Preset Formatting and Multiple Computers

I have just started to use the preset formatting ability in Scrivener 2. I love the preserve formatting feature (when exporting).

Here’s my question: I have may Scrivener projects in Dropbox and work on them via three different computers. No problem. But if I create a new format preset how do I easily transfer this option to my other computers?

I know the preset formatting does transfer via the specific documents, but don’t transfer so they show up in the Presets option within the formatting bar. I then thought these presets would be saved by loading/transferring preferences. That didn’t work either.

Of course, I can recreate specific preset formats on each computer, but surely there’s a smoother easier way to do this and I’m just not noticing how it’s done. Any suggestions?

At the moment, no, there isn’t an easy way to transfer presets between computers. I think this is something we intend to add later on. One of the advantages of creating our own style system is that we can do what we want with it, rather than be shackled to OS X’s style system, but there wasn’t enough time to do everything at once with this feature.

For now, as you noted, RTF files when a preset has been applied, will retain that formatting forever. Presets are one-way tools that apply formatting macros to your text and once that formatting is in place it will look that way on any computer that has those fonts available. So you can use that to “transfer” by selecting text in the formatted area and use the preset tool to recreate it on a second computer.

Thanks for the quick response. I love the special formatting feature—very handy for a number of reasons. Hopefully there will be a simplified way to transfer these across different computers using Scrivener in the future. That said, I’m only going to create a set of 3 to 5 of them, so re-doing on each computer is not the hardest thing in the world.

Agreed; no promises on anything. It may be it is never deemed important enough to address since there is a decent work-around, but it would be nice. I think some kind of way to locate your preset data to a specific folder would be a good way of doing it. Then users could switch their preset data from Application Support (don’t go looking for it there, I’m being hypothetical :slight_smile: ) to something like Dropbox and all of their Scrivener copies would stay up to date that way.

Actually, it’s not too difficult. All of the presets are stored in a .plist file at ~/LibraryApplication Support/Scrivener/Styles.plist. So all you need do do is copy that file to your other computers.

All the best,

Okay good, I didn’t see anything there, but now it looks like the reason for that is simple: this computer doesn’t have any presets on it yet.

Given that information, if you do use Dropbox, you can have synced presets right now. Since this hasn’t been tested yet in any way, I would play it safe and keep Scrivener closed on all computers except the one you are currently working on (just quit it before you leave the computer). To set it up, launch Terminal from Applications/Utilities, and paste this command into the window:

ln -s ~/Library/Application\ Support/Scrivener/Styles.plist ~/Dropbox/

This will create a “symbolic link” in your Dropbox folder, which is kind of like an alias, except it is Dropbox compatible, and can patiently wait for a target file to exist in the proper location. Using symbolic links with Dropbox allows you to sync areas of your computer that aren’t in that folder. Once you have that file created, you can move it into a sub-folder on Dropbox to hide it away.

Heck, that’s not difficult at all! Many thanks. I’ll be trying it out today.

The Styles.plist file only gets created when the user first creates a custom preset - it isn’t needed for the ones provided “out-of-the-box”, as they are just built into Scrivener.

I tried both of the suggestions made: using the Styles.plist and taking advantage of the cool terminal command to create a link to Styles.plist on my main office machine. All worked very smoothly and well! Many thanks!!!

Thanks for the success report, sounds like a good technique for the wiki tips project.

I think I may be missing something but …

I’ve established the symbolic link on Computer A, which now has a Styles.plist sitting in the DropBox folder. But don’t I need to set up a link that will keep the Styles.plist in the DropBox folder in sync with the Styles.plist that resides in the Application Support folder on Computer B?

If I enter the Terminal command

ln -s ~/Library/Application\ Support/Scrivener/Styles.plist ~/Dropbox/

on Computer B, I receive the message telling me that this file already exists in the Dropbox folder.

I have the same question as jws. Can someone please provide more explicit instructions for setting this up?

Here is an article that explains the basics, and has a comments section that goes into more depth.

Thanks, I figured it out. I realized that on the second computer, I just had to reverse the order. i.e. ln -s ~/Dropbox/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/Scrivener/

A lower-tech way to keep these format presets in sync (though it is manual…) is to create a file in the research folder and add lines with each kind of custom preset applied to it. Then when you get to the other computer, highlight the latest preset text that you added, and you can then create a new preset on the other computer from that selection.

This has the advantage of being stored in a visible way, with the formatting applied as a sample of what the text should look like, but the disadvantage of requiring more manual work.