Edits and Text Gone Fishing (or, Missing as It Were)

Off and on, I’ve thought edits were being dropped but figured I was being ditsy since it was a word here and there. Last week I worked on a story and added about two pages in text. When I sat down earlier this morning to work on it some more, all of the text I’d added was gone. Since I had printed out the chapter under construction to take with me to work for editing, I had proof that I wasn’t delusional. I can’t imagine what’s causing this. I had closed the application after printing via compile last week. There were no crashes of my computer during that time, before, or after.

Do you have the project stored in a location where some other software might be messing with it? I’m thinking of stuff like SpiderOak, Dropbox, or even just programs that “clean your desktop” and whatnot. Since Scrivener uses lots of little files to store your work, it can at times be more susceptible to tampering since opening a project doesn’t actually change the timestamp for every single file in the project. You might have components that haven’t been edited in years, after a while. So another program, unaware of the fact that this ancient file that hasn’t been touched in years is a part of a larger whole, might “clean” it. With synchronisation, if more than one computer is in use, or the computer has an unreliable connection to the Internet, it can cause edits to revert spontaneously like this. There are two ways in which this can happen: one is the binder file reverts and it drops sections you know you added—or is otherwise out of date. In this case the data is on the disk, but it’s not referenced and so it appears to have gone away. The other scenario is the data file gets reverted.

Thank you. Is there a way around this? I ususally save the program several times in a session and especially before closing.

That depends upon what factor matches. If it’s desktop cleanup software, then configure the software to ignore “*.scriv” folders, for instance. If you think synchronisation might be the issue, then you should read chapter 12 in the user manual which discusses safe practices.

Saving the project multiple times per session probably doesn’t mean much. In fact the software saves your work every time you pause for as little as two seconds. So you’re actually probably saving hundreds of times in a sitting. Despite, as I said since this is a multi-file program, that might only mean 3 or 4 files are saved out of several thousand files. Hitting save doesn’t rewrite everything to the disk because the entire project is not even loaded into your computer’s memory. It only exists on the disk most of the time.

By “saving”, do you mean you’re using “File->Save As…”? It’s pretty easy end up editing what you thought was a backup of your project instead of the original, and then later re-loading the original will not show the text you thought you wrote there.

If this is the case, and you want to make manual backup copies, try File->Backup->Backup to… instead, and check the ‘.zip’ option to make absolutely sure you don’t accidentally edit a backup.

Since you have a copy of some of the missing text available, I’d try running a Windows search using an exact phrase from the text to see if any aberrant files crop up. If the RTF files were moved to another location on your disk but not archived you may be able to perform a search and rescue operation here. Scrivener document files will just be numbered .rtf files, so you might just gets something like “14” in your results list. Checking properties on it to find the file path (or using “Open Location” if you’re on a more recent OS) will allow you to see it in context in Windows Explorer, and also see if there are any other missing files with it.

thank you everyone for the replies. i’ll apply your suggestions to see what works.