Scrivener as a collaboration writing tool

Hi, I’m currently co-writing a book and although I’ll definitely write it in Scrivener 1.0, I still have to deal with the issue of exchanging files and chapters with my writing partner.
Of course the export feature serves the purpose, but what is worrying me is the import feature…
This is a non-fiction project with dozens of necessary footnotes in each page, and footnotes don’t get imported.
Given that both of us will use Scrivener and we will exchange files and chapters in order to add in turn concrete writing content (not just read or comment the other writer’s work), what do you guys think is the best way to proceed?
Note:
-copying a whole Scriv project is NOT a practical solution…
-opening the Scriv package leaves you with a choice of anonymous numbered files to choose from…

I’d be curious to know if anyone else is in the same situation and how do you approach co-writing in Scrivener.
Thanks!
Stefano

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With a writing partner who is also using Scrivener, there should be no need to mess with exporting and importing! That is for those poor souls who must interface with Word users. :slight_smile: Drag and drop is probably all you will need.

To elaborate: You can drag a document from one Scrivener project to another. Doing this copies everything related to that document. Any snapshots it has, keywords, notes, references, meta-data, synopsis, and so on (I am not sure if it retains created/modified dates).

If your partner is long-distance, and you are sharing via email or some other file transfer, I would recommend archiving the Scrivener file before sending it. This will protect the bundle format from the wiles of non-Mac internet protocols – and keep the file size down. In the case that you are collecting a lot of multimedia research, causing a large project file, simpy use drag and drop to dump the draft into a temporary “clean” project file that you can then send off. Draft only project files will compress quite well, in my experience.

To aid in collaboration, you could utilise the various ancillary data storage areas each document has. Which you choose to use would be up to your own working style. Attaching your name to a document as a keyword would make for quick searching. But if you wanted a more accurage trail of who edited the file when, a log in the Notes pane might be best. Colour labels could also be utilised as a quick method for finding recent changes by the other writer, letting you know which files to drag in. In conjunction with quick search (and if done often, a saved search), you can very rapidly get your own Scrivener project up to date with their changes.

Hopefully this gave you some ideas. As an aside, opening up the bundle and such is really only meant to be a last ditch emergancy procedure. Mucking around with the files in there could cause problems in the project file from that point on. It is nice to know your data will always be accessible no matter what, but as an editing tool, it isn’t really meant for that.

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Thanks Amber, much appreciated. That’s terrific! Scrivener is getting more surprising the more I use it…
Of course I was going for the most tricky solution on my own… after all, I’m a recent ex-Windows user… I’m looking forward to trying this solution.
cheers and happy new year,
Stefano

I’m currently workiing on a book and I’m hoping to have some research assistance provided to me. My question is this: is suppose my research assistant and I are both workinig on the project simultaneously (on different computers). And, for purposes of this example, he or she makes changes to a document in the research folder and I make changes to a different document. Is it possible to merge the project so that the changes are reflected on both computers?

Second question: What if we both make changes to the same document (again, in the research section). Can the two documents be merged in a way that both changes are refelected (assuming the changes don’t overlap)?

Hi, I’m still testing the possibilities of working with writing partners, too. As Amber suggests in her post above, it is easier if you use a “carrier” .scriv file - provided that you and your partner work at all times on different parts of a project.
Example:
Mr White works on Chapter 1. Once finished, he drags Chapter 1 to the temporary .scriv file and sends this file to Mr Black.
Mr Black receives the temporary file, and drags Chapter 1 into his own Draft folder. What happens now, he’ll be actually adding a new file called Chapter 1: no existing file will be replaced. Mr Black should delete manually the existing Chapter 1.
What’s important, the file includes any Snapshots already taken, so you don’t have to worry about tracking issues.
The same of course happens for multiple files and any file in the Research folder.
Mr White and Mr Black will work at all times on two different projects - but that is not a handicap, it actually allows each of them to organize their own research material independently, for example.
In my experience there is no way to “merge” document, but as I said I’m still experimenting and I might come up with some idea.

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As Stefano says, I stick by my recommendation of using a transit or carrier file. One important reason is to reduce confusion over exactly what has been edited. The second is in file size. You should feel free to dump large research files into our project, and large project files would make the transfer process more complicated over long distance.

Merging is more difficult. I do not know of any Mac applications that can do a two-way RTF merge. There are some Windows shareware programs that do this. MonkeyMerge comes to mind. If you are on an Intel machine and have access to Parallels or something, that might be a solution. There was some discussion at MyDreamApp about evolving Portal into a file merge application, but anything there should be considered hazy future material.