Please don't kill me, but I REALLY need File Sync

I know in another thread it says there is no need to lobby for the Mac features because they will be eventually included in the Windows version. However, I’ve actually stopped using Scrivener (and I miss it terribly) for the finalization of my novel because it’s hard to keep it in sync with my Android. Yes, I know I could do File->Export or Compile to grab the files I need, but then I have to do File->Import whenever I make a change. And that can get messy after a while.

I’m just wondering what Windows version File Sync is planned for. I was completely bummed when it wasn’t included in the 1.7 Beta.

I know nada about Windows,
But don’t you have the File-Backup command?

If so, check the ZIP compression option.
Then back up to a folder in DropBox, Box, iCloud, or GDrive.

Very important to ZIP compress.
The file structure of Scriv is too complex for any other kind of synching.

Yep, we have that and I use it too, but I’m still stuck with the files with the numbers and not the titles.

You see not only do I sync between my Andriod, I’m also doing version control, so I have an instant way of tracking changes and comparing them. (Thus I’m not getting killed twice for asking for that feature as well . . . )

I’m afraid folder sync isn’t planned until the first major paid upgrade of the Windows version, as it’s a huge job and was never planned as part of the 1.x spec. I know that’s not what you wanted to hear. :frowning:

All the best,

No, it isn’t, but I understand. Thanks, Keith. I look forward to testing that version . . .

If I may jump into this thread… I have some questions about this feature. I’m on Windows, but have downloaded the OSX documentation but still feel a little in the dark, though I admit I didn’t read every word of the seemingly relevant sections. (I really like Scrivener’s documentation, btw!)

What I would like to be able to do is:

  • have a project in Scrivener
  • open a project RTF doc – not a copy, but the actual file – for editing in MS Word on the very same computer
  • save it in RTF format (not a Save as, but a direct RTF save to the same location within the project’s Docs folder)
  • and have Scriv barely notice.

Is that – or the functional equivalent – what this feature lets you do: use an external editor directly on Scrivener’s project doc files?

I realize that this involves issues related to which app currently owns the file, how aware Scriv and Word are of each other, and so on. I don’t need to work on the file in both places at once, or even have access within Scriv to the file currently opened for editing in Word, though I DO otherwise want access to the Scriv project.

I ran a couple of tests to see what this might be like. I had no permission issues (which I half expected to), made some edits, including adding some lightly formatted text (nothing that was in any way Word-specific), and other than needing to close the project (which remained opened the entire time) to get Scrivener to read in the latest version, it seemed to work as expected.

Am I running any significant risks in doing this? And would having Mac-like File Sync (Folder Sync?) make the process more transparent and risk free?

My interest is in being able to use a more capable and more familiar text editor than what Scriv offers – though I’m really very impressed with what Scriv does have in the basic composition department. But my Word install is all pimped out with macros and key shortcuts, on top of its native functions. And muscle memory is harsh mistress.


Nope. It lets you edit copies of the internal documents, and facilitates the re-incorporation of your edits from those documents automatically. I think you have to invoke a sync command (I don’t use the feature very much). I know that the plain text sync uses special brackets to delineate footnotes and comments from the main text, which you have to use in order to add new footnotes and comments.

Essentially, the Mac version does a File->Export, and then when you tell it to, it checks the export directory for changed and new files for it to re-import, taking snapshots of files about to be changed before incorporating the edits. It also exports the changes done in Scrivener back out the already exported documents. That’s why it’s call “external folder sync,” because it synchronizes with an external folder. You can simulate this on Windows by doing a File->Export in Scriv, then editing the exported files in whatever program you like, then (in Scriv) taking snapshots of the files you changed, and finally copying (in external editor) and pasting in the contents of the files over the contents of the Scrivener files (via the Scrivener interface).

You are running some risks. File corruption if both editors decide to save changes to the file simultaneously and lost meta-data. Footnotes, inspector comments, others? are not embedded in the .rtf files, but are kept track of by Scrivener externally; if the number of characters/words/control codes changes, the metadata will be located in the wrong place when re-loaded in Scrivener. Other issues may arise as well.

I suggest you use Scrivener for whatever it is that brings you to it, then do your writing in Word, and when you need Scrivener’s features again, import that work back into Scrivener and use its features to do your editing, proofreading…

Copy and paste is what I use when I need or want to use an external editor. I just find it easier to do that than mess with files. The sync tool is more useful when I’m going to be away from Scrivener entirely. I’d rather just manage the content directly from Scrivener.

But yes the project format is not designed to be edited directly. The open nature of the format is for recovery purposes. It’s a protection measure for yourself, not an invitation to edit them.

Hi. thanks for the replies.

Yes, I can see that copying and pasting is just easier all around, despite the temptation to share and automate and systematize. Not as much to think about and keep track of. Less too clever by half. :slight_smile: