Small DropBox Tip

Pausing dropbox from synching.

Normally it is not so wise to have the original Scrivener-Project in the dropbox folder, as there are constant updates to the files and pushing around which actually means changing the directory structure. So dropbox is always synching around which could be dangerous.

Same goes when working with eclipse and Java btw when I’m working for android and my workspace is set to a dropbox-folder.

So, what I do in these cases of non-stop changes to files and structures I simply set the synchronisation status to pause, before launching up scrivener or eclipse.

Then I do all my stuff and when I’m done and closed Scrivener or eclipse I unpause the synching again and have a clean synch.

You can reach this option by doing a rmb on the dropbox-icon and the appendix-Icon changes to reflect the status.

With this option set it is now safe to have the backups and the projects thmeselves inside of dropbox.

This is a new feature which didn’t exist in dropbox 1.2.3xx but now in the new 1.2.51 it’s there.

That’s all folks…

Yes, pausing is a good thing! I keep forgetting to add this point to the manual as an optional step instead of tuning auto-save frequency, and you reminded me so it’ll be in the next revision. :slight_smile:

You’re welcome! And don’t forget to mention to unpause again like I forgot to do and had to reboot the computer to sync :unamused:

The other advantage of pausing is that it compresses your Scrivener session into a single version on Dropbox. All of the internal files will be updated at the same point and with one version. If you leave it unpaused while editing, edited files rapidly go through versions as each auto-save event happens and it makes reverting a project much more difficult. Now we just need to get DB to implement folder level version control!

+1 8)

Thanks for the tip, Philipp!


Perhaps I’m missing something, but as far as I’m aware DropBox only synchronises only when there is something to synchronise. Therefore if you have a file/files open locally, and nowhere else, DropBox is effectively on pause anyway, the only difference is you don’t need to un-pause it when you finish.


Hi Mex,

Scrivener saves every 2 seconds of non-typing to prevent any loss. As every page and folder are actually single files, it could happen, that many files are changed in a short period of time. So it may happen, that while Dropbox syncs one file, it is already outdated, thus forcing dropbox to resync again.
This MAY cause file problems when this happens too often in too short a time.

So, it is a simple precaution to stop automatic syncing whilst actively working with a scrivener project.


I was under the impression the tip was to stop the local copy from being synchronised with a remote copy while you were using it. I have only ever used DropBox to recover a file once (in years of heavy use), so it didn’t even cross my mind that was what the tip was for. Thanks ;^>


I travel quite a bit and don’t have infinite data on my cell phone account, so I have been exiting dropbox when on the road and only allowing it to sync when I have wifi. I’ll try the pause feature instead!

If you’re forgetful like me (and will not even notice that dropbox is paused), the other way to make Scrivener + Dropbox safer is to increase that 2 second save interval to about 10 seconds. That’s enough time for most internet connections to upload some text files before the save interval is triggered again.

Great tip. I’ll try to remember it :slight_smile:

Or more likely remember to pause, but not to un-pause :slight_smile:

Hi All

Just had a thought (I’m a Linux guy, so not sure about the mac/windoze), but it should be possible to to write a script to pause DropBox syncronisation, start Scrivener, then resume syncronisation after you quit Scrivener. So insteaed of starting Scrivener normally, run the script instead and it will do it all for you.

If I get time later (and remember) I’ll have a play about and see what I can knock up.


Dropbox for Mac Os X does not have a CLI, although Dropbox for Linux does.

What is being described could be done on a Mac as well (although GNU/Linux and Mac OS X use a different approach to UNIX, they are very similar in capabilities). On a Mac, to execute a Cocoa application you use the open command with the W flag to force it to wait until the resource has been closed. So a line in the script with open -W /Applications/ would suffice, and lock the script’s execution until Scrivener reports a successful shutdown, allowing any further actions in the script to then be taken. The question is whether Dropbox can be controlled externally from a script—it might be easier to just quit it from the script, and then relaunch it afterward. Another possibility could be using the AppleScript scripting bridge to tell Dropbox to pause, if it has access for doing so.

Seems like something that could be easy to do with the 3rd party Mac tool called “Keyboard Maestro”. I can see where it’s simple to look for “Launch” or “Quit”, but it probably takes an Apple script to do the next step of telling Dropbox turn on or off “Pause”. I can’t get my head around Apple scripts. Perhaps someone can?

Hi All

Turns out the script was far easier than I though it would be:dropbox stop scrivener dropbox startThis works perfectly on Linux, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t on Windoze, I’m afraid you Mac guys are on your own thoug I know next to nothing about your OS LOL

Anyway, to use the above just save it as a script and run that instead of starting Scrivener as you normally woud.


OK, mister script guy :slight_smile: I know you’re stating this like it’s an easy thing but…

what do you mean save this as a script and just run it? (Windows i’m talking about)

I was looking for something elegant in keyboard maestro to pause Dropbox. But, you can not access Dropbox menus via keyboard maestro. However, using launching and quitting Scrivener as a trigger, keyboard maestro can stop and start Dropbox.




I don’t have a windoze box here to try it on, but what you need to do is copy and past the above code into notepad and save it as a *.bat file. Double click it to run and is should work. If it doesn’t try replacing the scrivener line with it’s full path, it will probably be something like “C:Program Files/Scrivener/Scrivener.exe” If that doesn’t work either give me a shout, and I’ll set up a win virtual box to have a play and see if I can sort it out.