MacOS Free Trial is blank except for Start Here

Downloaded a free trial for MacOS but there is no text on any page of the file (Scrivener Tutorial) except for “Start Here.” Looked all over here in the forum but can’t see a solution.


Whoa. Suddenly I see text in Metadata, Comments & Footnotes, Composition Mode, Editor View Modes, Scrivenings, and all the pages after that. Is there not supposed to be text in pages The Binder, The Editor, Synopsis & Notes, etc? I’m seeing 15 pages in the Tutorial that are blank.

When you created the Tutorial project, where did you store it? This sounds like the sort of thing that can happen if a misguided “smart” synchronization operation stores part of the project exclusively in the cloud.

Ah. I read in the support notes about Dropbox issues so I was careful not to store Scrivener Tutorial.scriv in the same folder as the one I directed for backups… but it’s still in Dropbox. So apparently, I need to store the .scriv file on my laptop, apart from Dropbox and just rely on backups if I lose my laptop. Oy, makes me scared but did it and voila! All the pages populated. It would be great if the support documents re: Dropbox changed the emphasis from “same folder” to non-Dropbox folder. But thanks so much for the help and I will march forward!

It’s on the laptop either way, but if it’s also in Dropbox, you need to right-click (on a Mac at least) and select “make available offline”. You can do that on the .scriv or on the folder in which it resides.

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Thanks so much. I thought I had done this but I’m trying it again.

Happy to help.

Thank you for going to the Tutorial first: it’s much less stressful to discover this kind of potential problem early, rather than as you approach a deadline with thousands of words of your own.

In addition to running Scrivener project folders “offline” (as you discovered) best not to rely on Dropbox as a place to put backups. Dropbox is a sync service so if something happens to be backup files on your machine or on the Dropbox server (corruption, accidental delete, or a deliberate but “oops” change/delete), Dropbox will syncs the change and destroy your backups.

Thanks so much for the reply, rms. I’ve been using Dropbox for almost ten years and have never had a corruption issue from syncing. That includes files for Quickbooks, Filemaker, and others. Is Scrivener inherently different/more complex such that corruption is more of an issue there?

Ok. but real back ups are so much better. up to you.

Real backups… meaning manually copying to a hard drive?

One particularly spectacular example of Dropbox failure was a person who changed jobs and forgot to disconnect their Dropbox account from their work computer. When the former employer wiped their former hard drive, it obliterated their entire Dropbox account. There’ve been similar stories involving malicious ex-spouses, too.

A real backup is a static archive that is under your control and cannot be altered or deleted accidentally.

That could be a manual or automatic copy to an external hard drive – if you don’t already have a Time Machine volume for your Mac, get one – but it could also be an offsite backup service like BackBlaze. It is not any form of “cloud” service that automatically synchronizes data from two (or more) computers.

A Scrivener project is a folder, containing sub-folders and potentially hundreds of component files. Excluding spectacular events like wholesale deletion of a Dropbox folder, most Dropbox-related corruption involves some sort of synchronization error. For instance, if Computer A has one version of a file and Computer B has another, there are a number of ways in which Dropbox can become confused about which version is “newer” and should be preserved.

Yowie - That’s horrifying! Thanks so much for the reply. Definitely planning to check out BackBlaze now!

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Recommend TimeMachine ALSO and do now before setting up Backblaze. TimeMachine already on your Mac. Just have to get an external USB drive, which are inexpensive, and setup in “Settings”.

I run both TimeMachine (for backup of everything on Mac for easy restore of individual files, when req’d and full system restore on Macbook failure which has happened over the years a couple of times) and Backblaze (for offsite backups protecting when fire/theft/etc may occur).

Thanks! I never use TImeMachine but will start - I guess it’s silly not to when it’s there.

You guys are really helpful here!

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Cool. One last bit of unsolicited advice. Keep the USB disk plugged in all the time when using the Macbook (which i assume you use). Timemachine will just do its thing without you noticing. I have it set for hourly. first backup takes a while, of course. subsequent backups very quick usually.

Before closing lid. sleep, or shutdown, “eject” or “unmount” (I forget current words and not at Mac to look) the USB drive with Finder. Not crucial but macOS sometimes complains if you do not and by not doing may lead to disk errors. Just a “best practice” until computers get more perfect.

Dude, you have my back! Thanks for the handholding!

So… I’m a little paranoid about having the backup disk hanging out unprotected all the time. I was think about plugging it in once a day, backing up, and storing it in a fireproof box. Granted, fire and theft are way down the list in terms of possibilities but those are high on the list of reasons I would have a backup disc. Obviously corruption is high, too, but equally improbable based on my experience.

Also, I open and close (or walk away & return to) my laptop many times a day. So I need to eject the disc each time and plug it back in again when I open the laptop again?

Well in that case, I don’t know. I guess I would say (others can chip in) close lid and forget about it. If you get macOS warnings, then change the habit, I guess.

But, the disk, if you encrypt (and you should) is not unprotected.

OK, thanks very much for the help!