Saving Documents

Each time I retrieve a document, I’m told that it has been saved in the wrong place (backup). How do I create and save my documents properly?

Don’t put projects in the same place as backups.

Thanks, but the computer just does it. How can I control where my documents are saved?

They’re called projects, not documents. Go to the folder (in Finder) where you’ve put them and drag them to another folder. Or in Scrivener, use File▸Save As... and put the new copy in a new location.

Thanks again. I gave it a try, closed Scrivener, reopened it, and opened the document (Project?) in its new file. No annoying message this time.
Hopefully, it’ll keep saving what I add from now on.

For future reference, you specify the location of a project when it’s created, and it stays in that location unless you explicitly move it.

You can also fix this error by moving your backups. To do that, go to the Scrivener → Preferences → Backups pane.

Hi kewms,

Thanks for this tip. I have never been asked to specify the location of a project. How does that work? Moreover, I have tried moving my backups using the Backups pane you mention, but I can’t seem to figure out how to move them anywhere, let alone to a project.
I would appreciate some further guidance, if possible.
Again, Thanks.

I’ll make guesses as to what puzzle pieces may help. If I’m too simplistic, forgive me. We’ll see if it actually helps you.

  • Scrivener projects are usually a large number of files… not just one. So moving them requires finding the top-level FOLDER and moving that folder (with all of it’s contents exactly as they are).
  • Scrivener stores a name and a last known location of a project together.
  • When you click to open a project, Scrivener shows that list of projects (each with its last known location).
  • If the project was moved since Scrivener last had it open, you will have to navigate to the new location and open it from there. (If you try to open it with the last known and incorrect location, it will tell you that it can’t find it. It’s up to you to remember where you put it and open it there. Scrivener will then remember this new location with that project name.)
  • For some things (e.g. backups) Scrivener only remembers one general location and stores a LOCATION REFERENCE for that kind of file. I’ll refer to backups to serve as an example below.
  • When this location reference is changed… only this REFERENCE is changed. The files are not moved by doing this. New backups will go to the new location referenced in Scrivener, but old backups would still be in the old location until you use the macOS to move them. (You can, but you don’t have to if you don’t mind two locations being out there. Scrivener will only see one location of those kinds of files.)
  • The backup files can be moved using your operating system (mac’s OS). Moving them changes only where the projects/files are located but does not change the location reference in Scrivener.
  • If you want backup files moved AND you want Scrivener to use that place (to which you moved them) then 1. change the reference in Scrivener, and 2. Move your files using the macOS.

I hope that helps.

When you create a project, the dialogue will ask you where to put it. See Section 5.1.1 in the manual for a detailed walkthrough of the process.

The Backup Preferences pane defines where future backups will go, but it doesn’t move existing files. To do that, simply drag and drop using Finder. See Section 5.2 in the manual for more information about backups.

For more information about this specific error message, go here:

You don’t remember being asked or didn’t notice, but you were asked, without a doubt. There is no default location, and Scrivener will not make the choice for you … not for the first project. After the first, Scrivener will assume you want to put the next project in the same location, but not for the first, and even then it happens with a system dialog (the one you don’t remember) offering you the choice.

Scrivener saves in place. Wherever the project is, that’s where it stays unless you move it in Finder; it can’t be moved in Scrivener.

You can make a copy with a new name and/or location with File▸Save As, and that becomes the new current copy. The original (before Save As) stays in the list of Recent Projects, but it’s not at the top now, and Scrivener automatically opens the new current the next time it opens (unless you’re opening Scrivener by double-clicking on a project).

Not true on the Mac, and this is a Scrivener for macOS posting. Behind the scenes, you’d be correct, but a Mac user doesn’t see the interior of a project.

Wow, GoMach, this is incredibly detailed (and not too simplistic - for me, anyway - at all). Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ll try to adequately digest this information so that I can use it effectively (and consistently) in the future.
Thanks Again,

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That’s consistent with my experience, drmaorbob. I don’t see any component parts.

Thanks for sticking with me. I appreciate this help. Still trying to digest and then apply everything…

This is the way all apps work more or less, by the way.