I’m using Dropbox to share one project between two computers (a desktop and a laptop). I am saving the file directly to my Dropbox folder, and as a test, added a new line to my project’s first chapter. Hit save to Dropbox. Closed Scrivener. Reopened and opened that file from Dropbox, and yes the new “test” sentence was indeed there.
So I closed Scrivener on my laptop.
Opened it on my desktop.
Opened the .scriv file directly from my Dropbox, but the new “test sentence” was not there! How can this be? The file was finished uploading.
Did you allow enough time for the project to download on to your desktop (see my reply to your other post on this topic)?
I closed out Scrivener on the first machine, yes. It was complete with the tick mark.
I’ve just let things sit closed for a while and reopened Scrivener on the second machine. Voila! the edits are now appearing…
I am happy to continue writing, but my only fear is that something got corrupted. I am suddenly getting little messages from my first computer’s drop box that “user.lock” has been added and 2 folders have been updated and such…then I had two.scrivx notifications appear. Are these normal things the computer goes through after updating a file, or should I just copy and paste everything and rename it just in case?
Also, to avoid losing anything, I do have it check to save as compressed .zip folders on closing, but should I also be saving to my hard drive manually from time to time in my Documents? This would mean I will always be Opening and working in Scrivener from my Dropbox folder version, then saving to my Dropbox version AND additionally making a duplicate on my hard drive manually just in case, correct?
I’d suggest that you set automatic backups to be made on both opening and closing on your local hard drives. Why? Because you save on storage space and sync time with Dropbox by not using it’s folder for your backups, and when you switch computers, you will always have a local backup that contains what you last did on your other machine(s) before you start editing and rearranging scenes. That’s much easier to deal with if you ever need to get to the most recent backup, because you did something bone-headed, since you don’t have to travel to the other computer to restore from the most recent version of your project.
As for the messages, that’s normal. The lock file is there to tell Scrivener that some other computer may have the project open, and to warn you about it. It gets deleted when you close your project. The other files also get backed up before they are opened by Scrivener, even if you don’t make any changes to your project. That’s all normal.
You might consider opening your dropbox preferences on each machine an enabling “LAN Sync”, which means that, if both computers can see each other, they will synchronize directly to each other rather than both going to the dropbox servers for changed files. That should speed up the syncs, and reduce your risk of opening your project too quickly. Your method of giving the sync a minute or two is also a good habit to form.
My most important question is: How do I work from now on?
Do I OPEN the file directly from Dropbox (not “Open Recent”), WORK in and SAVE directly to Dropbox from now on?
If the only copy (not counting zip-compressed backups) you are working from is on your Dropbox folder, then using the Open Recent is just fine. I work directly from Dropbox,and I haven’t experienced any problems. Just always allow time for syncs both up to dropbox.com and down from it on the other computer.
I’d also suggest going to Scrivener’s preferences and setting the auto-save interval to something like 10 seconds (that’s how long you have to be idle before Scrivener automatically saves your changes), so that Dropbox doesn’t get bombarded with tiny file changes every couple of seconds.
Ok thank you so much! This information was really useful and helpful for a beginner. Appreciate it!
Yes, the main thing is not only that you get the green tick in the Dropbox icon on the computer you last saved on, but also on the computer you now want to work on. So, say you worked on your laptop, saved, waited for the green tick to appear, closed, and then went to your desktop. At first on opening the desktop, you might see the green tick because Dropbox hasn’t had chance yet to detect any changes. Always give it a minute - especially if you know you’ve made changes on the other computer. Soon the blue “syncing” icon should appear, and then you need to wait for that to turn back to the green tick. Only then are all your Dropbox files synced, so only then is it safe to open your file.
As Robert says, ensure you have automatic backups set up on close, too - that way if things go haywire and you forget to wait for things to sync, you will have a backup of the project as it was when you closed it safe on the original computer.
All the best,