Hot-swapping Between Win 7 and OS X

Hi Everyone -

Last week I bought Scrivener for my Win7 desktop then, gosh darn it, Apple went and launched the upgraded Macbook Air. I just had to have one. The first app I bought was Scrivener.

Now, here’s the rub …

How can I use/sync projects across both platforms?

What I want to be able to do is, say, work on a Scrivener project on me sparkly new MB Air while I’m sitting in my favourite Seattle coffeeteria and then, later, open it on my Win 7 PC at home and work on it there.

Thanks in advance for your guidance and advice.




You can open the same project in both versions, yes. So then you just to work out the best solution for sharing the project between machines. What I and many others use is Dropbox:

Syncing always carries risks, but you can minimise them to the point where, if you do have any problems, you will always have a very recent backup by doing the following:

  1. Store the project you want to share on Dropbox, and set Dropbox up on both machines.

  2. Make sure automatic backups is turned on on both machines (in Preferences on the Mac and Tools > Options on Windows), with the option to have backups zipped up ticked.

  3. Point automatic backups to a different location - probably somewhere on the local machine, or to an external hard drive. (You could use Dropbox for the backups too, but it’s often a good idea to keep the backups separate.)

  4. Also use the File > Back Up menu to make zipped backups somewhere else again once each session. (For instance, if (3) points to Dropbox, then use File > Back Up to back up locally, or if (3) points locally, then backup to Dropbox.) (3) should make sure you are always safe, but this extra backup is just a precaution.

  5. Always ensure that the project is closed before trying to open it on the other machine. (Scrivener will warn you if it thinks the project is still open somewhere else.)

  6. Always make sure Dropbox - or whatever syncing solution you choose - is fully synced on both machines before trying to open it. This step is crucial, because this is the step where the project could get corrupt otherwise (for instance, if you’ve worked on it on Windows, switch off your Windows machine while it is halfway through syncing, and then go to open it on your Mac - now the Mac is trying to open a project that is half updated and half not).

Of course, I work on a project stored on Dropbox for days on end without ever once thinking to back up, so I often fail to follow my own advice, but when working from an online syncing solution, backing up often is a really good idea.

All the best,