Interest in beta testing; what about the risks?

I am eager for the release of Scrivener and would love to help with the beta, but I have two concerns:

I will beta test it with an academic project since when I lose this kind of work, it is usually remade into something better. This said, what can alleviate my worry of losing work (I can’t lose 15 pages…)?

Is the Scrivener-Word switch fluid in both directions? The project I want to test Scrivener with is currently split into many files. I can deal with one laborious switch, but if the beta closes and I don’t have money for the final version, or the final version is not yet released, I want to the freedom to switch back to Word without wasting time.

Worst case, you can download the free trial of the final version and use it to export your files.

There have a been a few gaps between expiration of one beta and release of the next, but I think they’ve been in the neighborhood of 24 hours or less – so maybe in part attributable to time differences with the developer being in Australia.

I’d suggest you start saving for the final version now, though. It’s supposed to be out this month, and once you use Scrivener for a while you won’t be able to stand working any other way.

Katherine

I agree. I have spent money on other programs for writing, and have a number of them sitting on my machine. I have gotten more writing done recently because of Scrivener than I had in the previous six months!

And since things are saved as RTF files, going back and finding an old saved copy can be very helpful for when the cat decides that the shortest line between where he is and where he wants to be is across your keyboard, erasing your first three paragraphs. (No fooling - that exact thing happened to me on Sunday. Went into an old RTF, grabbed the paragraphs, and my story was back where it needed to be.)

I even went out and bought a copy for my Mac Cube. Just waiting for the final version on Windows to get released.

Back up, back up, and then email it to yourself. (Why, yes, I did just finish a doctorate.) Hell, mail the backup to a friend in a geographically distant place. It’s a good habit to get into.

I generally dump my scrivener project to a zip backup every time I open it up and then every time I close it. It makes for a lot of files, but I generally only keep the 5 most recent. i also compile it to PDF every time I close the program, so there’s redundancy in it.

But even if things go belly up, you can access your files by going into the project directory–everything is an RTF file.