How compatible is Scriv3 Windows with Scriv-Ipad projects?

I use Scrivener both on the iPad Pro and Windows but to date I’ve been keeping the projects created and edited on both platforms completely separate. I just updated to Scriv3 for Windows, and as an experiment I copied some smaller projects created with the iPad version to my new Scriv3 Windows folder. I’m using the Dropbox synchronization, so both folders are in Dropbox.

When I opened the iPad project in the Windows version of Scriv3 it first created a backup, then claimed that I had conflicted copies of all my chapters, which it placed handily in subfolders at the bottom of the binder. There are definitely no existing conflicted copies in the iPad version and all the Dropbox updating has been done there. I always check that.

There’s no diffing or merging in Scrivener itself so I copied the text into plain text files and compared everything with PowerGREP. These are definitely not conflicted copies. They are just older iterations of all the chapters in the book as they were before I did some structural reorganizing. I think I remember the iPad version saying at several points that it was keeping older versions and asking me whether I wanted them to be visible or something like that.

I looked in the copy I made on Windows and these files are saved as regular RTFs in the Docs subfolder, with just numbers as their names. You can’t see them on the iPad, but they are probably there nonetheless.

The question now is, how compatible are the two versions? After seeing the above behavior I’m hesitant to edit the same project on both platforms. I had bad experiences earlier with editing the same projects with Scrivener 1.x on Windows and the iPad version, so I’m now even more cautious, Has this improved, or should projects on the iPad version and projects on the Windows version still be kept completely separate?

Scrivener 3’s project format is a bit more robust than Scrivener 1’s (Mac Scrivener 2’s), and is designed with the understanding that iOS Scrivener and Dropbox exist and people will want to work back and forth between them.

Among other things, it’s a little finickier about making sure that everything present in the project folder is accounted for in the .scrivx master index file. That kind of housekeeping probably accounts for what you’ve encountered, and you should take it as a positive sign: Scrivener encountered files that it wasn’t sure what to do with, and told you about them rather than ignoring them or throwing them away.


Hi Katherine,

Thanks for the quick reply, that’s very encouraging. So I should be able to safely edit the same Dropbox project on both the iPad and with Scriv3 on Windows 10?

What is the situation if I accidentally have the same project open on both platforms at the same time? I remember getting some annoying conflicts when I did this with the 1.x version (I think when the iPad version was open with changes that it hadn’t synched yet) and I’ve done my best to avoid it since then.

Yes, editing the same project in two different places can still produce conflicts, but Scrivener 3 is likely to do a better job of resolving them.

If you return to your PC and find Scrivener running, use the File → Sync → With Mobile Devices command to make sure all changes from the iPad have been incorporated into the project. (Wouldn’t hurt to double check to make sure the iPad has synchronized with Dropbox first.)


Thanks very much Katherine, that makes sense. 8)