How to share projects

I am using Scrivener for Windows and want to share my writing project with a partner so that we can each work on it. What is the best way to go about this? Can my partner download the project from Dropbox? Is there a check-in/check-out capability that would prevent us from overwriting each other’s work, or would we have to synchronize that manually?

I have shared projectname.scriv with my partner but when she opens it in Scrivener, the files have 0 characters and show no information. Can anyone suggest what we’re doing wrong?

For you to share the contents of your Scrivener project, you need to zip up the entire folder and send it to your writing partner. Sharing the .scrivx is like sharing just the executable for a program.

For using with Dropbox, you should place zips (.zip) of your whole project folder in there and then the two of you can download. It’s not advised to have a live version of your project in there which you work from because it leads to data loss. This exchange through Dropbox is pretty easy when combined with Scrivener’s automatic backup feature and how it versions those backups.

As for the check-in/check-out feature, there isn’t one so you’d have to coordinate manually but if you use the backup process that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you have files you want to merge into a main project, it’s quick and easy to drag and drop from project into another.

Just to add a little to that response, you can share a live project on Dropbox, but only if you copy the entire project, not just the .scrivx file. As spitfire pointed out, that’s only one piece of the puzzle. It’s an important piece, but it contains none of the actual data. There are risks to doing things this way, I highly recommend both you and your partner read the “Scrivener Everywhere” chapter in the user manual. It goes over why this can be risky, and provides some easy guidelines for avoiding problems. With a single person it is possible to get things out of whack, and with two people that is doubly so, but if both are very careful it is possible.

As spitfire says, a much safer way to do this is to share .zip files. When you finish a session, put your zipped project up to Dropbox, and let them know you are done for the day, and vice versa.