Scrivener not saving ...

After a recommendation from an acquaintance, I’m currently using the 30-day trial of Scrivener to see if it’s the right program for my writing projects, and I’ve honestly loved everything … until today.

I was using the Corkboard, outlining some notes on a couple chapters. I am a veteran journalist and graphic designer, so I NEVER rely on auto-saves to do my saving … I’ve lost too many files in too many programs over the years.

Back to the point, so I hit command S to save earlier this evening before closing my project, quitting Scrivener and taking a break. And I recently returned to the computer, fired up Scrivener and opened the project to find that I’ve lost a large section of the work I had completed earlier in the day. It simply is not there. When I closed Scrivener, I got no message of needing to save, not that I’ve read anything that says I will see such a warning, only that it will automatically save when I close a project. BUT I know I did save, auto-save function or not, and yet the text is not there. So I decided to do a little test of this … I typed in some pointless words in the same file and closed the project again. When I reopened it, the pointless words were no longer there. So once again I typed in some pointless words, hit command S, even went to File-Save, and closed the project again. When I reopened, once again they were missing. After a few more tests of this, it did eventually reopen with the pointless words as I saved them. However, the entire incident just concerns me. The material from earlier is still lost, and I don’t want future material to maybe save, maybe not.

Any clue what’s happening here? Is this some bug with the shareware trial? I don’t want to waste time trying to recapture a moment of writing that may be lost, spend time typing it up, just to have it not save again. Any thoughts on this? Even if auto-save is not working, I expect a force save to come through for me.

Any and all insight on the matter is appreciated.

Don’t know what it is but definitely no shareware/trial version evil that takes hostage parts of your text to ransom you i. e. force you to buy Scrivener.

You should not need cmd-s because autosave does the job already.

Do you do any syncing or backing up with, say, Time Machine? Any user rights troubles recently? HD okay?

I’ve only had this iMac for about a month, but I’ve not experienced any issues, especially hd issues, that I’ve noticed … and I’m not backing up with Time Machine.

I’ve really enjoyed the program up until this issue. My concern is that even a forced save did not save the text. These were mostly notes in the synopsis area in corkboard view, but still saving should save. Played with it more last night, creating documents in the draft folder, typing in the synopsis in corkboard view, and doing forced saves before closing the project and quitting the program, and yet it produced the same results last night – information was not saved. In some cases, the new document/index card would save the title at the top of the card, but the short body text typed in would go MIA.

Eventually got the information to save after playing with various methods … which leads me to my next question.
If the document created in corkboard view is merely an index card with notes, with no copy in the actual body of the document, would that cause it to not save? I don’t think this is the case, bc I had another card with info that saved without anything in the body. But I can’t figure out the anomaly here … when I finally did get my test notes to save last night, it was only after I went into the document so that is was an actual document, no longer just an index card, and typed in some pointless junk just to see if it would save. After this, it seemed all notes on card and text in document saved. I think … I tried it so many times last night before I got it to actually save where I left off.

Does this make any sense, or does it sound like a hard drive issue that I’m not picking up on otherwise? I really love the features of this program, but I feel a bit leery of it now …

I think what might have happened is that you quit the application without “confirming” that you had typed in anything within the synopsis area of the index card, to Scrivener. I’ll expand on that because some of it is jargon. When you use index cards on the Corkboard, they are not like ordinary text fields but like entry fields in a form. They need to be “confirmed” once you have finished with the, and the easiest way of doing this is to press return. If, for example, I start typing a synopsis[size=80][1][/size] and the press Cmd-Q without pressing enter or moving to another area of the application first (in other words, the cursor is still blinking in the synopsis area), that synopsis will be lost. This is probably a bug that can be fixed.

So what happened when you moved to put junk text into the document area of the card is that you ended up implicitly confirming the synopsis by leaving the synopsis. When you leave the synopsis area using normal means (like clicking on another card, or making a new one), it confirms it. Moving to the document area would be another example of a confirmation. That is why you were able to make one card save its synopsis without junk text—because in doing so you moved on to another card to test another theory, thus signalling to Scrivener a confirmation.

If all of this sounds complicated it, that’s because it kind of is, and it should not be. Ordinarily you should not have to think of confirming and so forth—and ordinarily you do not. Scrivener handles nearly every single action out of a synopsis card with grace—except Cmd-Q.

[1]: The correct term of the “notes” area beneath the title on an index card is the synopsis. Reason being, there is another notes area already (actually several). Each document can have an attached notepad for scribbling down non-prose ideas and so forth; kind of like keeping a canary pad of notes and stapling them to drafts as you type them out.[/size]

Thanks for that explanation – it’s good to know so I won’t pull that stunt again. I’ll definitely work with it more today … learning all the little things will just take time and experience.

Yikes. I thought I’d fixed that. I fixed it for 2.0 but may have omitted to fix it in the recent 1.50 update. There’s going to be a 1.51 bug-fix update in the next week or so, so I’ll take a look at this tomorrow and fix it for that release. Basically, as Amber says, the index cards in the corkboard are controls so Scrivener doesn’t know they have been edited until after the edit is committed, at which time it knows there needs to be a save. If you close the project with a card still active, Scrivener therefore doesn’t know it should save it. The solution is that Scrivener should end all edits before closing - that way it can check for changes and save. In this case it fails to force the card to end editing, and it is a bug.
Thanks and all the best,