Okay to run two instances at one time?

I’ve accidentally opened two copies of Scrivener at the same time (two different projects), and have immediately closed one, thinking that it probably was a bad thing to do. But lately, I’ve wondered if maybe that just wasn’t true?
Is there any reason why this wouldn’t work? There are lots of other apps that allow more than one instance to run simultaneously, so maybe this would be okay with Scrivener?
I am planning a rewrite of part of a project and for my way of thinking, it would work nicely to have one copy running on one monitor and another on another monitor and copy/paste from one to the other where needed.


I can’t speak for Windows, but it’s OK with the Mac version.
It’s the same application, opening two different project files.
And yes, you can drag/drop items between the two.
I would not try to open two different window views of the same file.
(I don’t think that’s possible.)
Although I could open a new blank project and copy parts of another project into it.
That’s handy if you have decided to split up early material into later versions.
Good luck!

I frequently have two or more separate projects open at once. There’s nothing wrong with doing that.

Conceptually and practically, this is no different than having two Word documents open at the same time, or two spreadsheets, or two browser windows, etc… The only visible difference is that the projects are each made of many individual files and folders.

The experts will no doubt weigh in with more substantial advice. But in my use of Scrivener for Windows, I’ve more than once opened two different projects in two different instances of Scrivener at the same time. I don’t think that’s a problem.

I’d be really hesitant about opening the same project in two different instances, though. What with auto-saving, auto-backup, and human error, I’d think there’d be too much chance of two different processes trying to write to the same file at the same time, risking corruption of the file.

Given what you want to do, what about saving the entire project under a new name (using File > Save As), then opening that new-name version and deleting everything but the bit you want to revise (keeping whatever is needed to support that bit)? You could work on the revisions, then copy and paste from there back into the original.

There are probably better ways to do this, and no doubt someone with more knowledge will suggest one. But this method should avoid any risk of damaging the entire project.

I just tried opening the same project twice by double-clicking on the .scrivx file after I had it open. Scrivener just silently refuses to open it again. If you somehow managed to get it to try, it would normally warn you that the project is already open, possibly on another machine (a familiar sight for Dropbox users).

You can accidentally end up editing a copy of your project if you use “File->Save As” to create a backup before doing structural changes to your work, but that’s beside the point… but since I mentioned it, the way to avoid this is to use “File->Backup->Backup to”. It makes a copy, but leaves you editing the original.

There is absolutely no problem with editing multiple projects at once on your computer. The software has been designed with this eventuality in mind.

As for the same project in two instances, that should not even be possible, and you definitely would not want to try and trick your computer into doing it. If you try to open an already open project, the existing window should be raised instead.

Okay, specifically on that: yes you can work that way, but I would give consideration to handling your revisions in a single project, first. Simply duplicating the contents of the Draft folder and grouping them into a new top-level folder can be enough to set aside a “revision” that will be as complete as possible, all the way down to its keywords and notes. Meanwhile it will allow you to open up older revisions in a second split while you work on the current WIP in the other. Overall it should be much more efficient to work this way, than using two project windows.

Of course, there are also snapshots. Some prefer to set aside revisions on a piecemeal basis rather than bulk copying the entire draft whether or not every single section of it needs a duplicate copy. Snapshots stay embedded in the outline, invisible to it save for those little “dog ears” on the document icons that have snapshots. So they don’t clutter things up and can be referenced in the Inspector sidebar for copy & paste.

Thanks to everyone for their advice and input on this. This is a really helpful forum :smiley:


Pfew! Good to know… :smiley:
I’ve been juggling docs from one project to another with a number of them opened for some time now… :slight_smile: