Opening a Second, Live Instance of My Scrivener Project File

Unless I missed an already existing feature, or there is a way to simulate the need in real time, I’ve come to a place where I could really use the ability to open a second, live instance of my Scrivener project file.

I have always had trouble with my short term memory, and age is not helping to make it any faster. I may be a population of just one, so the market for such a feature may be quite limited. But then again, there are applications that allow for multiple instances of a file to be open to be dynamically edited.

Still, given Scrivener’s complexity, I recognize this would be no small feat.

As I page through my ~600 page project, I am constantly finding inconsistencies that reflect the changes in my understanding of Scrivener+LaTeX code over the last 2+ years.

Whenever I recognize such an inconsistency, what I’d like to be able to do (while preserving my original place in my original instance of my Scrivener project) is to open a second instance of my Scrivener project. In that second instance, I could run through the entire project file to search for, then correct the offending inconsistencies that I had identified in the first instance of my project file. Then, having made those corrections in the second instance of my project file, I could simply close the second instance and bounce back to my first instance of the project file, to continue with whatever I was originally doing there.

Such an ability would significantly speed up the consistency checks I find myself needing to make throughout my project.

If I had the kind of short-term memory that I can only guess others have, I could easily remember where I was in the first instance of my project file, in order to reconstruct or recreate where I was (and what I was doing) there to pick up where I left off.

Unfortunately, I don’t have such a memory. Hence this suggestion.

I recognize that having multiple, even just two, dynamic editing screens, open at the same time, is no small feat. My fantasy is that, if any operating system is suited to enable such a feat, it would be the MacOS.

Thanks for reading,

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What may help you is either split editor view to compare different files at one or use quick reference windows allows a free floating window of a file to be viewed and edited and compared. Really useful if have multiple monitors. Cannot open same project twice though if these ideas not work there are some other tricks you can try

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This is not an uncommon task, and I suspect most people would have trouble remembering precisely where they were—or at the very least, would find it inefficient to have to manually go back and find where they were without hunting around a bit.

  • History is a good memory jogger. You can see where you have gone in a reverse-chronological fashion by right-clicking on the Back button in the editor you’ve been using to track down tangents. It’s easier to recall where you went when you have a tidy list. And because Scrivener saves your cursor position, you really only need to back to the spot you were in before the tangent.
  • For longer-term cases, where you might spend several days working in other areas of the project, the method I like to use is to add an inline annotation with a clear marker text that can be searched for later. This can be as simple as “MARK//”, though I will sometimes add a little text after it to explain why I made it, if I need more than one. A project search for that text will bring any such marked documents straight up, which often will only be one. I can then jump to the spot, delete the annotation and continue working forward.
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Hi GoalieDad,

Thanks for the reminder … the quick reference windows are about as close as I’m going to get to a true 2nd instance. It’s close, but has it’s limits.

Thanks again,

I will have 5-6 open at one time and hovering over the scrivener icon on the tool bar shows all the open windows allowing for easy navigation. You could always take your manuscript from project 1 and drag into blank novel project and have one open on one monitor window and your mirror of the project open on the other monitor to duplicate what you want. As you add or change delete the old file in the copy project and drag in the updated file. A little work but drag and drop is quick.

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