Help with working on two computers

I recently had a heart attack. So I can no longer work at my desktop Mac for any length of time.
I do have a small laptop I can use in bed. There is no room on the drive of this laptop for ANYTHING.
I may have room to install another copy of Scrivener.
First question: is that possible? Two copies of scrivener on two machines?
Next question can I access my scrivener files from the cloud? From Dropbox? Is there information as to how I might manage this?

Hi. I use Scrivener on Windows so can’t give you many Mac specifics.

But yes, you are able to have Scriv installed on two different machines.

And yes, it is possible to access projects using the cloud. It appears that Dropbox is the service of choice, at least with Windows, not sure about Mac.

If you search the forum for Dropbox, you’ll find out more… but check the newer results first… I imagine that the various issues and tips for working through them have evolved some over the years!

Yes, you can use Scrivener on two Mac’s. I do it all the time. The steps, in simple terms, are as follows.

  1. Install Scrivener on your second Mac, then activate the software with your license key.

  2. Set up a free Dropbox account and install the Dropbox software on both Macs.

  3. Drag your Scrivener manuscript into a Dropbox folder. Your manuscript can now be accessed and edited from either Mac.

Two words of caution. First, you must close your manuscript after editing on one Mac and wait for Dropbox to sync it to the cloud, before opening it on the second Mac. Failure to do so will create a sync conflict that you’ll have to sort out.

And second, make sure you are backing up your manuscript from both Macs.

Not only wait for it to sync up to Dropbox on the first Mac, wait for it to sync down from Dropbox on the second Mac – before opening it on the second Mac.

And vice versa when you’re done on the second Mac. Wait for it to completely sync up to Dropbox, then on the first Mac, wait for it to completely sync down from Dropbox before opening up again.

This, BTW, is one of the reasons why Dropbox is encouraged – it gives you much clearer indication of what files are pending and what has synced. In theory, you can use iCloud if you’re just going between Macs, but many users here in the forums have experienced all sorts of random delays or even days/weeks-long periods where iCloud just wouldn’t sync. Other users have used other sync services with more or less success, but the general rule applies – make sure you close Scrivener on one computer and its changes are completely synced to your cloud, and then make sure the changes are completely synced to the next computer before you then open Scrivener.

You also need to make sure that Dropbox (or other sync service) is always copying all of the files down to each machine. Many of them try to help optimize your storage usage for you by not copying down files from the cloud they think you don’t need. This is an excellent way to mess up a Scrivener project, so don’t let them do it.,

(Dropbox is still the only service directly supported by the iOS Scrivener version, though, because the rest do not provide enough control to the developer to safely permit Scrivener to sync projects.)

Ideally, you will be backing up your manuscript to a cloud sync service as well – but not the same service that you use for your live projects. So if you use Dropbox to sync your life projects, you can set up your backup location in your iCloud folder – then you can retrieve your backups from either computer. (Here is where a lot of us recommend setting the backup options that include the time/date in your backup name, and that ZIP the archive into a single file, as this makes backups compatible with pretty much every sync service out there.)

This way, if something happens to your Dropbox account, you still have your backups safe and sound elsehwere.