Multi platform issues?

Hi all,

I’m not completely sure this is the right forum for this, but it doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else.

New to Scrivener (used the free trial briefly after the last NaNoWriMo) and I’m thinking of starting up writing again. I have a couple of questions about using Scrivener:

  1. How easy is it to switch back and forth between versions? I travel for a living, and I’ll be using a Windows workstation while on the road (since I don’t prefer to carry two laptops with me when I travel) but a Mac at home. Is there complete functional compatibility between the versions?
  2. How easy is syncing the package back and forth going to be? I’ve read about some issues with using iCloud in the forum…does this extend to Dropbox/Skydrive?
  3. Do I get a price break by buying one of each version or is it full price for both?

Thanks,

crr

1. How easy is it to switch back and forth between versions? I travel for a living, and I’ll be using a Windows workstation while on the road (since I don’t prefer to carry two laptops with me when I travel) but a Mac at home. Is there complete functional compatibility between the versions?
Broadly speaking, yes. With the recent additions of Inspector comments and footnotes, the Win version is pretty close. You won’t be able to play with any custom meta-data on the Win version, and you might have to make a couple of allowances in the use of placeholder tags because of the wider range of compile options that are currently available on the Mac, but basically the compatibility is great.

Also worth mentioning is that Lit’n’Lat are working towards feature parity, so this will become even less of an issue as time goes by.

A couple of things you might notice switching between platforms:

  • You might get some font changes in your manuscript when you switch platforms (even if you have the same font installed on both machines).
  • “Page Break Before” doesn’t seem to be remembered between platforms. That is to say, changing from one OS to the other will uncheck all those tickboxes.

However, minor things aside (all of which I’d expect to disappear with time), I find working between platforms to be very easy. I should point out in the interests of journalistic integrity that I’m predominantly a Windows user - that is where I do all my actual writing - so I find it very easy to keep to the Windows feature set. I suspect a long time mac user who is heavily reliant on custom meta-data might find it needs a bit more of a compromise.

2. How easy is syncing the package back and forth going to be? I’ve read about some issues with using iCloud in the forum…does this extend to Dropbox/Skydrive?
I use dropbox. As long as you never have the same project open on two machines, always close out of the project when quiting, and always listen when Scrivener warns you that something is amiss then you shouldn’t have any major problems. Read and follow the (more complete) advice for cloud sharing elsewhere in the forum.

I have had a couple of conflict errors when I’ve gotten lazy, but they are usually easy to fix if you know what you are doing, and importantly you know which computer is likely to have the “correct” version.

3. Do I get a price break by buying one of each version or is it full price for both?
It’s full price for both. The OSs have different development teams, and have both been built from the ground up. Remember, Software Engineers need to eat just like the rest of us.
If you really need a break on the cost, consider waiting until November, writing at least 50,000 words for the NaNoWriMo thing and earning yourself a discount code (assuming Lit’n’Lat are sponsoring it again this year).

Thanks for the (very complete) reply! I’ve a couple of further comments below:

Also worth mentioning is that Lit’n’Lat are working towards feature parity, so this will become even less of an issue as time goes by.
This is great news! I’m happy that they’re not keeping the status quo or (even worse) allowing them to drift further apart like I’ve seen on some other multiplatform projects.

I should point out in the interests of journalistic integrity that I’m predominantly a Windows user - that is where I do all my actual writing - so I find it very easy to keep to the Windows feature set. I suspect a long time mac user who is heavily reliant on custom meta-data might find it needs a bit more of a compromise.
I travel literally every week, so most of my work will likely be on my Windows machine as well, but when I’m home I’d like to use my Mac with the Natural keyboard, better mouse, all my music, etc. :slight_smile:

As long as you never have the same project open on two machines, always close out of the project when quiting, and always listen when Scrivener warns you that something is amiss then you shouldn’t have any major problems.

I have had a couple of conflict errors when I’ve gotten lazy, but they are usually easy to fix if you know what you are doing, and importantly you know which computer is likely to have the “correct” version.
When you say close out the project, is there a special step I would need to take, or will closing Scrivener take care of that for me? As a new user, I’m not 100% comfortable that I’d know what to do in the case of a conflict, but most likely the “correct” version will only be in one place so that should at least cut down on those.

It’s full price for both. The OSs have different development teams, and have both been built from the ground up. Remember, Software Engineers need to eat just like the rest of us.
If you really need a break on the cost, consider waiting until November, writing at least 50,000 words for the NaNoWriMo thing and earning yourself a discount code (assuming Lit’n’Lat are sponsoring it again this year).

That’s fair, and I’m happy to support them, but $40 saved is $40 saved, so I thought I’d ask. :slight_smile:

I’ll probably go ahead and take the plunge now, since I got started late last year, (I hadn’t even heard of NaNoWriMo until it started showing up in my social media feeds last year…apparently I live under a rock) and I’m not getting any younger.

No probs. Welcome to the Forums!

When you say close out the project, is there a special step I would need to take, or will closing Scrivener take care of that for me?
Yes, closing Scrivener will close out of the project, but you’ll also need to make sure you have given dropbox a chance to upload the files to the cloud - so don’t open it on another machine before you’ve had a chance to connect your machine to the internet and sync the files (the little dropbox icon gets a green tick when it has done this.

As a new user, I’m not 100% comfortable that I’d know what to do in the case of a conflict, but most likely the “correct” version will only be in one place so that should at least cut down on those.
If you go though the files in a corrupted version, you’ll see dropbox will have duplicated some of these and save ONE of them with some extra info in the filename that says where the corruption occurred.
You need to go through all of these and delete which ever is the earlier / incorrect version, and make sure the names are back where they need to be.
If it happens, check back and someone will help I’m sure!