scrivener will cause this.