Mixed languages and lost project

Although I’m new to Scrivener, I work on Windows for many years and as a technical translator I had to train using all kind of software.
But here I get to problems I can’t figure out.
At first I choose to set Scrivener to French because I write in French but discovering that the manual is in English I reverted to English.
“Babillard” for Corkboard is nice but it’s Canadian French and means “bulletin board" (to communicate with others.)
But now the Binders shows the two languages mixed together. Well, mostly French.
Should I reinstall in English maybe (French spelling control works fine) ?
The second problem: When reopening a project from the file menu, it was empty.
The best I could find in the backups was an empty project when opening Scrivener, with 2 other Scrivener windows of the Binders I made but without text.
All the files I wrote are in the Files folder of the project.
In short:

  • Project in S is empty (even the binder)
  • Another S-window from backup shows the complete binder but no files.
  • Files exist as i.e. “4.rtf”.
    My mistake could be that I mixed the project files of several test projects before tying more serious work.
    Totally convinced that Scrivener is a good and useful tool, I decided to buy it. But if I could get some clue on these problems it would help me to work with more peace of mind.
    All my thanks,

Hi Bernard, and welcome to the forums! Sorry you’ve been having some trouble with the language interface. Thanks for the note about the translation for Corkboard. Do you have a suggestion for a better term to replace it? I’ll make a note of it for an update if so.

As far as the mixed language you’re seeing in your project, this is the result of how some of the labels are saved in the project, so changing the interface language does not affect them after the project has been created. New projects you create will use the correct terms for the interface language that is set at the time. This is something on our list to correct, so that changing the language will properly adjust the set text in existing projects (without of course affecting custom settings, like if you have renamed “Label” or “Status” in your project), but until then probably the easiest solution to get everything back in English is to create a new project and then import your existing project to the new one via File > Import > Scrivener Project… You’l need to then drag all your documents from the imported Draft folder into the “real” Draft folder of the new project, but you should be able to do that easily with a Shift-click to select and then just drag and drop or right-click and choose Move To > Draft.

Regarding the blank project, the first thing I’d check is that you haven’t accidentally loaded an empty collection in the binder, making it appear as though the work is missing. That would explain why all your files are still in the project folder but not visible in Scrivener. Check in the binder footer for a small “X” in a circle and click that to close the collection and return to the regular binder view. You could also choose View > Collections > Show Collections to see all the collection tabs at the top of the binder, then click on “Binder” there to return to the standard binder.

If that doesn’t seem to be the problem, and the header at the top of the binder still says “Binder” (or “Classeur”, if you created the project while the interface was in French), could you explain what you mean by saying you “mixed the project files of several test projects”? Were you moving files within the project folders, outside of Scrivener? That could certainly cause problems, but I’m not sure if that’s what you meant.

Hello Jennifer
Thanks for this clear answer.
About the languages, I can wait until the next version. Indeed new projects are all in English. My point was the coherence between a project and the manual to understand it better. So this is solved for me.
About a French Word for Corckboard, it’s not very easy. Referring to the form as a board, words like Tableau, Affichage, Notes, are already used in other computer of book contexts. Referring to the function, since it’s more an index than a pin-board, we could think of “Panneau-index”, what seems me the most evocative of what it really is. Well, if this term is not too long. All other words I can think of, give the idea of notes as reminders, or as a mean to communicate with others.
For the blank project, I’ll try to be more clear: On opening my project the Binder was reduced to just the first Title, and no more Docs in the Editor. Beside this, I found a backup (Zip file) with the full Binder, but without any corresponding files. Using explorer, I found all files in the folder (Files > Docs) of my project, but not in backup folder. I concluded that the Binder was no more linked to the files or even to the project.
(to be exact, one backup opened as 3 Scrivener windows: 1 normal with the empty Binder and 2 with a coded file name containing the full binder. I saved one of them).
Then I realized that I managed to save my project between the folders of the Non-fiction template. When I moved my project folder out of this, I discovered another test project between these folders.
How I did it? No idea. Reading your explanation, I guess this is the problem. I see now that such a mistake is not possible when saving from Scrivener.
This morning, I moved the files (Docs) to the project with the full Binder. The result in Scrivener was quite good with just 2 docs linked to the wrong title.
At least, I’m sure that the problem is not a bug (and that I could make more mistakes).
With the hope this could help.


Thanks for the extra input! I’ve taken a look also at the translation we’re using for the Mac version (done separately from Windows) and it looks like the translators went with “Tableau d’affichage” there.

It does sound as though files got moved around somehow and that caused the problems with the project. As you noted, it shouldn’t be possible from within Scrivener to create or otherwise save a project inside another project’s folder (and please do let us know if you come across a scenario where Scrivener lets you do this), but since the project folders are just regular folders on your computer, it is possible for you–or sometimes other programs–to rifle through the contents, save other files there, or move or delete files. Simply put, don’t do that. :slight_smile: Except in extreme cases where a project has been corrupted and you need to extract your writing directly from the project folder by copying out the files in the Files/Docs folder, you should never need to do more than open the [ProjectName].scriv folder to select the “project.scrivx” file to open the project in Scrivener.

At this point, have you gotten everything for your project straightened out into a new, useable project, or do you still need some help restoring the writing you’ve already done? It sounds like you may have it all sorted and are ready to move forward, but don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it!

Hello Jennifer,
“Tableau d’affichage” indeed. The corckboard is quite a special concept and translators do not get the time to fully understand a programme.
Mixing the folders seems to be only possible within Explorer. At first try I didn’t noticed that a project consist of several folders and after some tests I decided to arrange the folders.
Because I saw that the project file has always the same name (project.scrivx) I put a number before (00project.scrivx). The idea was to open a project by double click on project.scrivx or even creating a link to it. but of course, since the names are different, it’s possible, from Scrivener to save in the wrong place. I should have read the manual before but I was in the philosophy of “try before you buy”…
Now it all works fine, thank you. I’ll sure come back here. It’s a good forum with a lot to learn.

Bonjour to all,
French ranslation for Corkboard in the specific case of Scrivener could “Tableau de bord” which is a multi-meaning expression usually translated as “scoreboard”. It can also mean “dashboard” or command cabin (in planes) or front panel (in cars). The “tableau de liège” would not be very evocative. Best

Hello Rigas. This is a good point but I would like to go further. The only advantage of Tableau d’affichage is that it’s coherent with the Canadian translation, but indeed not really satisfactory. One of the problems in translation is the different approaches of the each culture. At first, when translating, we think of the equivalent of a word as we could find it in a dictionary.
However, generally speaking, the English approach is visual (what it’s like) while de French approach if functional (what it does). Many times i.e. we find ‘shells’ in an English text and we cannot translate it without knowing the function. A shell could be several different things.
So we can think about this corkboard endlessly. We have different kinds of Tableaux d’affichage, regardless of it’s made of cork or something else. To me as a French speaker, Tableaux d’affichage does not cover the meaning and at first I thought of a board to pin notes. If you say Tableau de bord, I think of a menu with buttons and indicators (like in a plane or a car).
If we think only about the function, it should be “synoptique" in his real meaning: an overview with a short description for each title of the content, and not only the description (cnrtl.fr/definition/synoptique). Of course we would miss the feeling of the cork as a substantial (friendly) matter and the idea of changing their order easily. But if you say ‘synoptique’ I know immediately what I can do with it.
By the way, my thanks for helping me find the French manual. I didn’t know about it.