New files and folders start with old text

It’s only a minor grief but for some reason when I create a new file or folder it prepopulates with text from older files.

For example, I noticed this when I made a new folder the other day and my word count jumped. I hadn’t realized at that point that a folder could convert to a file, so I messed around a bit til I figured that out. Once I converted the folder to a file I opened it and it was full of text from several scenes ago. It isn’t a program breaking bug by any means, but it is very strange.

Since I first noticed it about a week ago I’ve had it happen on and off several times. Is there something I can do to prevent it?

Is your project stored on Dropbox or other sync service? It sounds like your project has gotten out of sync, such that documents you’ve created at some point aren’t being properly listed in the binder and are reappearing when you create a new binder item. The binder file identifies all the documents by their ID number, but if the project is out of sync, you may have files with ID numbers the binder thinks are unused and so once created they immediately link to the existing file rather than being a blank slate for you. Usually when this happens, it looks like documents are missing from the binder, and then they reappear when you start creating new items, but depending how you’ve been working, you may have ended up with duplicates of items at some point, or a third-party service (like Skydrive, etc.) might have named the conflicted documents in a way that’s affecting how they’re recognised by the binder.

To start sorting this out, I’d do three things first:

  1. Make a full backup of your project via File > Back Up > Back Up To… and verify it so you don’t have to worry about messing around with the project now to clean it up.

  2. Open up the automatic backup folder (accessible from the Backup tab of Tools > Options) and copy all the backups for this project to another location, again just as a failsafe, and because if this is a new problem, it may be easiest to just go back and restore from one of those, so we want to copy them out now before you end up overwriting them with newer versions.

  3. Check through your current project to ensure that the text you’re looking at in new folders is a) identical to the already existing text (e.g. not an older copy that was rewritten in another document or such) and b) not the only copy of that text. You may have already done this, but it’s worth a check if not, since if the binder is an older version, it might just be missing those files you think are the original copies of this text.

In the sync problem I’m describing, the documents are likely all to be within the project folder or accessible as an older version (e.g. Dropbox keeps versions of files for up to 30 days), and possibly even the correct version of the binder is there on some computer, so it’s almost always recoverable, it just needs a little cleanup. And of course that’s assuming this is the problem you’re seeing; you might just have duplicates somehow of some files and not be missing anything at all.

Ah, I had a suspicion. I’ve been using Google Drive, and thought perhaps it was syncing strangely. Thanks for the advice!

When it first happened I made sure the copied passage was still in the correct place, so I don’t believe I’m missing anything.