Sync complete Scrivener file to iPad?

I’m new to the forum, new to the iPad and have never “Synced” anything before.

My current Scrivener file (a novel) is almost 200Mb in size and contains 9 - 1st draft chapters totaling @ 130 pages - (each with several supporting sub-documents) and an additional 150 or so individual research documents of differing formats besides.

Having researched iPad apps, I’ve decided to Sync to “Notebooks” for work away from home.

I’ll be Syncing via wi-fi at home presently. (I won’t access iCloud for now, due to OSX compatibility issues.)

My question(s):

  1. Should I sync EVERYTHING incorporated into my master Scrivener file to the iPad - thereby having ALL of my research available on the go, and subsequently “Sync” any new work back & forth?

  2. Or is this file size (200Mb) too large and unwieldy for this approach to be practical? (How much data might be advisable?)

3) When syncing back & forth, will I need to choose or do anything specific as a routine, or will the sync automatically update only changes that have been made?
(I’m new to syncing and don’t really know what is possible or advisable; e.g. I’m wondering if I should-or need to limit the size of the file on my iPad?)

Thanks for helping me dive in!
Wm Heart

Welcome to the forums!

That’s fine. We don’t support iCloud anyway, likely for the same compatibility issues. Nothing can support iCloud except for stuff sold in the Mac App Store, and the vast majority of our customers do not use that version of our software.

If you are concerned about the total size, that is very likely not text that is generating 200mb of research content. Raw text, even RTF text that has formatting, is quite compact and takes very little drive space to store. 200mb worth of text would be roughly 100,000 pages of text. Picture your average lawyer’s wall-spanning bookshelves of oversized tomes in their conference room.

But, just in the case that you are a lawyer and have a quarter of a century of case files for your region stored in the Binder: you might want to use a collection to more precisely allocate which documents should be synced. Hypothetically, if you do have a couple of hundred hefty volumes of text stored—you probably don’t need all of that on your iPad.

Generally speaking though, the synchronisation methods used do not become too overly burdened by quantity of text. You’ll be working with standard files and folders, opening and closing individual files with your preferred text editors on the mobile device. The main encumbrance this would cause you is scrolling through hundreds or thousands of files. Fortunately the Dropbox mobile utility does allow for content-level searching as I recall.

Right, after that initial upload, only those files that were actually changed would be synced about by Dropbox across the network, and further Scrivener would only sync those paragraphs that have changed, within the files. It’s quite efficient, and this is why I can say that a lot of material won’t be too much of a technological hurdle. It’s going to be a human hurdle though, with all of those items in a flat list like that.

But again, I suspect a lot of your 200mb are PDF, or other media which will not be considered eligible for synchronisation. You can still make those files available to yourself if you wish, but since they are not commonly editable at any rate, there is no reason to consider them items for synchronisation. A one-time [b]File/Export/Files...[/b] from Scrivener would suffice.

Thnx Amber!

No legalese or legal tomes here! :slight_smile:
But I do have a number of photographs used in my research. That’s likely why my Scrivener file is a bit hefty (I assume).

So, to clarify - do I need (or should I use) Dropbox for syncing between my iMac & iPad? Or can I sync via iTunes w/out Dropbox - using a USB to iPad “Lightening” connection initially; and a local wifi connection after that. (I’m thinking I only really need to sync once a day while at home.)

Having never “Synced” before, I’m unsure even if I need Dropbox (or something similar) or if the Mac & iPad sync fine (just as well) without this.
If they will sync ‘without’ - perhaps another question: "Is there an advantage to syncing “with” Dropbox vs. “without” other than being able to do so from any location with an internet connection?

With thanks again,

Not sure I understand what you are trying to do with Notebooks on the iPad but syncing your entire Scrivener project on the iPad won’t make it fully accessible to your Notebooks for iPad app. There are differences in operating systems and applications that prevent a simple syncing to work back and forth. I guess that’s the whole point of Scrivener for iOS, simplifying some of these hurdles.
The way I’d do it, having used both Scrivener and Notebooks for iPad, is to sync your /drafts and /notes folder in a folder called /text (or whatever) (mind you, you need to sync the files as text files, not RTF) and your research files in a folder called /research (or whatever) and have both folders contained in a dropbox folder (or a WebDAV service that works well with Notebooks)(in my experience Dropbox is the best, even though I am not too fond of Dropbox) called /my novel (or whatever).
Then you sync your Notebooks app for iPad with the Dropbox folder /my novel and you have access to your text files and research files on your iPad through Notebooks. You can do the same with Notebooks on the iPhone (I don’t think Notebooks is a universal app, it certainly it wasn’t when I purchased both).
If you setup your Dropbox syncing in Notebooks as ‘automatic’, while you work on your project, Notebooks syncs the changes in the background back to Dropbox. When you are home and use your Mac, you’ll see all those changes in your Scrivener project (as long as you set things up properly)

Yeah, it wouldn’t take too many photographs to accumulate 200mb worth. Especially if they are straight out of the camera.

You really do need something like Dropbox (and the ability to access the Internet from your iPad) to pull off true synchronisation, because that technique just uses files and folders (as Dropbox does). And since that is the most popular service, most of the sync-friendly text editing applications (including Notebooks) support it. If you find another service or app on the iPad that allows local synchronisation then that’s fine too. This is really up to the external technology you are using.

All Scrivener does is make a few folders, fill them up with files that contain the contents of your Binder, and then monitor those files for changes. What you do to those files, or with what and how is entirely up to you. Some people use this to collaborate with other authors, for instance, with those sync files being edited in Word et al.

There is to my knowledge no way of doing this in iTunes because that is a black box. Once you drop files into the application’s data storage area in iTunes, they are inaccessible to external software on your Mac. Hence, the above monitoring would no longer be possible. I’ve checked and there isn’t even a way of creating an Automator workflow for this. Those files aren’t accessible to AppleScript.

In theory, you would have to handle that end of it yourself. You would set up a sync folder with Scrivener, copy the files into iTunes, work on your iPad, copy and replace the changed files from iTunes back into the sync folder, and then open your project in Scrivener. I say in theory because I haven’t actually tested that workflow, but the process seems sound to me. Definitely test it with the interactive tutorial or something unimportant, if you intend to work that way, before applying it to your work.

Another thnx to Amber & to Marco,

Tests are definitely in order; just wanted to get my mind around things a bit first.
I’m feeling confident about moving ahead.

As part of my ‘testing’, I’m going to try syncing via iTunes (manually) in a direct method as you described Amber; and I’ll then try ‘true’ real-time syncing via Dropbox. I’m beginning to suspect a main advantage of something like Dropbox has to do with convenience.(?)

I understand the matter of .txt only editing when syncing with Scrivener. I only hope that my research files in html, rtf, photos, etc. will be available for me to view & study in Notebooks along the way!


100%, that is arguably the only advantage. Just like it is easier to toss a .doc file into a Dropbox folder and walk over to the other computer and have it pop up on it a few seconds later, rather than plugging in a thumb drive, copying, ejecting it, going to the other computer, plugging it in, copying it over and working on it then reversing the process. With something like Dropbox you just edit the file on each computer as though it were its own file.

Likewise, everything accesses the Scrivener sync folder as if it were its own files.

From what I understand that shouldn’t be a problem. Like I say, that’s what File/Export/Files... is for. Just get them out of the Binder, then drop them into Notebooks area in iTunes, I believe (I don’t actually have Notebooks, but that’s probably all you have to do).

You can synch in webdav too. With Daedalus Touch or another ios text editor who support webdav. With MediaMaster Server (free) on osx. Believe me, I never wanted to use the cloud to sync, I had heard of webdav but it was too complicated on osx, and then I found this app, it will create a webdav server alone and you can synch with “synch with external folder” easly.