Scrivener 3.x in 2022 - what's the best way to share projects between Mac & PC?

I’ve seen a few older entries regarding this, but was curious what the best method might be for sharing a project between these two machines.

Is Dropbox (or equivalent) still the way to go?

Thanks for any help!

  • Rodney

I wouldn’t say any cloud sync is the best way to simply copy files from one place to another. It’s an over-complicated way of doing things, with a huge pile of technology required to make it function, massive server complexes wasting vast amounts of planetary resources, running constantly in the background whether you need them or not, sending bytes all over the world just to get data between two things on your desk. It’s a bit… over the top and an ecologically destructive replacement for a USB cable.

Just good old thumb drives or external drives in general are pretty easy to use, safe, and low impact.

If you’ve got the knowledge, turning on file sharing in one machine and attaching to it with another is a really fast and simple way to share files. That’s what I typically use.

But if you must use cloud servers to copy data around (maybe you’ve used sync before and consider everything else wildly inconvenient), there aren’t many services we don’t recommend.

You can find any active advisories on this knowledge base page. Currently Dropbox requires special attention on newer versions of macOS, in fact. I wouldn’t use it myself, but there are other reasons for that as well, such as it being about as secure as a post office box. Yeah, there is that little key you have that opens the front of it, but the box is wide open on the back side.

How so?

This starts to get confusing, to be honest. I understand that L&L probably doesn’t want to be too specific when it comes to advocating for or against specific cloud providers… But could you please at least find a consent? I don’t even know what to recommend anymore. It used to be Dropbox.

I linked to the list of advisories, which has Dropbox in the list, but here is a more direct link. As for whether that makes Dropbox better or worse than other mainstream corporate providers—not really. They are all a bit of a mess these days with smart sync being pushed on users in combination with Apple policy decisions.

As for what I recommend—again local hardware always taking priority, but if one must: Tresorit. Less frills, but that is part of the problem these days. And unlike most corporate stuff, there is a locked panel on both sides of the box, not just the part you look at. As for whether that is a good blanket recommendation, I don’t know. Probably not. It’s not “seamless” and “user friendly”.

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I tried a manual transfer and, though the project opened fine on my Mac (I created it originally on my desktop PC), a lot of the preferences I had set up on the PC side did not carry over correctly (custom Binder colors and fonts, the corkboard background, my custom Composition Mode background, etc.). Then, after editing some text in one of my scenes on the Mac side, I test-transferred it back over to PC and found the PC Scrivener’s settings were goofed up too. I think I’ll just stick with one machine for this book!

Well, that’s going to happen no matter how you copy a project, because none of that is part of a project. These are application level settings, that change how all projects look, and given how different the two operating systems are, there is no way to share preferences directly like that. The way they store what a colour is, for example, is wildly different.

Then, after editing some text in one of my scenes on the Mac side, I test-transferred it back over to PC and found the PC Scrivener’s settings were goofed up too. I think I’ll just stick with one machine for this book!

So by that token, that’s impossible—unless what you mean is that the fonts are different or something, which is different from settings. We might expect fonts to change. Here is a list of compatibility issues to be aware of. Most are things you can overcome or work around, but as you say, it might be easier to just stick with one platform if you don’t really need to move around.

I don’t. Thanks, Amber. I appreciate the tips!