Portable presets and templates? Changing default location of presets?

Dear forum,
I would like to have both my templates and compile presets synced when I work on my different machines. As long as I understand, then you have to work from a USB? I started doing this, but Scrivener is laggy.

Is there some way to 1) Create a procject - and have its presets/templates also syncing to OneDrive (or DropBox) 2) Where do I change the default save location of templates and compile presets?

Thanks a lot! :slight_smile:

You could place the Scrivener install directory inside your Dropbox/OneDrive/Cubby folder. Every computer you use Scrivener on could then use that cloud folder as the Scriv install directory, so whenever a setting is changed on one computer it gets uploaded and changed on all of them. The cloud folder that is shared between computers essentially becomes the USB drive that you mentioned, meaning you don’t have to carry the drive around and worry about that. Each computer will create its own Scrivener registry listing on its own, regardless of where your install directory is located, so that won’t be something you’ll need to adjust.

The HUGE caveat is that this method relies on whichever cloud service you use to sync everything correctly when you need it to be synced. I’ve read some horror stories from other people on this forum about certain cloud services messing things up with their Scrivener projects. The main issue seems to be making sure that everything is done syncing after you quit Scrivener on one computer and before you open it on another. Some services are apparently not as good as others at syncing large numbers of files quickly as other services.

Until recently, I’d used Dropbox for years with my projects without any issues. I switched last year (or the one before?) to Cubby, which works just as well, with added security that Dropbox doesn’t have. The nice thing about Cubby is that you can choose any folder on your computer to use as a shared folder. I didn’t even have to move the Scrivener install directory anywhere, but it’s currently a shared cubby on both of my computers. When I change something in one, those changes are uploaded to the cloud and they get synced on the other computer when I turn it on. Again, the important thing to remember is to make sure you ALWAYS let the cloud service finish syncing everything when you’re done using Scrivener on one computer (so that all changes are uploaded to the cloud) and to ALWAYS let the cloud service finish syncing everything on the second computer BEFORE you start Scrivener (so that the changes you made on the first computer can be downloaded FROM the cloud). If you take that extra bit of time to make sure you’re doing the right thing, I can’t think of any problem you’ll have.

Of course, these are my own experiences, and others might have different viewpoints.

Compile presets are not project specific, but it is possible to export them or copy them—I can’t remember which, and I’m on Mac, so I can’t help with Windows, but I guess it’s possible—and then install them on the second machine.


We have an article on installing Scrivener on additional machines that contains tips for locating and copying project templates, settings, compile presets, formatting presets and so forth.

Thanks a lot for nice advices and for taking your time. Running Scrivener from a cloud service, as mentioned in the “Cubby”-example - wouldn’t that make Scrivener lag a lot? I am running from a USB now, and it lags. Best.

I’m not sure what you mean by “Running Scrivener from a cloud service”, but if you mean keeping your active projects on Cubby, I’ve been doing it for years and it doesn’t cause any lag. With Cubby or Dropbox, you have a folder on your computer where you place your .scriv projects. You install their app on your computer and that syncs the folder in question with the server; when you work on your project you are working with the project on your hard drive … Cubby or Dropbox sync’s it in the background. The only thing that matters is to make sure Cubby/Dropbox has sync’ed fully before you put your computer to sleep/shut your computer down.


EDIT: And make sure Cubby/Dropbox on your other computer has sync’ed fully before you open your .scriv project! :slight_smile:

You wouldn’t be running Scrivener from the cloud; you’d be running it from the hard drive of whatever computer you’re at. Sync services aren’t like folders that are shared over a network–they just monitor your hard drive for changes to specific folders (and sub-folders) and upload those changes to the cloud, separate from the operations being made to those files on the local computer. They also download changes from the cloud that were uploaded from another computer, with only a slight delay between the two events.

So you’d be operating at your computer’s hard drive speed, as compared to your thumb drive, which is operating at the speed of USB2 (which is painfully slow). The other option, if your computers have USB3 ports, is to get a thumb drive/external hard drive that can take advantage of that throughput.

I do that with a great many programs on my computer. I store them in my Dropbox folder, and I have them accessible on every computer I have Dropbox connected to. It works very well, as long as I don’t jump from one computer to the next without allowing sync time to transpire.

Like the others have said, there’s no “lag” because of the cloud. With those services, it’s primarily on your computer. However, it’s ALSO backed up on the cloud, and whatever changes on the one computer gets changed on the cloud, which then changes on the other computers when you start them and allow the service to sync everything. The cloud part of the process is the middleman that passes the changes from the first computer to the second. As I and others have said, the important thing is to make sure all syncing is complete when you’re done on one computer and before you start on the other.

Thx again. But I do backup to my cloud, but opening a project on another pc does not sync my presets and templates? Or do they. Any ideas on how to achieve this? Best.

Follow the link that Ioa (AmberV) gave above. That tells you what to do.


I have just read through this thread. It is very interesting to me. However, I am scared to death of cloud services. Are there any comfort thoughts that any of you can offer that might educate me as to the safety of a cloud service? Seems like it might be a dangerous potential to expose my Scrivener compositions/projects. Couldn’t someone easily steal my dreams for the future and make money with them before I do? The cloud, to me at this time, seems so potentially volatile. However, I love what I read in this thread about Cubby.

I see the data in the cloud as a backup. I still have got anything in the dropbox folders on my various computers and the dropbox synchronises them nicely.

If your computer is hooked up to the Internet, there is a risk that someone could steal your dreams and data. Cloud services, if one learns how to use them properly, are generally at the same level of risk (although not all cloud services are created equal). The bigger risk of cloud services is not using them properly and having them corrupt your data.

I understand where your hesitation comes from. I use Cubby, personally, because it has client-side encryption, and the pro version has extra security where the customer actually holds the encryption key, so the information isn’t accessible by anyone else, even on the cloud server. I realize that this is assuming that the company is telling the truth about their encryption methods and that I have to take them at their word. But, like what Devin said, that’s true of anything you connect to on the internet. If you truly want to be safe, only work on a machine that isn’t connected to anything, or better yet only use legal pads and typewriters. No way to hack those…yet dun-dun-dun.

If you’re intent on staying online, though, at some point you’ll have to realize that you have to give up some things (absolute certainty of privacy, security) in order to get others (ease of use, savings of time). And realize that people who want to steal your information aren’t looking for your hopes, your dreams, your musings, or your novel drafts. They’re looking for your social security number, your credit reports, your bank statements, and your login passwords. They’re only going to steal a novel from you if they can be sure it will make a lot of money. And if it does, you’ve got proof on your own computer that you’re the creator of that content, so you’ll be legally entitled to any income from the novel that was stolen from you. I don’t know if this eases your mind or makes you more worried.

I understand all replies and the respective viewpoints about the cloud. I guess I’ll just have to decide when to jump into the cloud. I keep physical backups galore as it is.

I do this, also. On my desktop (primary writing) computer, I have the data hard drive containing the project folders, and I have two internal backup hard drives, one that backs up only my writing folder and one that images the entire data drive. I also have an external drive that makes a secondary image of the data drive, just for redundancy. I use Cubby as sort of another backup, but primarily as a way to transfer the data from my desktop, to my work computer, and to my laptop. I see it as the more places I have my work stored, the less chance I have of losing all of it (something that happened long ago, in the age of floppy disks, and something that I swore would never happen again).