How to Sync between Ulysses and Scrivener?

I recently purchased an Ipad and I envision that I will do the majority of my writing on it.

Due to the positive feedback I picked up the app Ulysses to write with.

I wish to keep the majority of my research data, and the story compilation through Scrivener on my PC.

Is there an easy process to sync what I write between Ulysses and Scrivener?

It looks like the default export for Ulysses is the I Cloud, but I’m not sure how easy this would be to link to on a PC.

Could someone possibly share how they perform the go between? if not for Ulysses to Scrivener perhaps another Ipad app to Scrivener.

I am very new to the entire process; help would be very much appreciated.

I used to sync between the Mac versions of Scrivener and Ulysses using Scrivener external sync folder and Ulysses `external folder’ - they met in Dropbox.

I thought I could do something similar with the iPad, but for some reason the iPad version of Ulyssses cannot use Dropbox (which is unusual amongst iOS writing apps, but they blame Dropbox itself).
So I now use 1Writer ( instead to access Scrivener’s external sync folder.

I thought I’d miss bits of Ulysses in making this move but I don’t. I should say though that I do the majority of my work in the Mac version of Scrivener and don’t intend to use the iPad (even my new Pro that arrived at Xmas) for that, so my use case might be too different from yours to be helpful.

Part of my initial confusion was in how a Sync was performed with Scrivener.

I read an article that set the steps for a Sync exported from Scrivener.

Here is specifies:
Use the menu as follows:

File > Sync > with External Folder

From there, you’ll see a dialog box and the option to choose a ‘Shared folder’. Do exactly that, making sure that you’ve got the option to ‘Sync the contents of the Draft folder’ selected. Once you’ve chosen your folder, hit ‘Sync’ and you should end up with a ‘draft’ folder full of text files in Rich Text Format (.rtf). (which would be .txt in the case of Ulysses)

I didn’t see the path: File > Sync > with External Folder
Looking at this closer it appears that with the PC version of Scrivener the document export would be performed through File > Export Files.
Here you would specify Dropbox as a location and put the exported .txt in a draft folder that you would create.

Going this route I could retrieve this .txt file that was exported from Scrivener. I could also export this back to Scrivener.

The only thing I couldn’t figure out is how to round trip a modified file into Ulysses. I didn’t see any way of syncing the updated file.

This might be good enough but I would like to see a full sync performed.

I can envision that I would do the majority of my writing in Ulysses because of the portability of the Ipad. Most of what I would write would be going out to Scrivener and not back to Ulysses.

Unless I’m missing something I’ll just give this a try.

I don’t know for instance whether it might work better if I could somehow link the Icloud to my PC and try to round trip that way instead of using Dropbox.

Dr. Dog: I am thinking that what you suggested is what I also observed. The issue is on Syncing the Scrivener document into Ulysses.

Just to warn you, iCloud has a history of not playing nice with active Scrivener projects. See this post:


Go to the last post on p. 15 for a summary of what the problem is.


Mr X

It appears that syncing with Dropbox or ICloud can have issues.

I guess that updating on the fly isn’t that critical of an issue.

I was just hoping that there was an easy way to do this.

Perhaps there will be some fixes to bugs and improvements to functionality in the near future.

I have been sync’ing active Scrivener projects between computers using first Dropbox and more recently Cubby — for the simple reason that my Windows using collaborator is in China, where Dropbox is blocked — for nearly 10 years, and by being careful about letting Dropbox or Cubby complete their upload/download before shutting down or putting the computer to sleep, neither of us has had any problem.

iCloud seems to have issues with the continual, frequent automatic backing up of individual files. In my experience, neither Dropbox nor Cubby has that problem. Furthermore, Lit&Lat can only work with the APIs that Apple, etc. give them, they are dependent on those third parties recognising any problems and making any changes necessary.
Mr X

Since Ulysses for iPad supports Box, you could put your shared external folder there, instead of Dropbox. They work more or less in the same way.



Thanks a lot for your idea of using Box to sync files between Ulysses and Scrivener.

The sync itself worked perfect.

Unfortunately there was somewhat of a text mismatch with some of the words. See example

ìI anticipate weíll be back for the eveningî. This should read
“I anticipate we’ll be back for the evening”

I used the .txt format for both Ulysses and Scrivener.
Is there any way of not getting these strange modifications to the text? I do see that there are numerous export codex in Scrivener, but no idea whether any of these would work well with Ulysses.

If this issue could be solved I believe Box would be a perfect bridge between the 2 writing programs.

Just in case someone is running into similar issues I think my problem is pretty much tied up and I’m good to go.

The 2 things which appear to help according to the sync are

  1. Box Cloud instead of Dropbox to allow a sync
  2. Specify UTF-8 for format when importing or exporting from Scrivener PC version. This cleans up the text. (Ulysses support helped me here)

I’ll be playing around with this. I’m still not sure whether this is a true sync as none of my export or imports specify a sync. Of course I’m new to this so I don’t understand how this is supposed to work.

This is what I did:

  1. From Scrivener (PC) I choose File/Export/Files/Box Sync Folder (Plain Text)/UTF-8
  2. From Ulysses (Ipad) I go into my story folder and select the “+” button/Import/Box Location/Pick the file
  3. After Edit in Ulysses I would pick Upload Icon/(Select Plain Text)Share/Export/Box Location/Choose
  4. Back in Scrivener I import the modified text using File/Import/Files/select file and make sure encoding UTF-8 is selected.