I just "got it"

After at least 3 attempts in the past to “get” Scrivener in the past, I finally bought it after hearing Andy Ihnatko mention it twice in the last few weeks on the MacBreakWeekly podcast (he said something about “After 20 years of making money writing in Word, I started using Scrivener and haven’t launched Word since” or words to that effect. Keith: you should definitely track Andy down at cwob.com/ and get a blurb quote from him!

I watched the screencast (which I had asked for in May 2007 [url]https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/screencasts/1839/1] :wink: even though, yes, the manual is wonderful, but it’s really no substitute for seeing the program in action by someone who knows how to use it.

I started using it for a few hours, stumbling, mostly, and wondering if I was going to have to dump all my text out into a file and start again in Word or Pages.

Then it suddenly just “clicked”. I don’t know what it was exactly, but all of a sudden, the things that hadn’t made sense did.

The utter brilliance of it, to me, is the ability to switch from “OK, now I know I want to say something about this so let me make a card for that” to “I know what I want to say about that so I’m going to start writing some about that” to "Hrm, well, I need to develop something else later on, and I’m not sure where, but I’ll just stick a reference to it over there.

I spent about 5 hours working, rearranging, editing, writing and never once did I worry about how it looked on the page or where should the page numbers go, or what should I put in the headers and footers and how will I mark my citations.

Found another source I want to use? Drop it in the “Works Cited” folder I created, and paste the URL into the summary for the folder. Using a book? OK, throw the title and author in there as well. Will sort it out later.

There were a few bumps in the road, and I still have almost no clue about getting this out of Scrivener into Word/PDF when I need to send it off, but I’m quite sure I’ll figure it out when the time comes. But as far as getting actual productive work done, this was just what I needed.


I’m glad it’s starting to make sense. :slight_smile: I’m hoping to make more screencasts in the future, too, but they take a long time, even for short ones, mainly because there’s only one of me - that screencast took about a week! But I’m glad it helped.

Getting work out to Word shouldn’t be a problem. Just use Compile Draft to get everything out to RTF or DOC. The next update makes Compile Draft a lot easier and a lot less cluttered.

Thanks and all the best,

One other piece of advice for luomat, probably gratuitous.


If you make nightly backups of your Home folder, all is well.
Or use the Scrivener command File: Backup Project to…
Or use the system Compress command to create a ZIP copy of the Project

It’s just important to make backups of every file signed .scriv
In case you spill celebratory beverages on the lap or laptop. :cry:

druid… Greetings from Canada.

Just evaluating Scrivener. Noted very recent forum posts where users could not either a.) find or b.) open their Scrivener files.

As my wife intends on using Scrivener to develop her dissertation it is VERY important that information/files are not lost/corrupted.

Thus began searching forum to determine if backups are possible. Based on your post it appears backups can be done.

If you would be every so kind… Could you please describe in this forum what must be done to backup Scrivener files/projects. Also, is the procedure the same or different for OX X 10.4 vs. 10.5?

Kindest regards,


Scrivener has a File > Backup To… feature, which will create a copy or zip up the project. The next update will feature an automatic backup feature, which will back up projects on close and also at specified time intervals if you so wish.

I should note that it is very rare for anyone to lose data with Scrivener. My aim, of course, is to make it impossible, but sadly I live in the Real World. :frowning:

Thanks for your interest in Scrivener and all the best,

Some easy methods of “backing up”

(1) Use the Backup to menu and select another drive (or in my case I use a thumb flash drive) as the destination.

(2) 10.5.x use Time Machine and another HD (USB external, networked drive, alternate drive), Time capsule and Time machine will do the rest

(3) Manually copy the Project file (.scrv) file(s) to another Drive, o burn to CD for archiving completed projects.

If you want an easy automated process and a one stop solution that provides an alternate backup up drive an everything and you aren’t comfortable setting up your own method I would suggest TIME CAPSULE

All you need is 10.5.x installed and either a wireless connection (Airport card)
more info

I have a 1TB Time Capsule sitting idle, except for running my internet connection, and even for that it’s slow. It was so hideously slow with Time Machine using x11.g that: it was corrupting the file as it wasn’t finishing one back-up when the next was scheduled to start; I couldn’t do any disk management wirelessly; and when I tried backing up my Documents folder using Synchronize Pro! X, which is brilliant and very fast, it was going to take 26 hours to transfer under 7GB of data …

I use Synchronize Pro! X to back my whole hard disk automatically at 3 a.m. every night to a bootable external FireWire disk. I did it manually today … it took well under 10 minutes to check what needed backing up on the — which have thousands of folders and about 2 million files — and 6 minutes to transfer around 800MB of data.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with the Time Capsule … it’s been a pig in a poke!


I would strongly recommend using a wired connection for backups. (Either an external drive connected directly to the system or a wired network drive.) Wireless is fine for surfing, but it just isn’t robust enough for that volume of data, and backups are too important to risk.

I use Time Machine connected to a USB external drive, BackJack for daily offsite data backup, and weekly SuperDuper to a FireWire drive. I lost a hard disk once, so I’m paranoid…


s/paranoid/smarter then bird brain/
s/paranoid/not going to repeat the same mistakes/
s/paranoid/able to learn from history unlike most government agencies/

The list is endless…


8.01.11g is slow and has known disconnect issues.

firewire/usb2.0 is a faster way to backup the initial backup. if it is incremental backups they are not very robust if done frequently.

Another way some people make intial backups or disk images are using disk imaging or cloning tools. These are not incremental backup systems but rather initial backups or images for restoation back to “custom” defaults.

Myself I use 801.11n for my incremental backups. The initial backup was done 1000 (Gigabit) ethernet. (wired)

One way to speed up Time Machine backups is to use the exlude list for many things that do not need to be backed up.

IN simple terms you should have a copy of anything that is deemed “irreplaceable”.

At work supporting many macs what is done is to install all the software/fonts/etc. Setup all the settings, preferences, etc. Then make a disc image once done.

Files are saved to a networked file server and the files server is backed up. THe workstations are not. If a HD fails we install a new hard drive then install the “disc image” and very little “productive time” is lost and the actual work files are stored on the Server and backups are made of the server files (One backup copy , manually done, is kept offsite in case of natural disaster)

In other words there are productive ways to back things up and then there are ways that can actually get you in trouble. One rule of thumb.

Never trust an “automated” backup system. If a file is irreplaceable, make a manual backup copy as well.

Problem is my MBP, being a revision 1 MBP only has 801.11g — 801.11n was put in them a couple of months after I bought this (Sod’s law!). Then there’re the other two Airport Expresses which a) run my music to the speaker system in my study and to the set up in the living room and b) handle printing, my printer being connected to the one in the study … they’re 811g.
I get the impression that the network is slower using the TC as the main wireless network node — or whatever it’s called … in spite of all this I’m not a true geek! — connected to the ADSL modem, with the AEs extending the network, than it was when I just had the latter two. And I originally had the printer plugged into the TC, but then, after the first page, it would print three lines, stop and think, print another line and a half, stop and think, print a few more lines …
So I’m thinking of splitting the network, which I believe you can, using an ethernet cable to connect the study AE to the TC functioning as a bridge, and have different network names/logins for the AEs and the TC. I’ll connect the latter to the MBP by ethernet to do an initial back-up of all the stuff, so then I’ll log-in to the AEs for printing, listening to music etc. and only log-in to the TC to do the incremental back-ups.
Since I’m getting tired of lugging this “portable desktop” around with me every day, I’m thinking of getting a MacBook Air to carry around to lectures etc. and leave this one at home as a “movable desktop”. If I do get an MBA, I’ll set up the TC to work with that on 801.11n.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to trust my Synchronize Pro! X back-up via FireWire. It’s been rock solid for all the time I’ve been using it, soon after I first switched to 10.0.0.


Keith… Thank you for quickly providing the (excellent and positive) information regarding backup capabilities for Scrivener. FYI in my view the Scrivener Forum and the contributors to the Scrivener Forum are top-notch.

Best regards for the week ahead,

Mine too! They make my job an awful lot easier, and they make it a pleasure as well.

Thanks and all the best,

And we only get unruly when folks talk bad about the ship or the captain. Especially that vic-k guy. What a trouble maker he is…

I came to this post while trying to find an offsite backup solution for my project (.Mac or FTP server). I hoped I’d find a automator script or such, and just found that an even better solution will be implemented directly in Scrivener – WOW! I cannot but help seeing Scrivener 1.5 (I’m already addicted to 1.x for months, Keith you deserve a statue somewhere as a tribute :wink:)
Until then I’ll do File > Backup To > iDisk. Or does anybody have a better solution?

Not a statue but a BEER FOUNTAIN in his name. One with century’s worth of unlimited beer flow…


Trouble with that is, we’d be arguing forever as to what brew the fountain would dispense … Don’t forget we’ve got a lot of Portlanders on board who’d be shouting for their favourite micro-brew, you southerners would be wanting something else, Vic-K would say it should dispense Jamieson’s, and Keith would want his favourite … I don’t remember exactly which one it is, but it’s not to my taste …


not to mention he would be too sauced to actually finish 1.5…