Recent Projects Not Showing Properly

Hi, I have been having trouble setting up my ‘new’ Scrivener even tho’ I used it for years with no issue previously on an older computer. When I purchased it again for a newer computer, problems appeared that I’d never had before.

I got advice on how to properly set up the folders - Scrivener Projects and Scrivener Backups. I at last got around to moving the files I had (.scriv and .zip) into the appropriate folders.

I went to use it hoping it would work properly however – some/most of the files are not showing. One issue seems to be under Recent Projects, some of them are showing up as:

FILE.scriv – [folder image] Documents [sideways arrow] Scrivener Projects **

Word ‘FILE’ is substitute for the file name.
[folder image] - means like an actual FOLDER is showing there.

I hope you can help! I have wanted to get this set up for so long and I’m really distressed that I keep having problems, especially after not having any for over six years previously. I don’t really understand.

Thank you!

Hi.
If I understand your situation right, I think you simply need to reset your recent projects list :

Inked2022-03-22 12_26_57-_LI

Then open your projects from their new location (either by File / open or by double-clicking the project file), after which they should appear in the list properly.

Firstly, please be sure to get in touch with sales support, and let them know you “accidentally” purchased the software twice. You do not have to a new copy for every single computer!

As for the rest, I don’t quite understand what the problem is, as you seem to be describing expected behaviour. If you have recently opened two projects that use the same name but are in different folders, then the Mac will display the folder name as well, so you can see which is which.

This is just basic level Mac information by the way. You should spot that behaviour in all software, it’s not really technically part of “Scrivener”, per se.

I went to use it hoping it would work properly however – some/most of the files are not showing.

I don’t know what “showing” means, but it’s worth noting you described some of your projects as being .zip files, which aren’t actually projects yet. You have to double-click to extract the project from the zip file first.

I guess then my answer is inaccurate. But, how can the projects be in the recent projects list if they never got opened to begin with ?

They wouldn’t be, that’s why it is called “recent projects” and not “list of all of the projects on my computer” or something of that nature. But that’s part of what I meant to probe on by querying what it means for projects to be “showing”. I don’t really understand if that is an expectation or not, that just because projects exist, Scrivener will have a list of them anywhere.

I would think that the install (upgrade probably) is on a portable drive, and as the user said, the projects were moved to a new folder. But, speculation speculation, I guess we’ll see.

Thanks for your response. What ‘happens’ when you clear the Menu? What do you mean by “open your projects from their new location?” Thank you.

Hi AmberV,

Thanks for your response. Yes, I’m well aware that I should not have had to pay twice but, after writing more than a few times to support, I gave up on that. I wanted to have Scrivener on the newer computer. However, I never had any trouble whatsoever on the previous computer (same type) as I’ve had with this. I know how it’s supposed to open up. I used Scrivener for six years successfully. It never showed up like this.

The. .zip files are in the Scrivener Backup folder. That’s not what I am referring to here. (That was a previous issue I was noting.)

Also previously I could see everything from one project in one place UNDER the project but that is not happening here. Who knows? I deleted some of the content material or moved it into Open Office files because I was worried something would mess up and I’d lose everything. However, even with the ‘folder’ issue (which I’ve never seen before), it’s all showing up as separate ‘files’ vs. all being in one place under the project which is the point of Scrivener.

I was hoping to be able to delete this version and start anew but Support told me awhile back that was not possible.

Maybe I’ll start a ‘new’ project and see what happens. I remain surprised that it’s not working as flawlessly as it did in the past for me. It’s sort of heartbreaking because I really could use it and this has been going on for awhile.

Thank you.

Hi Vincent,

You may be right. I just replied to Amber so maybe that will clarify if you are or not.

Thank you.

Projects cannot be UNDER other projects.

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I got advice on how to properly set up the folders - Scrivener Projects and Scrivener Backups. I at last got around to moving the files I had (.scriv and .zip) into the appropriate folders.

Okay, well it should be as simple as double-clicking on any of those “.scriv” projects that you want to open. There may be some clarity in realising Scrivener projects are a lot like your Open Office files in how you use them. You have to load them with the software, Open Office isn’t going to just look in one folder, show you only those, and that’s it. Like those, you can scatter .scriv projects all over the place if you want. That’s what either the File ▸ Open... command or double-clicking in Finder is for—same as most other software.

I was hoping to be able to delete this version and start anew but Support told me awhile back that was not possible.

I’m not sure what they meant by that, but they may have been trying to communicate that reinstalling the software wouldn’t change any of the above. You still need to load your projects into the software at some point. It’s not going to do that for you.

Also previously I could see everything from one project in one place UNDER the project but that is not happening here.

Only thing I can suggest there is that appearances may have been deceiving. That doesn’t describe how Scrivener works. Each project is its own self-contained thing you open or close, again like Open Office files. And like those, none are in or under each other.

However, even with the ‘folder’ issue (which I’ve never seen before), it’s all showing up as separate ‘files’ vs. all being in one place under the project which is the point of Scrivener.

Yeah, I don’t really know how you had things set up before, but like I say, ‘files’ is all you’ve ever truly had. Maybe something made it seem otherwise, but I can’t really think of what might have given that impression—unless you had one massive project at one point, with lots of books in one binder, and have yet to find that big one?

Hi, thanks. Yes, I know this. I probably worded it incorrectly. When I wrote ‘under the project’ I meant that the information pertaining to the ONE project shows (should show) up all within it.

That’s what happens when you open the project in Scrivener.

Another possibility, though: if you use Scrivener on Windows, the project is a folder with a bunch of files in it (without opening Scrivener), but on a Mac, all that is hidden. Unless you right-click on the project and choose show package contents. I don’t recommend you do that unless necessary, and if you do, be very careful. Almost nothing good can happen there.

Hi AmberV,

Thanks for your reply and help. For sure, I have been double clicking on the .scriv to open.

When I started with this Scrivener, I wasn’t loading anything into it (I still haven’t moved the older material because who knows what might happen?! I wanted to rectify this first). I was working with new projects but I did not have the backup folder set up properly (again, never had an issue before!) so that had to be corrected. And now this is what’s happening.

I worded that incorrectly about the the project being under a project. I know how Scrivener works (of course, not everything but for sure the basic mechanics). What I meant is exactly what you said that each project should be “its own self-contained thing” and that’s what doesn’t appear to be happening. As well as the folders showing up in ways I had not seen previously. It may be because of the way I had to re-set this up that the latter is happening. So maybe the folder issue is not an issue (it appeared to be one because I never had it show up like that and I’m sensitive now to something potentially going wrong).

Because this has been somewhat convoluted this time around, I will start a new project and see if that works properly. Since there isn’t that much in the existing files (separate from the material from the other Scrivener which hasn’t been moved yet), if that works, I will delete what is in there now and recreate (manually move that material into) it as a new Project. Fingers crossed.

Thank you!

Yes, I know that that’s what should happen when you open Scrivener - that information from ONE project is all within it. But it’s not happening that way here. I am using a Mac. I think I have to create a new project and see what happens, if it all ‘works’ properly. (I wrote a bit more in my other reply). This Scrivener not working as seamlessly as I experienced previously has been a bit baffling.

Thank you!

I can think of only a few ways a project can seem to be a folder:

  1. you’re on Windows
  2. you’re on macOS, but Scrivener isn’t properly installed
  3. you’re on the Dropbox website
  4. you right-clicked and chose show package contents

If it’s not showing up as a folder, what precisely is the issue?

[I suspect you simply don’t know where the project is.]

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Okay, and apologies for any remedial amount of description going on—it’s just that typically when we see someone struggling to manage project transfers to new systems and is being more descriptive than technical in describing why, they don’t really know what files and folders are, and often think data is somehow “inside” software, that if it doesn’t show up in Recent Projects or come up on load, it is permanently lost, and so on—so you kind of have to step back a bit and cover the bases, it’s not meant to be taken personally. :slight_smile:

One thing that comes to mind is that on an older Mac, or one that you’ve set up over a long period of time, you might not be aware that on a brand new Mac, the default new window for Finder shows a kind of Spotlight search instead of your home folder, and I don’t know if it’s still a bug, but for a long time that search returned component files from inside of package formats like Scrivener’s. This can create the illusion that projects are torn apart and not self-contained anymore. To resolve that problem, there is a setting in Finder’s preferences to load the home folder instead of recent items.

As for Scrivener’s Recent Projects list, hopefully that’s addressed now, that it’s normal for it to display a full path in some conditions, and that is all you’re seeing: just the location of the project in the list. It doesn’t imply that it is opening the folder instead or anything like that. I don’t recall precisely when Apple started doing that, but maybe your older system was old enough that this is a new feature.

It might help to sort out some of that jargon, and moving to a more technical description of what you’re doing and seeing.

I deleted some of the content material or moved it into Open Office files because I was worried something would mess up and I’d lose everything. However, even with the ‘folder’ issue (which I’ve never seen before), it’s all showing up as separate ‘files’ vs. all being in one place under the project which is the point of Scrivener.

One thing that concerns me is that a few times now you’ve mentioned deleting content material. How was that done, and if you mean you went into the .scriv package and deleted RTF files or moved them out and started working on them in other programs—well at that point the project is essentially damaged. It would be best to go back to the original copy from the old computer and start fresh as any kind of piecing it back together at this point will probably be way too complicated.

When I wrote ‘under the project’ I meant that the information pertaining to the ONE project shows (should show) up all within it.

This to me sounds like a description of what happens if you do successfully load a project, but something isn’t right about it? You click on things in the binder and stuff isn’t where you expect it to be? If indeed there has been stuff deleted from the project using Finder, that would certainly explain it. But it seems you are describing something even more fundamental than that.

What happens, for example, if you take one of your .zip files from Backup, unzip that and drag the .scriv that extracts from it to Downloads or somewhere else temporary, and double-click to load that. There should in theory be nothing tampered with or wrong with that copy, and it should all load as you expect, largely as you left it (though default Scrivener settings may make some things work differently if you’ve previously done a lot of customisation).

Because this has been somewhat convoluted this time around, I will start a new project and see if that works properly.

Yeah, that’s always a good test. The interactive tutorial in the Help menu is good for that, since it is a project that comes with a lot of content to look at, rather than being an empty shell.

Since there isn’t that much in the existing files (separate from the material from the other Scrivener which hasn’t been moved yet), if that works, I will delete what is in there now and recreate (manually move that material into) it as a new Project. Fingers crossed.

I wouldn’t take that approach unless all other options have been tried and failed. That’s probably the hardest way to do anything. I’d restore from the .zip files first, and in most cases those should be as up to date as the .scriv you copy.

Yes, I know that that’s what should happen when you open Scrivener - that information from ONE project is all within it. But it’s not happening that way here.

This needs a more detailed description I feel. I can’t think of how Scrivener might load a project in a way that doesn’t work like a project. It should be failing and throwing errors if it can’t load it as a project. It has no alternate way of loading loose files that aren’t a project. So I don’t have a good mental image of what is actually the result here.

Again, sorry if this covers too many basics, but we can’t really assume anything.