HELP! I need to reverse compile! NaNo Verison 046

Last night I thought it would be wise if I backed up to the Dropbox so I would have another copy of my file as the last one was three days ago when I got the Dropbox set up like I wanted it. So, I must have been way too tired and I think I did a “keep the old file” conflict thing or something as I cannot find anything new with exception of a pdf that I compiled to test the word validation procedure on NaNoWriMo earlier in the evening. So when I try to import it, all I get is a pdf that I can’t do much with. It seems I can copy off of the pdf easier outside of Scriv. So with that said, all I can do it a few pages of copying and pasting and I lose all formatting, even if I use the keep formatting option. When I copy the whole thing I only get like a few pages of data. I’m not sure what is up with that. So I am just copying small amounts, changing the font and size, and causing the sentences to wrap back up so they are not just the width of the pdf.
So I am losing precious time trying to fix this mess I have made but it tells me that there is a need for a reverse compile… to get my doc back and in a format that is usable cuz this one is not. I have to get the headers out which oddly enough include part of the sentence below or above the header.
Anyone have any clues how to undo this mess I have made??
Help! :O(

I’m not entirely clear on what happened in the first place–when you say you made a backup to Dropbox, my impression is that you’d use the “Backup” command and use Dropbox as the location for that, but that would be making a copy of your project–say a zipped, date-stamped version, although you could change that–and so even if that got mixed up on Dropbox and replaced with an older version, your project itself should still be fine. Did you move your entire .scriv project to Dropbox? If so, have you checked your Dropbox cache or the “deleted files” on the Dropbox webpage to see if you can pull back your newer version? It can be a bit tedious but it would restore the entire project if you don’t have a full backup you can revert to.

I’m also confused about the pdf, as I’d think if you were doing word validation with it you’d have created a text file that you could easily copy from, like an .rtf or .doc or .txt file–do you not have one of these, but just the PDF? Even if you have a slightly older version of the project compiled to one of those other formats, that would be much easier to import and split in your project, and you could then just copy in the most recent bit from the PDF, which would save you some time.

I am sorry for not being more clear. I was in a panic, being rushed to “get off the computer to help with the Thanksgiving stuff”… so what I meant was I lost my file by replacing it with a prior one in my tiredness. The next thing is the only thing I have left of the most current data was a compile I made to post to test out NaNoWriMo’s validation, so I have a pdf from Scrivener’s compile. I tried to import it but it only imports as a pdf. I want in back into a text doc so I can rebreak it back in to the last few chapters and finish making up where I left off. But all I can do is copy and past bits. If I try copying the whole thing it only gives me like 2 pages, but if I do parts of it, I can put back several more pages. But my copy and paste loses the formatting even if I chose that option. Therefore I have to change the font, spacing, size, indent, and pull the sentences back together as they are treated as single lines and not a running doc. I don’t know if I am making any sense. I am so peeved with myself, the loss of data, loss of time, having fix it all and rewrite what I’ve lost…ahhhh! I wil just have to fix it by hand for now. Lesson learned!

Hmm. meduf, I’d slow down if I were you, and pay attention to what Jennifer said about Dropbox’s own backups of deleted or possibly copied-over things. I haven’t used this myself yet, but it sounds quite promising.

The other thing I would do if this fails is use a file/folder recovery tool on Windows itself. Given you have reasonable disk space available, files aren’t actually over-written for some time. Recovery tools can search them out.

This one, Recuva,, is by a reputable company who also does the popular and well-recommended CCleaner. It’s also free. The help file is on-line.

I think you could simply run Recuva, and then locate the missing name.scriv folder in its tree view once it’s done.

Save that result to a new location at first, to be able to try and see if you’ve got the right things without interfering with what Recuva has found. Saving to another disk or a USB drive would be ideal, as that’s really separate.

Hoping actually that DropBox’s saved versions will fix this for you. Happy Thanksgiving.


Thanks for the additional info. I had checked the backups in Dropbox and they were all the same file from about three days prior, about 40 of them. I am not sure how Dropbox is supposed to work, but it only backs up what I put in the Dropbox folder, which only contains the Scrivener file, if I put it there. One would think I could have it back it up without having to manually do it. I am not certain I have the configuration done properly.
Then I just copied the pdf docs data a chapter at a time and given there were only 3 I needed to do this to, it was not too bad when I pulled all the data back together in full sentences.
I will keep the Recuva app in mind next time I do a foolish thing as such.
Thanks for your help!

As long as you haven’t paused syncing, Dropbox will automatically sync whatever is contained in your computer’s Dropbox directory so long as you have an internet connection (if the connection is disabled, the sync will just start up as soon as it’s restored). So if you’re saving backups to a location within your Dropbox folder, they’ll end up synced with the Dropbox servers and your other computers that are set up with Dropbox. (If you have selective sync enabled on some computers this could be a little more complex, but it’s in the advanced settings so you wouldn’t be likely to do that by accident.)

In 1.0 and up, Scrivener has the ability to automatically create backups of your projects, and if you like you can set this up so that it will use your Dropbox folder (or a folder within that) as the location for storing these backups. Without automatic backups, you will need to be still creating the backups yourself and saving them into the Dropbox folder, but it would be just the same as creating a backup to save anywhere else; there’s nothing extra you’d do to sync it.