Scrivener and Skydrive and problems synching


I’m new to Scrivener, but so far it appears to me to be the perfect writing tool. I just started a nonfiction project. What I want to do is work on my project when I’m at home on my Windows 8 desktop and when I’m on the road with my laptop/or surface tablet running Windows 8 pro when it becomes available.

So I start my project and I’m adding notes like crazy and I start getting these errors about unable to sync files. First it’s one file then it’s two and then four and five. I click on the files and everything seems fine, but I can’t get the errors to go away.

So now I’m on the road with my laptop and I load my Scrivener project from the skydrive on my laptop. The first thing I notice is that all of the files that wouldn’t sync aren’t there. Just the titles and no text. But I’m on the road and I have a lot of work I want to do on this project. So I start adding new notes like crazy on the laptop. I’m thinking I’ll just have to redo the stuff that wouldn’t sync.

Now I get back home and load Scrivener and the old stuff is there along with the new. But I’ve added so much text I’m not sure what if anything is missing.

For me, being able to work on my project from anywhere is ideal. But I’m concerned about this synching problem and the possibility of losing work. Any suggestions, comments?

Looks like it’s a limitation imposed by Skydrive on folders and their contents. Here’s a guide to making folders sync in Skydrive, maybe it will help. … drive.html

This isn’t an issue with other sync tools, like Dropbox, so you may want to investigate something that will accommodate folders more readily.

I came across the post you mentioned a few days ago. I am familiar with Dropbox. But I really don’t want two cloud drives on all of my computers. Skydrive is built into Windows 8. It just makes sense to use it over Dropbox. But that doesn’t mean I can’t change my mind if I can solve the issues with Skydrive.

I’m attaching the error message I keep getting. I also wanted to add a little more information. When I logged on to Skydrive with my laptop and accessed my project with Scrivener, I did not get any upload error messages. On my laptop I’m running Windows 7 and Office 2007, though I plan to change that soon.

On my Windows 8 desktop I’m running Office 365 Preview. I think there is a possible connection here to the problems I’m experiencing. If I go to Skydrive on my desktop and I go to the files folder, the files that were not uploaded are marked. When I click on the file they open in Office Word. On several of the files when I go to resave the file I get a message indicating that the file I’m saving was created in an earlier version of Word. I then convert the file and resave and the file is uploaded. Then when I open Scrivener the file is there but has to be reformatted.


You should avoid editing the files within a Scrivener project in anything but Scrivener. There are tweaks to the RTF format that they use to shoe-horn in other features, like footnotes and comments for instance, that will be lost if you let Word get it’s ‘hands’ on it.

I don’t know anything about Skydrive, but I’m guessing that these errors are due to the differences between how MS does the RTF format, and how Scrivener implements it. But I could be completely off on that… it’s only a guess. From what little reading I’ve done, it seems that Skydrive, much like the Mac’s iCloud, is only designed for use by the company’s approved file formats. I’m going to bow out of this conversation to reduce my own noise on the matter, deferring to anyone else who may know better why Skydrive is giving you errors.

Another point to make: it doesn’t actually hurt anything to have more than one folder being synchronised on your hard drive by different pieces of software (“cloud drives”, if you wish). There is nothing risky about that from a technology standpoint. The only thing you’d really want to avoid is having more than one synchronisation service looking at the same folders.

Both Microsoft and Apple are anxious to get you using their stuff instead of third-party synchronisation (and from what I’ve seen, neither company fully understands what made this idea so popular to begin with, but that’s my opinion). So both now have systems you cannot uninstall, and that means anyone that wants to use something else is going to have more than one. It’s quite okay to do so.

Lastly, this is just my opinion, but have you read the ToS for SkyDrive? Microsoft basically has the right to go and read your data if they want to, and runs periodic scans on everyone’s data looking for stuff that violates their puritanical ideologies. Use any cussing in your books? You could get banned for that.

Give me SpiderOak. Content is encrypted on my computer before it is sent out into the Internet. Not even their technical team can unlock it.

I wanted to update this post because I know there are a lot of people who might read this thread and abandon Skydrive as an option. But I made a few changes to the Scrivener and Skydrive settings that seem to have eliminated my earlier problems.

If you go to the settings for Skydrive and then select manage storage, you’ll find an option to use Office preview to monitor your uploads. I deselected that. Next I went to the Scrivener settings and changed the automatic updates from 2 seconds to 300 seconds.

The way I understand cloud drive services, the software constantly monitors the local drive looking for updates, which then have to be uploaded. You don’t want this occurring every 2 seconds. So I’m not sure which setting change has made the difference, but the result is no more upload or sync errors.

I have my entire project stored on the skydrive.

Three-hundred is probably a little high. That means Scrivener will likely never save anything unless you hit Ctrl-S (some people actually like that though). You could probably turn that down to ten or twenty seconds. You’re right, you definitely wouldn’t want that to happen every two seconds, but just to be clear on what this feature actually does, the 2 seconds is an idle timer. That means it only triggers if you pause for two seconds. For some people that may mean it rarely triggers at all. So setting it to 300 would mean that Scrivener would only ever save if you stopped working for five minutes. I just wanted to make sure that was clear, and you did not anticipate that you would only ever lose five minutes of work in a worst case scenario.

Can you pause the synchronisation though? That is something some people prefer doing with Dropbox, that way you don’t have to compromise the auto-save security.