Password protection?

For some, such as myself, an unfinished novel is like a fetus not fully developed, and I would rather people not see it until it’s born.
How can I protect my ms. from being seen?

There aren’t any Scrivener based options, I’m afraid.

I’m assuming you are using a shared computer (otherwise, appropriate password protection for you machine is the best bet).

Other than that, you can set up different user accounts on the machine for anyone who uses it so that you log into Windows in your own account and set up permissions so that only your account can read the files. The process for doing this varies depending on which version of Windows you use, so I won’t go into it here. A bit of internet research (and Microsoft’s own website) should give you the info you need.

A simpler method - albeit more troublesome - would be to not store the project file on the computer at all, but on a memory stick that you keep hidden. Many of these come with encrption options as well, although each of these steps adds an extra layer of activity required every ime you want to start or finish a session.

Personally, I’d be tempted to go the “User Account” route. In fact, many commentators(*) suggest that this is just good practice(**) anyway even if you are the only user of your machine: set up an adminstrator account and a user account, and use the user account on a day to day basis. Only log into the admin accont for installing software and such things.

(*) ie people who know more about these things than I do, or if they don’t then they at least talk about them more than I do.

(**) for reasons such as interweb security.

Hi there, I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents here. I miss having password protection for separate documents because of the shared computer issue. I understand the idea of having different users but my thoughts are more about when my mom or sister jumping on my laptop to check something or use it for something quick and could inadvertently open a file they weren’t meant to see (I write fiction that is a little gory and graphic for their taste and keep a personal journal on my laptop). There are a lot of specifics in my situation (i.e. them feeling free to use the machine, their ineptitude with computers that could result in accidentally opening something they didn’t mean to etc…) and I totally understand that you’re not going to include a feature for just one user but with scrivener designed to facilitate the creative content production process, being able to restrict access easily to certain files seems like something other folks might use (i.e. parents not wanting kids to see somethings, or vice versa, come to that).

Anyway, I have no idea what would be involved in adding this feature so I can see you not wanting to add it. I also understand that what I’m talking about is not a major security guarantee in terms of someone wanting to find a way to see my work and that some users might misinterpret the actual level of security it would provide.

I’m just looking for a way to put a small lock on some content at all times and taking this opportunity to share an idea about software that, other than this little piece, has been an incredible pleasure to use. It has, literally, changed how I write both fiction and academic work, and I now can’t imagine writing without it (which is why I came on here - because I really don’t want to have to use word for the files that I do want to lock).

So, either way, thank you so much for your hard work and contribution to the creative world!

(I’m a bit of a proselytizer and like to tell people that Word/Word Perfect et al let us put words on virtual paper but that Scrivener took a step beyond that virtual version of traditional printing and allows me to create and work with my writing in a whole new, and yet completely intuitive, manner.)

I use TrueCrypt to protect my Scrivener files. You create a container of a given size (I use 50 MB) and TrueCrypt will mount it as another drive (like a thumb drive). Open and use Scrivener as desired. When you’re done, close Scrivener and unmount the drive via TrueCrypt. Viola! Nobody can access it without the password.

(It has the added benefit, for me, of just using DropBox on the TrueCrypt container, so I only sync when I unmount. Yes, this is the way I like it; I realize many would like it sync’d instantly.)

If you want to encrypt files, Mac OS ships with the ability to create encrypted disk images (think of them as virtual hard-disks) via Disk Utility (found in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder). There are 3rd party apps, like Knox or Espionage, that will simplify the process and add some bells and whistles. Disk Utility itself is quite straightforward though, so it’s worth having a look.

An alternative, although several orders of magnitude less secure, is to use something like MacHider. This does not encrypt your data, it simply hides the filename from casual snoopers.

Personally, I used to use Disk Utility to create encrypted disk images for collections of data files I wanted to keep secure. Now, however, I have the entire disk encrypted using File Vault 2, don’t allow anyone to “casually” use my laptop unless I am physically present (an ethical requirement given my work) and have set up user accounts for family members that need more regular access.

I have downloaded an app “Concealer” from the App Store which allows you to password protect individual folders on your Mac … though I haven’t used it yet. My family all have their own computers, so it is rare for any of them to need to access mine. That said, I always use a password-protected account, and like Nom, if any of them are going to need to use mine seriously, I create a separate account for them. If it is only something casual … they want to browse the web, or whatever, I log out and let them use the “Guest” account, though you can’t save anything from the guest account.

I’m going back to China for a few months, so I’ll get Concealer up and running while I’m there.