Scrivener Big Problem

I recently upgraded to Lion on my Mac Pro. I had been running Scrivener 2 on Snow Leopard, but the drive on which I installed Lion had the older version. It was working fine, and I guess I should have just let well enough alone.

I downloaded the trial version, and copied my serial # and put my user name in the proper fields. Version 2 downloaded and things seemed fine.

When I went to open the file I had been working on for a few years, I got a message that the file had to be upgraded. The only choice was upgrade or cancel. So I upgraded.

To my horror, all my 23 chapters have been put into one, long chapter. My chapter titles and subtitles are gone, as well as all my research, lots of photos, and other documentation.

Luckily it is a Mac Pro, and I still have the other drive with Snow Leopard on it. I relaunched into SL, and opened Scrivener, and was much relieved to see my project there, with all the chapters, etc., still in place. My research folder is nice and full of research.

Is this a problem with Lion? Are those files ruined for good now? Is there a solution that will get my project back the way it was, with the zillions of hours of work intact?

Edited to say, I can still (hopefully) work on the project in Snow Leopard, but I was hoping to migrate everything eventually to Lion. Restarting all the time is kind of a pain.

It sounds like you tried to open an older version of your project. If it had to upgrade, that means it was a 1.x project, and if you’ve been working on it in Scrivener 2 on Snow Leopard, that means you’ve already upgraded it and have been working in the upgraded project. So I think all that happened here is that the project you just updated on Lion was out of date. Just copy the version of the project that you’re using on SL and transfer that to your Lion drive to work on it. If you’re going to be moving back and forth, you’ll need to make sure to close the project and copy it again so that you can make sure you’re always working in the most recent version, but I’m not clear if that will be necessary or you’re just making a full move to Lion.

Thanks for the suggestion. That worked. I don’t quite understand why the project was “upgraded” with no problems when I installed the update to Scrivener on the Snow Leopard hard drive, and this “upgrade” on my Lion drive completely altered the project and tossed out my research files.

There must be something in the way Scrivener manages projects that I don’t quite get.

But now I seem to be back, and that’s good. It’s likely I will not be working on the project in SL again, as I’m going to be moving to Lion for most of my work — in spite of not being happy with many of the Lion interface changes. And please don’t bring “versioning” to Scrivener. You already have autosave, and “Duplicate” is not the same as “Save as.”

BTW, I created a new project a couple of days ago, and when I tried to open it this morning I got the same “upgrade” message. Luckily, this was just one page, so it came through all right.

It shouldn’t have done so, but perhaps I misunderstood. My assumption was that you did the update to 2.0 on Snow Leopard a while ago and have worked on the project since, and that the division of chapters and all the added research documents happened after the upgrade. So all of that never was in the original 1.x project at all, but rather in a new 2.0 project. When you updated on Lion, you used the old 1.x project, which hadn’t been touched in however long and didn’t include all the work you had done in 2.0.

All projects that were created in 1.x are going to need to be upgraded for use in 2.x, due to file format differences. Once they’re upgraded, you can’t work on that upgraded version in 1.x any longer, but when you make the upgrade, the first step Scrivener does is to make a backup of the 1.x version. So at the end of the upgrade you have two copies of the project, one still in 1.x format and one in 2.x format. They’re completely separate at that point, so work done in 2.x doesn’t affect the 1.x copy–and likewise, if you open the 1.x copy in your older version of Scrivener and work on it, those changes won’t exist in the 2.x copy.

As for Lion’s versioning, it’s not really intended for program types like Scrivener that have to synchronize multiple files for a project, so there are no plans to integrate that. Keith wrote an explanation on it here.

Sorry to be so tardy in responding, but busy, busy, etc. Yes, I had the material divided into chapters, formatted with titles and subtitles, and a big, fat file of research almost from the day I started using Scrivener years ago.

I copied that Scrivener file, along with some backups, to a new drive on my Mac Pro, which at the time had Snow Leopard on it. I later upgraded the drive to Lion, and decided some time after that to upgrade my Scrivener to 2. The update went flawlessly on the Snow Leopard drive, so I assumed it would go well on the Lion drive.

But when I opened the project on the Lion drive after doing the update to 2, all the chapters were gone and it was just one huge text file with no paragraphs, and the research had all disappeared. Everything was in the 1.x project, and the upgrade to 2 lost it, or un-formatted it.