syncing collection with dropbox


I am publishing my first book wrote with Scrivener as a collection of 2 years of articles for a newspaper, and now I have to work with my publisher to complete my work.

I found out that I can sync with an external folder (es. dropbox) to share my edited chapters with the publisher,

and I also found the possibility to create a collection, to share only few of my documents (I have 170 articles, only some of them will go in the book, and I have to edit all of them).

So I did:

  1. create a collection of the articles I want to share with the publisher
  2. went to file-sync-with external folder
  3. put the path of my dropbox folder on my mac, checked "sync only documents in collection “nameofmycollection”

then I tried to sync

Scrivener said that everything was ok, but I went to check the local dropbox folder, and the web dropbox folder, the first time it was full of .txt files complitelu empty, and from the second time I tried it was empty!

Is there something I missed? Is the collection sync the right way to share the work with the publisher?

Thanks to all,



Yes, you are going about this the right way, so my guess is that one of the settings is off. Where are the documents stored (inside the Draft folder or elsewhere)? And which other options have you ticked in the Sync sheet? For instance, have you got “Sync the contents of the Draft folder” and/or “Sync all other documents…” ticked?


(He means you are going about it the right way. :wink:) Attaching a screenshot of your sync settings might be the easiest way to share them.

Argh, so I do, and I’ve edited it now. :slight_smile: Sorry, I’m posting with a rotten cold while looking after the kids, including one bellowing baby, because my better half is off on her hen weekend…

here it is

the files remains now empty .txt files

Thanks! Simona

Okay, your main problem here is that you’ve added the container folders to the collection but not their subdocuments; you can see by the icons that none of the documents in your collection have text (one has a synopsis, but that isn’t going to sync anyway). So the first thing to do is to make sure all the documents you want to sync are added to the collection–you can hold the Option key while dragging the container file into the collection to also include all of its subdocuments, or you could expand the binder to show all the documents and then select them all and drag the or right-click and choose Add to Collection. Also make sure that all of these documents you’re adding to the collection are in the Draft folder–if they’re not, you’ll need to check the box in the sync settings to “sync all other text documents in the project”. The collection will act as a filter, so you’ll still only get items that are in that collection, but by checking both boxes you’ll get collection items that are in the Draft and that are outside of it.

You probably also want to adjust your settings in the formatting section of the sync dialogue so that you’re using RTF files rather than plain text. Otherwise you’re going to lose some of your rich formatting (italics, bold, etc.) when you go back and forth with the external editor. Unless your publisher specifically needs .txt files for some unimaginable reason, go with RTF.

Final note, you might want to also check the box to “prefix file names with numbers”. When you sync all the documents to the external folder, they’ll get organized there alphabetically, which means they’re not likely to be in the same order as you’ve put them in the binder. They’ll be in a flat list, without the structure of the container folders that you have in Scrivener, so by numbering them you’ll be able to view them externally in the same top to bottom order as in your project. It’s purely a personal preference thing, though; I happen to like it, but you may not care.

Just to add to Jennifer’s excellent explanation:

Adding a folder to a collection only adds the folder, not its subdocuments. Folders are just special kinds of text documents - you can convert a folder to a text document and vice versa if you ever need to - and can contain text themselves. (To see what I mean, click on an empty folder in the binder, then turn off the corkboard or outliner, and type in the editor - that is the text of the folder itself.) So here you have a collection of lots of folders on their own, and none of them have any text associated with them, so when you sync you will indeed get lots of blank text documents.

All the best,

thanks to all, I tried with the rtf format and it worked, also adding to the collection the single files.

I choose .txt because I wonder to use plaintext to use the IPhone to make small corrections (because I’ve seen that simplenote it’s not working properly, do you know both those software?

And I also wonder if I can keep the folders in the draft dropbox folder: they are useful for the chapter (folder1, chapter1, folder2, chapter 2, …) Is there any way to keep folders in a dropbox?