Folder Sync

I would like to see a feature whereby I can add some sort of alias for a folder to the research portion of a project, so that when I add files to the folder (or a sub-folder), they are automatically available in the comparable folder (or sub-folder) of my project.

I use Scrivener to create various legal documents, including arguments to present to the Court. As I conduct my research for the project, I will find additional precedents which may be applicable. Similarly, new court decisions often come down which can affect the argument I am making.

As it is set up currently, it is necessary to add the new files to the appropriate folder in Finder, and then do an import to the appropriate Scrivener project. I thus find myself wasting time checking to see if my current version of the folder in my project is up to date.

I have tried saving PDF files directly to my Scrivener project, but have found that very cumbersome, since the program does not appear to allow me to specify the destination of the file at the time I save it. (Of course, if anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears.)

In spite of the above, I am a dedicated Scrivener user, and that is not likely to change anytime soon. I regularly recommend the program to my legal colleagues who have “seen the light” and made the switch from PC to Mac. :smiley:


This would be quite problematic, because despite the superficial similarities, folders in Scrivener’s binder are quite different to folders in the Finder. Here are some of the problems that this would present:

  1. Folders in Scrivener’s binder can have text associated with them (they are just special types of text file), so any folder that was just an alias of a Finder folder would need to act differently.

  2. You can drag files around arbitrarily and make text documents subdocuments of other text documents or of any other kind of document in Scrivener. You can’t do this in the Finder, so the folder would have to behave differently to every other folder in the binder. It would also have to be sorted alphabetically, unlike other folders, and not allow arbitrary drag and drop. While a user wanting this feature might say these are all acceptable limitations, it would cause confusion to many other users.

  3. What would happen if you dragged a document from elsewhere in the binder into this folder? Would it essentially get exported and placed into that folder, and then deleted from Scrivener’s .scriv package? What would happen if you dragged a document out of the folder into another location in the binder? Would it then get imported? In which case you would now have a duplicate…

  4. If Scrivener allowed the direct editing of .doc, .docx and .odt files that might be inside that linked folder, it could easily mess up their formatting since Scrivener’s support for these formats is fine for import and export, but won’t maintain unsupported features that you might want to be kept in your Word documents.

Instead of doing a regular import, though, for files such as PDF files, couldn’t you use Import > Research Files as Aliases? This will just link to the original files on disk, so that any changes you make to those PDF files will be reflected in Scriv. This does still involve a manual import mechanism, though, which I understand is what you are trying to avoid.

All the best,

Hi Keith,

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

I’m not sure I described very well what it is I am looking for, although it probably does not make a difference.

I am not concerned about trying to sync the contents of my draft folder this way. I am only interested in being able to update my research folder in a way that the current version of a particular folder is available to my current and future projects.

For example, I might have a folder in Finder which contains court cases relating to murder. I need to add new cases as they become available. Also, older cases will come to my attention, and I will want to add them as well.

Under the present approach, I need to save the file to the appropriate folder in Finder, and then import it to any project which relates to a murder case. (BTW, I generally import my research files as aliases.)

The way things are, I have to compare the Scrivener research folder and the comparable Finder folder, and the import the files which are new. As you can imagine, this can get pretty cumbersome.

I had a look at saving my cases to a general project, and then importing that project to the relevant ongoing projects. However, it does not seem that changes to the general project (ie, new research files, usually PDF files) are reflected in the ongoing projects. In other words, Project A would be a collection of research files. Project B would be a current project for a court case. Ideally, when I added a new case to the relevant folder in Project A, it would also be added automatically to the same folder in Project B.

It sounds like this is not possible with Scrivener, and may be incompatible with the structure. However, I will keep trying to find a way to make it work, and will post it here if I find one.