Sync to External Folder - Tremendous

I have recently purchased Scrivener for the Mac (and a MacPro to go with it – seriously, I did) to go with my Scrivener for Windows on my other machines and I have been astounded to discover the Sync to External Folder menu command. I had no idea it existed.

Although I have been sync’ng my Windows generated Scrivener files on DropBox so I can be machine independent, that does not help with my Android phone and tablets. I have to use a manual Export As command on a case by case basis and inevitably I loose stuff that had been edited on one of the Androids because I forgot to keep it all up to date. It is also quite a cumbersome procedure.

But now I can work on my Scrivener draft files as TXT, (my preference), or RTF in Android, and on Windows machines where Scrivener has not been installed, and have it all nicely synchronized.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am to find this feature, and to discover that “it all just works”.

Well done indeed.

Hi Rick,

Thanks for the kind words, glad you like it! That feature will be coming to the Windows version as part of the first major (paid) upgrade eventually. It’s actually quite a huge feature to implement (it took a couple of months on the Mac), so it’s always good to hear that it was worth it!

Thanks and all the best,

Does “(paid) upgrade” imply that L&L do NOT provide cost-free (downloadable) upgrades for Life?!?

Is so, why not consider aiming at a larger market (even with lower (per-user) enterprise-wide licenses) - eg, uni’s, schools, corporations, etc. - to increase revenues enough to enable you to pass on each upgrade without cost, with requisite accounting at each end? I say, save human time.

Android & iOS apps can be so cheap (mostly) because they sell in very large numbers.
I think that the “abundance-based model” (eg, abundance of buyers) is the Future.


My 2.2 cents, only…

Hi, MSR,

You may find useful to read the referred links below on those matters. … businesses

Best regards,

“As a software company selling a niche product, though, we do have to charge for updates from time to time, in order to continue making Scrivener and Scapple the best they can be.”

I like how Keith justifies the charge for major updates, as if large software companies don’t also charge their customers for upgrades (or ongoing access) as well.

Indeed - it is still standard for software companies to charge for major upgrades. Our upgrade policy is no secret and explained on the site. All minor upgrades are free, but upgrades from 1.x→2.0, 2.x→3.0 etc are charged, but at a reduced rate (existing users get the updates for a large discount) - unlike Apple, which charges existing customers the full price for major updates to its own software (at least the software it still charges for - but remember that Apple is in the business of selling hardware, so it gives software away to attract users to its hardware, not something a company selling only software can do!).

Only the most popular Android and iOS apps selling in very large numbers - I know of at least one Mac developer who abandoned his iOS apps because they weren’t brining in enough revenues, despite their low price (and being good software). While we would love to sell millions and millions of copies a week, I’m not sure an abundance-based model serves the user that well, either, as it would mean trying to target the software at everyone, rather than focussing on a particular niche.

We are slowly getting Scrivener into universities and are looking at expanding on that, but that’s not something that will ever replace our core user base or the necessity of charging for upgrades that have been years in the making. And our updates are years in the making - Scrivener 1.x had a four year span and Scrivener 2.x has already been out four years. Compare that with companies such as Telestream or VMWare who charge much more money for upgrades every year, or the new subscription model of Microsoft Office. We also try to keep Scrivener’s price down (although even $45 seems expensive to those used to Apple’s giveaways on the Mac App Store these days), and that is only possible because we know that upgrade prices will provide extra revenue in the feature.

When we charge for an upgrade, we ensure that the upgrade is worth it, though, don’t worry!

All the best,

+1 Indeed! 8)

I really miss WriteRoom. It is (still) the best text editor for writers on iOS. The most elegant, the least intrusive. It works great with Scrivener, through the Sync to Extenral Document function. I would be very glad to pay a new version, to warrant its continued development.


So, if I’m reading the posts correctly, we will eventually have a sync to external folder available for Windows? And that will allow us to go from say, laptop to desktop and pull up the WIP and continue working on it, then back to the folder?

That would be so handy. Right now I was backing up to DropBox, but could never open the file correctly. And I need to work on both machines.

Hope it’s coming soon (and the iPad version as well.) Will that be useable b/t iPad and windows or just iPad and Mac?

Happy New Year,

You should be able to share between instances of Scrivener now. The External Folder sync is only intended for syncing between Scrivener and third-party applications. (And indeed will break badly if you try to use it between instances of Scrivener.) If you’ll send an email to our support address (, we’ll be happy to try to help you solve your laptop/desktop sharing problem.

The iOS version will work with either Mac or Windows Scrivener.


On my way to the support team. Thanks for the help.