Preference option to auto-close the project, please


New to Scrivener - love the concept - looking to build into my work.

Given various discussions about working on projects at multiple computers, it would be really helpful to have an optional setting in Preferences to auto-close a project after XX minutes of inactivity. Obviously this can/should include saving all work (should already be with standard settings) and an automatic backup (again option already there).

This would seem an easy addition to the existing work which Scrivener is doing, and would save a lot of grief when people do leave projects open on one computer and then seek to open on another.

I use desktop Mac, Macbook and Dropbox extensively. As well as iPad and iPhone (checking out and trying to decide between Simplenote and Indexcard).



The new version does check to see if the project is currently already open. If you try to open a project on a second computer that the first computer is already using, you should be getting a warning message that provides the opportunity to work on a copy, cancel, or just forge on ahead anyway. Is this not showing up for you? I’m not sure how an auto-close would be of any greater benefit than this feature, as it would probably be quicker, if you accidentally leave it open, to just go over to the other computer and close it, rather than sit there and wait for it to time out 45 minutes later or what have you. :slight_smile: In cases where you (a) forget to close the project before leaving the house (b) forget to sleep the computer before leaving the house—well then it might be of benefit there, but that’s a lot of forgotten items! :slight_smile: If you sleep the computer while still forgetting to close the project—well you wouldn’t want to use the Dropbox copy at all in that case, whether or not you forgot to close it, as you’d put yourself in the high risk category of making a mess of the project file with DB’s sync methods.

Hey, I’m sympathetic of forgetting stuff. Frankly, that’s why I don’t use Dropbox to store .scriv files at all. I know my pretzel brain is going to forget to close things half of the time anyway, so I just use Dropbox for zipped backups generated from the auto-backup engine. I don’t even have to think about it.

Anyway, you should be getting that warning message. Let us know the circumstances surrounding the case if you do not get it.

Thanks for the comments. But I think we are talking different scenarios.
Absolutely I am thinking about when I am geographically far from the computer which has the open project (so I can’t go there to close it).
Also although I am a fan of Dropbox, I’m following the advised approach of storing the saved project file on the local disk outside of dropbox, and just using Dropbox as location of backup files.
So I don’t see how the 2nd computer can know whether project is open on 1st computer when No.2 gets latest backup file from Dropbox and opens it.
Also it’s not about forgetting to do things - it’s about permitting a workflow where I can work fluidly wherever, and be able to leave office without ‘packing up’ for day. I leave my iMac on with all key programs open (just maybe not documents open).
Anyway this is not a big issue. But reading all the cautionary stuff about Dropbox I just thought it would be simpler for me and for others.
KB will be the judge !

Judge Keith at your disposal. Sorry, though, I don’t think this is something I would really want to add - I can already imagine the support requests: “Where did my project go?!?!?!?!” :slight_smile: (Yes, even if it were only a preference.) Besides, Scrivener would have no way of knowing whether you really want a project closed because it has been inactive for ten hours or whatever, or whether you just left your computer on and want to come back to it later with programs open.

All the best,

I’m not sure I quite see the difficulty then. In that case, you’re working on a separate copy anyway, since you’re pulling down a backup project on the second computer, which is separate from the project on the first. Is the idea that you would automatically close the project on the first computer and it would make the backup to Dropbox, and then that would be the project copy you pull down on the second computer? If so, that still seems to have problems–namely, you’d have to wait for the auto-close to kick in before you could access the latest, up-to-date backup, and you’d have to also remember that you needed to wait for it.

You also have the difficulty generally of computer sleep state vs. the program closing–if a user sets the computer to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity, but the Scrivener project to close after 20 minutes…does Scrivener wake up the computer to do that? My computer has pretty short inactivity periods for energy-saving preferences (and because I so often get yanked away and don’t know if I’ll be back immediately or not, so I like my password settings to kick in early), so I wouldn’t want to have to set the auto-close for an early time, or I would be continually returning to the same computer to find the project closed.

What I think you really need here is just remote login to your first computer. Then you can control closing the project on your other computer and not need to sit around and wait for it to happen or wonder whether it did happen and if this Dropbox backup is the most recent, etc.

I work on Scrivener projects on my computer at work, my computer at home, and iOS. There is usually only one of those computers in the room at the time I am workin. Scrivener is the only software that I have to be careful to close on one computer before I go home from work for the day, or take my iPad out to work on a project. If I’m working on a Google Doc, or something in Pages, I can have all copies open on all computers at once with no problem.

Generally, I’ve been succeeding at closing Scrivener before I leave from work, but today am working from home and I found that several Scrivener documents are still open. Leaving a computer open for remote access in order to be able to log in and close Scrivener is not good security. Making copies every time this happens will get unwieldy quickly. Is there not anything you can do to minimize the issues that would happen with syncing when documents are open on multiple computers?

Auto-closing might not be the answer, but the questioner brings up a real issue.

In version 3, there is an option to auto close the programme after a specified period:

Preferences/General/Automatic Quit.