Luddite technophobe tautologist Q

I’m trying to sync scrivner across 2 computers. I know this question has been done to death, but I still don’t understand. What is the .scriv file? Do I drag the scrivner file from my applications folder to dropbox? If it is the scrivner file, why don’t you call it that?


On windows, the Scrivener “Project file” looks like a folder that has “.scriv” at the end of its name. That folder contains all sorts of individual files that make up your project, so some Windows users have to be reminded that the .scriv “file” or “folder” is important, and it should be moved or copied instead of just its contents.

On the Mac, this .scriv folder just looks and acts like (from your perspective) a single file.

Your project file should be located somewhere other than your applications folder. Likely, it is in your Documents folder, as that’s the default location provided when you first create a project in Scrivener. Close Scrivener, and then open the Finder and browse around your Documents folder. Try searching for “.scriv” in the search oval of the Finder, and click on “Scrivener Projects” when the Finder shows you that and any other optoins; the results will be every Scrivener project on your computer.

From there, you can move your project to your Dropbox folder. Be absolutely sure to follow the advice in the manual under the “Scrivener Everywhere” sub-heading.

Simple and safest way to proceed.
Go to File: Backup: Backup To…
Select a Dropbox folder for the backup
Check the Zip compression option.
(That protects all the files/folders in the project or .scriv file)
Adjust the file name as you wish. I write over the last backup.
Complete the Backup command.

At the other machine, Option-drag the Zip file to download it.
(That leaves a copy on Dropbox)
Open the file, work on it, backup a Zip copy to Dropbox.

As your project files grow larger and more complex,
This is the safest way to go, compress and backup.

Thank you for your responses. Here is the situation as I see it. When I looked for a .scriv file as Robert suggests, all I found by searching for .scriv in downloads and documents was the scriv.dmg, which is the installation package. So not being able to find the .scriv, I went to Druid’s suggestions.

I created a file on dropbox and using Druid’s suggestion, did the Backup To and now I have my project file in the Dropbox folder. I think this means that I have it backed up on Dropbox. Statement of obviousness, but I have little faith in these things until I see them work many times.

So far so good. Regarding the other machine, I have Scrivener downloaded on it. With Scrivener closed on Machine 1, on Machine 2, I go to dropbox, find my project in a Project.scrivx file. It asks if I want to share the link, so I click on that and the download button appears. I click that, it downloads, I click the downloaded file and get message that, The document “Downloads.scriv” could not be opened.

I’m so frustrated with this seemingly simple process. Is there a way to start over? I’ve spent far too much time dithering over this.

I close visualizing Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove riding a nuclear bomb down to Literature and Latte headquarters. Yippee ki i aye!

Can you install software on machine 2? If you can, just go here and download the Dropbox software:

Once it’s installed, it will ask you for your dropbox login and password. Once that’s in place, you’ll have a dropbox folder on machine 2, and all of the files & folders from machine 1’s dropbox folder will begin downloading. Once that’s complete, you’re golden. Just make sure that you always 1. close your project before leaving either of your computers, 2. let dropbox upload the last of the changes that occur when Scrivener closes before you shut the computer down, and 3. when you’re back at the other computer, let dropbox download your changes automatically after you log on before you open the project.

I think it’s important that you know where your original project is though, because this is going to get very confusing really quickly if you have two versions (the one you put into the dropbox folder, and the other one you had when you used “file->Backup->Backup to…”

On the machine with the original project:

  1. Open that project however you normally do.
  2. Hold down the control key and click on the name of your project in the center of the very top of your Scrivener window.
  3. The path to your file should go from the bottom to the top in some form like this: [Your computer’s Name]->Macintosh HD->Users->[your login id]->Documents->[some other folder?]->[Maybe a few more folders deep]
  4. click on the last folder, just under the name of your Scrivener project.

This will open a finder window to that folder, and should highlight your scrivener project file.

I suggest you close Scrivener at that point, and in the Finder, rename the project to add “-ORIGINAL” or something similar to it’s name. Why? Because it’s really easy to get confused about which version of the project you’re working on if they’re named exactly the same, but are located in two different locations on your computer.

terry, a word or two about Scrivener nomenclature:
it’s useful to go into Finder: Preferences and check
“Show all filename extensions”
Then the Scrivener application file will say “”
Any files you create with that app will be “filename.scriv”

Any .scriv file is actually a package of files that contains
Many files, which you may see by one-clicking a file,
Holding down Control and selecting Show Package Contents
So every .scriv is a package, and that’s why it’s best to ZIP-compress
Whenever you want to make a backup copy.
This may not be “synching” as you had hoped or imagined.
You’re just making copies, safely wrapped in compression
To endure the many hazards of Internet travel.

Another name for package, closer to writer-work, is project
Some users like to keep many projects in a single .scriv file
Which is OK if your texts are short and distinct, like poems or letters
But I prefer to make every project its own distinct self
distinguished by name–here are some for a course called 353:

353 classes.scriv
353 comments.scriv
353 final.scriv

Others for a series of essays:
am noir.scriv

You may keep these in a single folder, maybe called Scrivener Files
Or place them with other work files and locate them
With a Saved Search for the extension .scriv

If you already know this, I apologize
But it seemed from your above comment
That there might be some initial confusion.
And believe me, we were all there at one time.

Best from a fellow Celtic, of Iberian origin
And Lanc-York interim destination.

Hello guys,

It appears that I–dutifully pressing buttons and levers as directed by youse-- may have this fixed. Copious thanks. I seem to be accessing the same file file from both machines–though not at the same time. When I was on M2 and tried to open the file on dropbox and got the message that it was already open on M1, that was when I felt sure.

I really appreciate the help.

That’s the way I roll. Half cocked. So Robert, I read through you message again to double verify I have the same project on both machines and that seems to be the case.

Now Druid, I have my book project in the dropbox folder. Call it BP1. I have another project which I saved to dropbox. My question is I created a folder for the first and not the second, so it is seen in dropbox as a file instead of a folder. Does that matter? Would it be a good idea to create a folder or would that be superfluous?

Visual of Slim Pickens riding the nuke down to Literature and Latte headquarters, “Yee haw” ing, still slapping the side of all those megatons of explosives with his hat, suddenly realizing that perhaps L&L is okay after all.

Sorry I blew up.

Your projects may reside in the SAME folder, as long as they have distinctive names.

Scrivener Projects [a folder]
Komodo Dragons of Hades.scriv [a project file, book draft]
Drag Queens of Stockport.scriv [a project file, essay draft]
Best Ales-Stouts of Yorkshire.scriv [a project file, lecture draft]

When you install and run Dropbox, it places a folder on your hard drive.
You should see its icon in your Sidebar, on the far left of a Finder window.
In that folder, you may create/delete folders, move files around, rename them;
Perform any of the actions you would on any other set of files within a folder
When you make changes in your local DB folder, they copy to the remote server.

Onward, and best wishes to Slim.