My chapters vanished

Please can someone help. I’m a new scrivener user and still learning.
I had 17 chapters listed, and yesterday all was fine. My word count was also accurate.
Today, opened scrivener, list of chapters on left as normal. However, 14 of them were blank pages!
Now, the only thing different that I did was that having begun ch 1, named it, then opened a new text doc from the tool bar bottom left of page. This gave me another page to name -ch 1 again. Then did the writing. I repeated this for ch2 & 3.
However, for whatever reason, I was able to do the other chapters just by opening a new chapter, naming it, and then writing. I did not have to open a new text document for each separate chapter, and so thought this was ok. The first problem I had was when I exported my work back to my desktop -the saved file opened and only displayed the first 3 chapters.
And now today, the remaining chapters vanished.
So, when you come to write a new chapter, you open a new chapter, and then presumably you have to then open a new text - is this right and if so, can I be assured that I’m not at risk of losing anything.
Thanks for your help. :confused:

The business of whether to just write in chapters or multiple documents within chapters is really just a matter of preference. Probably best to do it one way or the other, but which way shouldn’t matter technically, and should be able to switch in mid-stream if necessary.

I may be leaping to a conclusion, but bear with me…

Not sure what you mean by “when I exported my work back to my desktop”. What is your workflow, how many computers are involved, are you sharing/passing the Scrivener project (the .scriv folder and everything in it) via some cloud service (DropBox, etc.?). Saving vs exporting vs backing up?

The safe paranoid way to work is:

  • Have the live project (the .scriv folder and everything in it including the project.scrivx file and associated folders) on the local drive of whatever computer you are working on the project on.
  • When wrapping up a work session on that computer and want to save a copy of the project to some place/media that the other computer can access, do a File > Back Up > Back Up To > make sure “backup as ZIP file” box is checked and let it generate a name that has date/time stamp as part of name, so that it saves the project out in compressed form, the .scriv folder and all its contents in a single physical .zip file. You may be able to do that straight to the place/media that the other computer accesses or may have to copy it there once out of Scrivener, depending on your setup.
  • On the other computer, decompress/unzip the backup zip file produced above, so that the contents are again available, on this other computer, as a regular file system folder (.scriv folder and all its contents) on that computer’s local drive.
  • On the other computer, work on that uncompress/unzipped regular file system version of the project.
  • When wrapping up on that other computer, do the File > Back Up > Back Up To business discussed earlier again, and pass the resulting single .zip file back via whatever the exchange place/media is.
  • Decompress/unzip on the other computer.
  • Repeat for each pass between computers.

The above will work, regardless of the exchange place/media being used.

Yes, some folks manage to do it other ways that don’t involve as many steps (some maintain their live project folders on their cloud (DropBox) sync folders)… and some don’t and crash and burn.

If that’s not the issue, post back and perhaps someone else can suggest something.

Hope that is of some assistance.

thanks for your reply. I hadn’t been using the file, back up, back up to command. I will however do that from now, just in case. I’d hate to lose anything & I’m already paranoid having lost 5k words a little while ago.
What I was doing was saving directly onto an external usb -saves the complete scrivener file. I then also save by clicking file, save as, & put it as rtf in my destop. It seems to work ok, plus I have dropbox to send a copy to.
However, all I found was that by having opened a chapter file, and writing text, for whatever reason this was not opening up on the saves. Then when I went back into scrivener a day after writing, it was also not opening there.
To rectify, I clicked on ‘new text’ (bottom left on scrivener) for every chapter, and recopied each chapter into a separate text page. Sounds laborious, it was, but it’s worked. Now all chapters open up as they should. So whether it’s just a little blip or a flaw who knows. But thanks for the reply and for tips on backing up. Much appreciated. :wink: