Scrivener limitations for research folder

Greetings,
I’m migrating a huge project which contains +8.000 pdf articles (for research section) and +900 pages in +100 word documents (for the draft section).
What are the limitations of Scrivener in terms of number of files (in the research area), pages, etc. Are the limitations only related with the available memory?

Thanks in advance.

Scrivener doesn’t have any limits. In fact, because the sofware only loads the bits of information from your project that it needs at ay given time, it’s quite efficient in this regard, depending on how many of those pdfs you need to keep referring to!

For really large drafts, you might see a bit of slowdown if you start doing Scrivenings sessions for the whole manuscript and then do something like change the window size so the entire project needs to be ‘redrawn’ to the new view. Generally, however, you should find the program deals with large drafts very well indeed.

The limit is your imagination(*)!

(or your hard drive, whichever runs out first)

I don’t know if this pertains to Scrivener for Windows also, but I did remember a thread in Tech Support for the Mac which had to do with large size pdf’s.
Managing PDF with Scrivener? - #2 by KB

Actually that wasn’t so much of a problem, but rather someone like you asking if there would be a problem, and being affirmed there wouldn’t be. As noted in that thread, the main point for slowdowns is when you close the project under default settings. With a +1GB project, that can take a lot longer than a smaller project as Scrivener duplicates and zip compresses a backup each time you close. This can be avoided by setting the large project to not automatically back up (in the File/Back Up submenu). Up to a point, you can get away with turning of zip compression in the backup options, too. The other point that can cause slowdowns with tons of PDFs on the Mac is the search index. You really have to throw a lot of data at it to see the problem (and I suspect a certain degree of secondary issues with the PDFs as well, never did completely pin down why the project was slowing down so much, as I’ve seen projects with more than it had, without that issue) but this is neatly dodged on Windows by virtue of it not currently indexing PDFs for search. That’s the silver lining of this current limitation, anyway. :slight_smile:

Right now there isn’t a way to import as links, save for the reference pane. If you go that route though, you have to read the PDFs in an external viewer.

Adding that many files will effect normal operations.

Backup has already been mentioned. Do that only manually (there’s a button you can add to the toolbar).

Editing operations will be effected because each file needs about 13 lines in the project.scrivx file and adding 9000 files will add about 117000 lines to it. That will make it take longer to write that file to disk with each pause in typing as specified by the Options/General/Saving setting. Usually it’s 2 seconds. The need for a save is indicated by a * beside the project name in the window title bar.

If operation gets a bit chunky you may want to raise that setting. If you pause typing a lot or for shorter times you’ll see the effect more than if you pause less often or for longer times. You’ll have to experiment.

Thank you for your kind advices.
Project had to be split in smaller sections to be workable. From my limited testing, slowdowns are negligible up to 4000 files, with backup options relaxed.
It’s still better than Word at this stage of writing.