Issues using Scrivener and Dropbox

Hi all 8) I really enjoy using Scrivener, especially for outlining and plotting. I use it for both fiction and screenplay writing – the formatting for the latter works pretty well. I do seem to have a serious issue, however. Occasionally, files are missing…what I mean is, an icon for a scene will appear in the Binder, and will even indicate there’s writing in it, but when I click it to open it, it’s blank, and the icon suddenly switches to indicating no writing as well. I’ve been told this is not a Scrivener issue, but a DropBox issue. Any thoughts on this? I also use a service called iDrive for backups, but DropBox strikes me as easier to use since I write on more than one device. I’m open to using Google, etc. for Cloud storage

It’s a synchronization issue. The master index used to build the Binder has an entry for the file, but the actual text isn’t there. (Or at least isn’t at the location that the master index expects.) The same kind of thing can happen with any service: I’d recommend looking at your synchronization habits, rather than switching services.

Best practices for reducing the risk of synchronization errors can be found here: … c-services

That article also includes suggestions for fixing problems if they occur.


Hi dougal217,

As Katherine says, when you occasionally find missing text or documents in a project, these are typical symptoms of incomplete syncing. Your work habits are such that occasionally you don’t allow DropBox to finish syncing changes from one device before you open your Scrivener project on another device.

Or, more impolitely, it’s not DropBox, it’s you. :smiley:

After you’ve read the L&L best practices advisory that Katherine linked to, have a look at this post I wrote that also addresses syncing, but with an example that will help you visualize what you should be doing:


(While you’re at it, do also read my suggestions in that post re: backups, just to be sure that your backups are in shape.)

Hopefully while reading the advisory and the post you’ll recognize where you’re occasionally going sideways in your processes and be able to adjust them accordingly.

Ah – the dreaded “user error.” I should have known! :laughing:

Thank you so much, to both of you. On occasion, I do tend to get in a hurry and shutdown before things can get synced. Luckily, I have ample backups to restore from. Thanks again 8)