Password Protection and perhaps some sort of encryption?

I bet this has been posted here somewhere, but here goes.

I was wondering if it would be possible to put in document protection in the ways of Passwords and/or encryption? As a novelist, I have found another use for Scrivener – using it as an idea management program or an “idea morgue”. I would feel a bit better if I was able to apply a password to them, since ideas are the novelist’s most sacred possession.

Also – I agree there should be some sort of mind-mapping asset included.

Keep up the great work! Scrivener is my favorite program for writing.


Create an encrypted disk image using Disk Utility and store your Scrivener project on it.

How about using Filevault within the security pane of System preferences? It encrypts the information in your home folder. Here’s a link to info. … h1877.html

I don’t use it for Scrivener files myself, so it would probably be worthwhile checking with Keith first, to see if this could have some detrimental effect on a Scrivener package.

I can’t find any answer by the developer on this wish: What do you think about encryption and password protection? - a feature I would vote for, too. To be able to protect your ideas in Scriveners without much hassle (like protected disk images) would be great additional feature.

A protected disk image isn’t a hassle at all. You can make an alias into it and put the alias on your desktop, and then you’ll just be prompted for the password before opening the file–which is exactly what would happen in your scenario, right? And that way, Scrivener doesn’t have to deal with encrypting files itself, something which is very hard to do right–no offense to Keith, of course.

Not to mention you can put more then just the scriv file on a dmg. The whole idea an encrypted dmg is a unified place for secure data of any type.

I am still surprised by the resistance to this method of data security.

I agree with the consensus on this. When it comes to encryption, it is always best to defer that to external tools which are built precisely for that kind of protection. Apple makes it super easy to do this in a way that works with any modern Mac. If you find Apple’s tools too opaque, there are a number of developers who provide a simplified interface to these sorts of DMGs. I don’t recommend them unless you really find Apple’s utility to be impossible to work out. Just as with the initial rule of thumb: When it comes to data protection, keep the middle-software down as slim as possible, and use open source at all points in the chain if possible.

Just to post also my vote for a simple copy protection document based.
Ok, for encription we can adopt other ways, but many times is useful to have a simple option just to get out non-hackers curious people from our Scrivener docs…

  • Marco.

The problem is, you don’t even have to be a non-hacker when it comes to Scrivener projects and documents, because the format is so open. Try putting a Scrivener project on a Windows machine to see what I mean, or just right-click and show package contents on a Mac. This openness is an asset as it means you’ll never really lose your stuff, but it does also mean that any in-application passwording is essentially useless.

Oh, now I understand Amber, thanks.

Hello, I searched the forum and found a couple of threads dealing with encryption. I decided to bump this one up and ask some questions rather than starting a new thread–I hope this is okay.

I use Scrivener for a lot more than writing my usual drivel that I like to pretend is the start of a novel. I use it for class preparation, journaling, all sorts of things. I also have some spreadsheets that I use for student grades. What I’m getting at is that I have multiple programs that store data that could use some protection.

After reading in this thread and the mention of an encrypted dmg I decided to test it to see if I could wrap my simple mind around it.

I opened disk utility and created an encrypted dmg–let’s call it Secure Test.

Then I opened Bean and created an rtf file that I then saved in Secure Test.

I opened Scrivener and created a project that I saved in Secure Test.

I closed Bean, Scrivener and ejected the dmg Secure Test.

Question 1. Is my data now secure once I have ejected Secure Test?

I then went into Finder and clicked on Secure Test (which I had saved in Documents) and it asked me for a password (which I set when I initially created Secure Test).

At this point I could now open and edit the files I previously created in Bean and Scrivener as if they were just like any other file in the Documents folder. I haven’t tried it but I suspect that I could do the same with any spreadsheet files that were located in Secure Test as well.

Question 2. Now that Secure Test is mounted it is just like any other folder, right?

Question 3. Once I am done editing and have saved and closed any open files I just eject Secure Test and it is encrypted and locked, right?

Question 4. Is it really this easy or am I missing something?

Question 5. Are there any dangers with this? (other than forgetting the password)

Thank you.

From the point of view of the docs inside your Secure Test container, yes you are doing things correctly.

My only recommendation in using this method is that you check, on an application by app basis, whether the app creates any automated backups of the files you are working with. Scrivener, for example, does create back-ups of projects by default, and they wont by saved to the same folder that contains the original. You can turn-off automatic backup and just do back-ups manually: in that case you should back up your file (for greater safety) to a second, separate password-protected container.



I for myself am using apples encrypted volumes to protect the files (within filevault). just one container for the complete folder tree where the project files, backups and other writning-related stuff is stored. Works fine.

There is another solution if you want to encrypt cross-platform, for example to carry a file from one computer&system to another via USB stick (though I don’t know whether the scriv format is easily compatible in mac an win, but that is another matter).
Just use noncommercial TrueCrypt, which might even be stronger than Apples FileVault (at least you may use more than one encryption routine and password for one file or file container, and there are quite a few different encryption alogrithms). Incredibly powerful tool.

That should do the job. just remember that backups should be located in an encrypted container as well, or be erased.

You can selectively disable automatic backups selectively, and I definitely recommend doing at least that with the secure projects. Just check the option in the File/Back Up/ sub-menu and make sure it is excluded.

Thank you all for your insights. :slight_smile: