Love the software and have been using - not perfectly - but using it for a long time.
I had been relying on “recent projects” to find my files, saving backups by emailing myself zip files, etc, because I just hadn’t figured everything out yet. But I really dug into it and finally understand the file structure and how to open a past project. I know, I know, it seems obvious to a software engineer - how could I not figure it out?
Here’s where the confusion comes in for me. Scivener creates a folder with the .scriv extension. But if I click on it, it doesn’t open the project. (Yes, I could see it was a folder, but since it had an extension, I expect it to open my project.) I knew that everything in that folder was important, so I was afraid to touch anything in there. Thus the resorting to using “recent projects”
Part of how I finally figured things out is by discussing it with my in-house tech support, a software engineer. So, we discussed this at length and he has a suggestion.
If you had an “open directory” option - like many video playing applications do - this would mean that the user doesn’t have to go into the directory and select the additional file (that doesn’t have the name of their project on it). They can just select the directory (that they named) and say “open.” That might be less confusing to those who don’t speak computer as a second language.
Something that I’ve tried (after a bit of trepidation, since Scrivener does not explicitly support it) is to rename the project.scrivx files. Say you have a project which you have modestly named “Saving the Human Race.” There is then a folder named Saving the Human Race.scriv, and inside that folder is the file project.scrivx that you click to start Scrivener and work on the project. project.scrivx can be renamed to Saving the Human Race.scrivx (you have to keep the extension, of course), making it much easier to recognize. And then you can create a shortcut to the project file, Saving the Human Race.scrivx, in a folder specially created for shortcuts to Scrivener projects. Then there’s no clicking through a .scriv folder to get to a project.scrivx file. Just go to the folder with the shortcuts and find the name of the project you want to work on.
Again, Scrivener doesn’t explicitly support this, and I’m told there can be problems if you try to work on the project on both a Windows and a Mac system. I don’t do that, and I haven’t had any problems.
After renaming the project.scriv file, you can also pin it to your Scrivener task bar icon jump list. I have six or seven projects pinned at any one time, making it easy to quickly open the project I need. I also don’t ever use a Mac or collaborate on my projects with those that do, so I don’t have any experience with problems between the 2 OS’s. I do sync between multiple Windows systems, though, and have never had a problem after renaming every single one of my project.scriv files.
The Mac version of Scrivener actually does this automatically. When I open a Windows-created project on my Mac, the resulting .scrivx file is changed to match the project name. I don’t know why it’s not the other way around (having Windows do the renaming if there’s a difference), since the .scrivx file is hidden from view by the Mac OS.
Other than the general advice not to mess with the internal files in a project (sometimes it will screw things ups), I don’t see any specific issues with manually renaming project.scrivx to match your project folder’s name (except for the extension, of course). If you do share projects with a Mac, I’d just let the Mac version of Scrivener do the renaming–you get the same result with far less risk.
I had wondered if Scrivener could still open the project.scrivx file if you renamed it. Thanks for letting me know it works, David and Sanguinius. And, yes, Robert, I think you’re right that this funny file structure has much to do with Scrivener being developed for the Mac first and then being adapted.
Really, what I was more trying to get at, was to make a suggestion for future editions/fixes as a way to structure files in Scrivener that would be more intuitive for Windows users. For some reason, I didn’t really think it was a “request for a future version” when I was reading the lists of different boards, but now I’m thinking that’s where I probably should have posted it.
It’s a good suggestion, in my oppinion. The program should be able to spot a .scriv folder name and offer the user a chance to open the project. It could also peek inside for a .scrivx file, just to be sure it’s an actual Scrivener project, and not just a user-created folder with a .scriv extension in its name.