Some Text Files In Binder Are Missing


Over the last few weeks I have been trawling through a long set of notes and trying to separate them into some kind of logical order. When I find a piece of text that is makes sense, I move it into a new text file / folder in the Binder.

Everything was going fine until this morning. I just found a piece of text which I wanted to put into one of the text files / folders that I created yesterday only to find that it wasn’t there. It was missing. On closer inspection, I have noticed that many of the text files / folders in the Binder that I had created over the last few days are also missing.

It is impossible to remember all the text that I have been moving around and I now find that it might have all gone.

In fact I have been spending weeks lately importing everything I have written over the years into Scrivener because I thought I had finally found the Holy Grail of writing software. Now I am frightened that there might be text missing that I am not even aware of.

What a sickening feeling this is. Can I really have confidence in this program after this?

Anyway, I have been saving my work regularly, and when I do Scrivener also creates a backup. I have looked in the most recent backup folders but they are all in the same state as the main file.

Is there anything I can do?

Oh, this is weird! I’ve just selected a text file in the Binder, and then pressed “Add item”. A new text file appeared below as expected, but it was populated with text. So I did this again and again and four more new text files appear all with text in them.

Presumably this is the text that went missing yesterday?

I carried on doing this, but it only produced empty text files, called “Untitled”. So maybe that’s all there was.

The only other thing I can tell you is that yesterday, when I first created those new files in the Binder, I renamed them straight away. Maybe this caused them to be unseen when I restarted the program again today?

Renaming shouldn’t do that. What’s happening is that the index file is somehow losing track of new items. Those items are still present in the project, but the index doesn’t have a listing of them, so they don’t appear in the binder. Internally, all text files are named 1.rtf, 2.rtf, 3.rtf, etc… That’s how Scrivener keeps track of them, even if you use the same name in the binder for two items.

One way this can happen is if you are using a sync service like DropBox. If you don’t allow the syncing to be complete before you hop onto another computer, or if you are constantly rearranging the files (or using Save As) in the drop box folder, you can end up with conflicts. The trick to keeping backups while working in this kind of environment is to use File->Backup->Back up to, or setting your automated backups (Tools->Options->Backups) to create a backup on every manual invocation of File->Save.

Apologies if that’s not applicable to you.

That’s a good answer, thanks very much.

I’m not using dropbox. I remember clearly saving the file last night before closing the program down, and it did perform its backup at the same time. So I’m still not sure why this happened.

I have stopped pressing “Backup to” because I got a bit lazy, but I’ll try to do it more often. I’ve also increased the amount of saved backups, so if this happens again, the backups wont wipe over the non-damaged files.

It’s still a bit of a worry though.

Thanks very much.

There’s an option in the Backups preference pane to do an “automatic” backup whenever you invoke File->Save (not Save As), or simply hit CTRL-S. That should allow you to continue to be lazy. :slight_smile: But if you’re not syncing your projects to some service like dropbox or sugarsync, then I’m not sure what the issue might be.