Opening files between Mac and Windows

(First off, great product!) I am not able to open files that have been opened in the Mac version on Windows. I have the latest versions of both, and have tried as many permutations as I can think of. Either the Windows program disappears when I open the file, or it remains but without the file opening. No error message appears. The same does not seem to be true in the other direction: I can open files made in the WIndows app on the Mac, but then that copy can’t be opened on Windows.


As I understand it, on Windows you have to open the <projectname.scrivx> file within the <projectname.scriv> directory. What you see on the Mac is a package, not a simple file as it seems. Are you doing that?

Then there is/are (an)other thread(s) on opening Mac-created projects on Windows on these Windows fora … have a look for them.


Mark, thanks for this. I’ve looked for others with similar problems but haven’t found them.

Yes, that’s right, the *.scrivx file. Windows app indicates it’s found it (will sometimes prompt to say it appears to be open on another machine) but after the next steps and some HDD activity, no file loads.

I’ve had this; don’t know what it is, possibly size related. Others have to–just a fail-to-load. I think some sample projects have been mailed to tech support for the L&L team to try and get to the bottom of it, but you might pop an email to them to ask, if you’re willing to send a copy of yours (if it’s not super large) for them to check out and see if they can fix it for you and eliminate the problem generally.

Same problem, here:

  • Project shared via Dropbox
  • Opens fine on Mac
  • Previously opened fine on Windows
  • Now, just fails quietly when I attempt to open on Windows: When I doubleclick .scrivx file:
      • Gives me the beta warning pop-up
      • Goes straight to “Open or New Project” dialog
      • If I select the existing project from there, the app just quits with no message
  • THINK problem may have started around same time as I opened the project on the Mac while Dropbox was still sync’ing. Then again, that may be a red herring.

Also tried re-installing Scrivener for Windows. No joy.

Would love to find a solution. (Not least because I’ve really gotten in the habit of getting a couple of hours of writing in at work. ;^)


While opening the project if it’s still syncing is definitely something you should avoid, as it an cause a host of other problems, I can verify that it’s not the problem (or at least not the sole/same problem) here. None of my instances of the “just doesn’t open” problem have involved Dropbox or any type of sync.

Though now you make me wonder if it’s involved with copying the project generally, so I should check that out. I think I tested it, but now I don’t remember…augh, mornings. :neutral_face:

How large are the projects that this is happening with? I believe I’ve only ever had this happen with projects about 25MB and up, created on the Mac.

Argg academic paper with footnotes… they went away on the win machine. Did not save, will see if they remain on the mac later on.

Does the project now fail to open on the Mac version too?

nadinbrzezinski - the Windows version currently loses the Mac’s inspector footnotes and comments. This is on the list I’m currently putting together in my QC checks for Lee’s attention before release, but in the meantime ensure you only use inline footnotes and annotations if you move between platforms. (For the release version, the Windows version will just convert inspector footnotes to inline footnotes anyway, until the Windows version 2.0.)

All the best,

You can convert your existing linked notes to inline notes in the Format/Convert/ sub-menu, if you need to do that. Currently if you are planning on working in a cross-platform fashion, you’ll need to stick with those as Keith pointed out.

Will let you know how that works. The Macbook, albeit a tad aged, stays home mostly. I tend to carry the nettie or the ipad… right now both… (pesky notes)… so I still have the rtf files anyway as a back up.

And I really like the scriv for this writing thing… have all notes in the same dang file.

In answer to questions:

  • Project created on the Mac
  • Project small - ~5MB

Also tried saving out as a new project on the Mac; still wouldn’t open on Win.

Happy to send my 4.97MB project along to the dev team, if that will help troubleshoot.


Sure thing, send it to support AT literatureandlatte DOT com, and paste this thread URL into the message so I know what it pertains to.

So far so good. Oh and using dropbox to house the two files, One is fiction, the other is academic.


Can 't wait for the next build.

Still happening with the new 0.2.2 beta, alas. (Got my hopes up - no gutted, personally.)

Project coming via e-mail.


Whoah-hoah! I take it back!

I was just zipping the project up to send along to the dev team, and as a matter of clean-up, deleted a ‘conflicted copy’ version that was previously saved in the project main directory. Then, on a hunch, I fired it back up in Windows - opened no problem!

Looks like it was somehow the presence of that auto-generated .scrvx file that was somehow confusing Windows.

Anyway, I’m back in business! Yip! (Would be interested to know if anyone else manages to sort this issue in the same way . . . Good luck!)


That automatic file is a Dropbox artefact, and projects refusing to open due to these is a common (though easy to fix as you note) symptom. It happens if you try to edit something in two places at once without fully syncing first. If Computer A makes changes to a file that Computer B has updated, before Computer A has downloaded from Dropbox, it will produce a conflict copy so you can resolve the matter. Unfortunately in Scrivener, there are hundreds of files, so it is essential to wait until Dropbox has finished spinning and shows a green checkmark in its taskbar or menu status icon before opening the project or shutting down the computer for the night.