(iOS) Add "import from another app" to the sync button for .zip and .scrivx files

I have .zip and .scrivx files in other document management/cloud apps that I’d like to import into Scrivener but there doesn’t seem to be a way to do that as Scrivener displays a message that these file type can’t be imported.

Could you please consider allowing this in the next update, ideally overwriting older projects with the same name?

If anyone else would like this, please voice your support here. :mrgreen:

Thanks in advance :wink:

Neither iOS nor Desktop Scrivener can directly open either .ZIP or .scrivx files.

A .ZIP file is a compressed archive. It needs to be uncompressed before Scrivener can figure out what’s even in it.

A .scrivx file is the master index file for a Scrivener project. It is pretty much useless without the rest of the .scriv package.



I don’t know why I was trying to sync the .scrivx, I’ve managed to import a .scriv.

However, it would be really useful to be prompted to replace files with the same name instead of having a number added on the end of the file name.

Given the value people place on their project files, adding the prompt you suggest would surely invite a mistake you never want your users to make – namely overwriting their project file when that is not really what they meant to be doing.

I guess Scrivener for ios is designed with a sort of workflow in mind which would make importing and overwriting scrivener projects a very unusual act.

My two cents!


Thanks for your input. Actually, this is what happens when we import files via iTunes: we get a prompt asking us whether we want to overwrite the project.

I understand the risks, maybe there could be an undo feature in the event a project is mistakenly overwritten.

Basically, what I’m trying to accomplish is an easier way to import/export .scriv files (or .zip) from various iOS apps.

What other apps are you talking about? I don’t know about anyone else here, but I’m afraid I haven’t the foggiest idea what it is you’re trying to do. Can you explain in more detail?


I don’t use DropBox. I use iTunes sync, which is quite a pain to use. I’ve been experimenting with a few apps that store files locally on iOS such as Notebooks or FileApp as these allow for wifi sync or WebDav back to the Mac.

These apps display .scriv files as folders so don’t allow them to be sent to other apps like Scrivener (though, it seems iCloud Drive does). I was therefore wondering whether the action could be added to Scrivener to import .scriv files from other apps and then save .scriv back to them again.

As previously discussed, importing these would replace the existing files.

Thing is, a .scriv project is not a file, it is a package which may contain thousands of files of different types, which is why those apps, which don’t work with the package format display them as folders. But if they’re not appearing as packages when back on the Mac—a .scriv appears as a folder on Windows, but is still a package as far as the Mac is concerned—then those apps must be doing something to deconstruct the package so Scrivener for Mac can no longer recognise it. iCloud does know about packages, but is unable to cope with all the traffic during editing in Scrivener—read KB on why Dropbox—and in my experience is comparatively slow even on a 50Gb/Sec internet connection.

It’s your choice, of course, not to use Dropbox.

Just my perception as a user.


Thanks for your reply.

I’m aware of the decision for Scrivener to use DropBox and am not disputing that.

Maybe I should focus on zips rather than .scriv files. I seemingly can copy zips to Scrivener (iOS) and they open ok. I can then save that zip back to a file manager.

While this isn’t as easy as using iTunes, it could work in a pinch and allows alternative syncing methods to be used. The workflow could be improved if it were maybe completely managed within Scrivener, as I previously mentioned, allowing for previous versions of the projects to be archived.

Also, can Scrivener for Mac save as zip instead of .scriv automatically?

.scriv is NOT a file, as others have pointed out above. I just want to avoid anyone reading this and making that misstake. What looks like a .scriv file is a package on a Mac, i.e. essentially a folder masquerading as a file to hide the content of the folder. On Windows it is a folder.
So a correct wording of your statement would be:

Maybe I should focus on zips rather than .scriv packages/folders.

Again, a .ZIP file is a compressed archive. In the case of a Scrivener project, it contains subfolders and potentially hundreds of component files. You will need to uncompress it in order for Scrivener to recognize it.

Desktop Scrivener can be configured to save automatic backups as .ZIP files. Note, however, that these are backups and may or may not match the state of the live project at any given moment. If you choose to transfer them to your iOS device, conflict detection and resolution are entirely up to you.

Along the same lines, please note that iOS Scrivener supports syncing via Dropbox, and direct file transfer via iTunes. All other data transfer methods are unsupported and are entirely at your own risk.

Personally, I would suggest that you develop a better understanding of the Scrivener project format before even considering this kind of approach. What you don’t know will hurt your data. Appendix F in the (Mac) Scrivener manual has a good overview.


“Overwriting a project” entails overwriting a complex file structure with potentially hundreds of component files. If it’s undoable at all – which it may not be – it would be an operating system-level action. No, I wouldn’t anticipate an undo command for this any time soon.


Ok thanks. As I wrote, I’ll stick to iTunes for now, hoping to see alternative syncing methods eventually.