Making changes without Scrivener?

Is there way to make changes to my project on a computer that doesn’t have Scrivener? I like to work on the school computers in between classes, but of course they don’t have Scrivener. I’d be able to access my project through Dropbox, and I know the individual files can open in a program like Word, but isn’t it recommended not to make changes this way outside Scrivener since it might mess up footnotes/comments/searching features? I thought I read something about that in the tutorial, at least.

Is installing Scrivener on a flash drive the best option available to me?


This is what the Mac Sync with External Folder function is for.

Unfortunately, that feature is not yet available for the Windows version. In its absence, though, you can emulate the function manually:

  • In Scrivener, use the Export feature to export the file(s) you would like to work on.

  • Access these files via Dropbox using the editor of your choice.

  • When you get back to Scrivener, re-import the files that have changed. You can identify the changed files by timestamp or by renaming them in the external editor.

You will now have two copies of the changed files – the original and the edited version – inside the Scrivener project. You can delete the originals if you like, or simply move them to a new location in the Binder.

Clunky, yes, but this will work. The biggest issue is that you are personally responsible for keeping track of the versions of individual files, because Scrivener isn’t doing it for you. Be sure to keep good backups so that you can revert to an earlier version if something goes wrong.


Oh. And no, you definitely don’t want to open the files inside the Scrivener project directly. Doing so is very likely to break something and make part of the project inaccessible to Scrivener.