Preparing for a worst case scenario: Opening on windows?

In the, hopefully, unlikely event my mac dies and I need use my Windows machine in a pinch, is there a way to somehow get my text from a .scrv file to Word on Windows. I’m pretty anal about backups (I use both Time Machine and Mozy), but I’m not sure if my old G3 Powerbook is going to be too pokey as an interim machine.

I’m not worried about how clean the text comes in, but just getting it there. This is pretty much only if I’m on deadline and need to grab the text and continue. I can handle reformatting and the like.

Or, is my best best to keep the Pismo sitting around in a “in case of emergency, break glass” case?

If for some reason your access to Scrivener is suddenly lost, you can definitely still keep working on your project. A Scrivener project file is actually just a folder which has a special flag set that makes Macs treat it like single file. When you take the project and put it on a Windows computer, that flag is no longer relevant and it acts just like a normal folder. Inside that folder, you’ll find dozens, maybe hundreds of RTF files. Each of these correspond to one item in the Binder. They’ll be numbered, which means you’ll have to do a little detective work to get everything stitched back together, but it will all be there. Even your notes and synopsis cards will all be available.

What I would recommend is to periodically (say at the end of every good writing session) export the entire Binder as files. This is opposed to compile, which will create one single file of course. Export can work outside of the draft, and will retain Binder hierarchy. In other words, files will be named according to their titles in Scrivener, notes will be exported alongside these files, and they will be arranged in folders which mirror the Binder structure. If a Scrivener folder has text, a separate file will be created to contain that (since ordinary folders cannot have content other than files).

This will make for a much more pleasing transition to working on your project outside of Scrivener. The fall-back option of having your work stored in a clear, open format is definitely valuable, but the numerical naming system and lack of any internal Binder structuring will probably mean an hour or two or stitching things back together into something that is useful outside of Scrivener.

Incidentally, you can inspect the contents on your Mac as well by right-clicking on the project file and choosing to view the package contents. The accessibility is not intended to be another way to work on your project. If you merrily work on the raw files in Windows and then try to open it back up in Scrivener later on, you might be in for some unpleasant surprises. Once you go this route, you really cannot go back. So work on a copy if you have to disassemble.

Thanks for the detailed response.

I’m glad recovery is easy.