.scriv file size limitations?

I am currently using a single Scrivener project for my collection of research, and I would like to know if there are size limitations to the size or content of a single project, as I have a lot of images? I keep my project in Dropbox, in case that would also affect the answer. I am aware of the regular synchronization issues that may occour from time to time, so I keep regular backups.

Not really; limitations are going to be a from the file system or Dropbox space available primarily. I have a project with over 1000 small jpeg files and it’s not even phasing Scrivener. I think the whole project weighs in at 120MB, last I checked. It does take a few seconds to perform a backup, but otherwise, no slowdown.

If you experience any adverse affects due to size, it’s likely to degrade performance slowly, as you add more entries, rather than coming up on a hard limit suddenly.

Thank you, that’s all I needed to know. :slight_smile:

My main Scrivener project is over 400Mb and also synced with Dropbox. I have over 1500 individual files and images in the project with a lot of cross-referencing. The biggest challenge is space on Dropbox rather than any limitations with filesystems etc. I seem to recall someone on these forums mentioning Scrivener projects of over 1Gb but I can’t point you to specifics.

To Robert’s point, it takes a while to do a backup but general performance on both OS X and Windows is really good. I haven’t tried this project on iOS yet as I’m waiting on my 256Gb iPad PRO so I have enough space :smiley:

And remember that the .scriv file is not a file but a folder…

If your output manuscript is really huge, you can run into issues with the various Compile format converters. But the main Scrivener editor? It should be fine unless you get up into the multi-gigabyte range. Even then, being smart about breaking your manuscript into “bite-size” chunks, avoiding gigantic Scrivenings sessions, etc. should keep things manageable.


Thanks for the feedback guys.

For my research in question, I only use Scrivener to gather data and will not actually compile anything, so I am safe there.

Does Dropbox sync the entire .scriv folder or does it do incremental updates on the single files that are changed inside?

Good question. I have a project that’s 758 mb. The files that are the largest are two interview recordings. I tried to import another one in that was about 350 MB and I got the dreaded spinning beach ball. I guess pushing for 1 gig is overdoing it.

The Dropbox app “sync” files that you change, and the sync is essentially only ‘copy to the Dropbox server’, nothing else.

A single file of 350 Mb might take a while to copy to the Dropbox server, depending on your netsork connection.

It’s not the project size that matters. It’s the size of the individual files/documents inside the project that matters, like Katherine wrote.

My biggest projects are around 5GB. One is pushing 7GB.
The only stuff that goes slow is the initial upload to Dropbox. Downloading goes fast on all other devices, including the iPad. Projects themselves keep on working fast. In total I have about 16 projects on my Dropbox for a total of 22 GB.
Everything works smooth. Again, except initial upload but that’s Dropbox fault and normally you should do only once (if you work with Dropbox).

Also, my iMac makes backups when I close projects locally, to a zip. This also takes a lot of time. I could do without zip and it should be faster but it’s a bit less safe from what I understand.
Scrivener itself though, keeps working fast. (I can’t comment on the Windows version though)

I think this is where the folder-structure of Scrivener-projects shows it power. And it proves that Keith and L&L thought the initial format very well out when they created Scrivener.
I can have a 7GB project with videos and images and pdfs, but most work I need to do constantly are just text-files and to Dropbox it only needs to save those small changes, a couple of kilobytes instead of gigabytes.

The advantage of a ZIP backup is that it keeps the entire project in a single file, which makes it easier to transport without leaving bits of itself behind. Whether that’s enough of a plus to justify the time to ZIP a 7GB project is up to you.