syncing to an external folder isn't automatic -- why not?

I’ve set up syncing between my Drafts and an an external folder in Scrivener 2.0.2 – a folder inside a Dropbox folder on my Mac. However, when I make changes to a draft, the changes aren’t saved automatically to the corresponding file inside Dropbox. The only way I can get the file to update is to open File > Sync > With External Folder and press the Sync button.

Am I doing something wrong?

The sync is not an automatic feature; you need to select it when you’re ready. Given that Scrivener default auto-saves every 2 seconds, this would make for a crazy amount of updating trying to keep the external folder in sync, to say nothing of the confusion it could cause on both ends if you’re syncing in order to share with another person and that person opens and beings working on a document while you’re still typing in Scrivener. There are other real, technical reasons why it’s not set up this way, too, but I figured I’d throw that out there. :wink: It would slow down your work significantly to have the sync running constantly.

To make it easier to do regularly, you can assign a keyboard shortcut via System Preferences. Once you’ve set up the sync options as you want them, you can just hit the shortcut while working and then hit enter to run the sync.

But that could happen anyway. It’s something that Keith has to deal with in some fashion.

That’s what sync is, unfortunately. Making it manual is just crazy IMHO. Imagine Dropbox as a manual sync! :frowning:

The definition of sync is not that it is automatic - “synchronisation” just means to sync to disparate things. It is not “crazy”. Having Scrivener sync all the time in the background would be a slow process given the amount of work it has to do - it is not syncing files that are the same but doing an export. There may be an option to have Scrivener sync on project close in the future though.

Then I would like to see some sort of automatic sync. I can’t be bothered to remember to invoke the command to sync so that the latest version of files are on my iPhone. Here’s what the user manual says on page 107:

Note that “as changes are made to the contents of this folder” doesn’t specify that user intervention is required; auto sync does seem to be implied here, doesn’t it?

Just because there are working examples of what you describe in existence does not mean that these examples are equally applicable to all of the objects in your computer. The whole point of synchronisation is so that two diverging forks can be merged back together again. It means you can separate out a portion of your work to a device or workflow or individual, and later on knit it all back together into a unified source. If the thing is constantly updating both forks, they are no longer forks—just a second parallel copy of the original. That isn’t synchronisation, per se, just parallel computing. That might be what you are used to, but that doesn’t mean everything should do it, there are very valid and useful reasons for not immediately and constantly updating both forks.

I’ll fix the wording in the excerpt you provided to be more clear. When I wrote that, I didn’t dream that anyone would expect this feature to keep version 1 equivalent to version 2 in real time as that defeats the purpose of the feature—so in this case “as changes are made” is written in the long-term perspective. Since it can be read incorrectly, I’ll fix it.

Edited to remove reference to fictional interface components!

I use a keyboard short cut to run the sync, which I prefer and find simple, but at present I don’t believe there is an icon on the toolbar to run the sync. I don’t want to reopen the whole can of worms about adding toolbar options, etc., since that’s been dealt with, and I don’t really know if it solves anything to add a sync button there as an option (faster/more obvious than going via the menu?), but I did want to mention it.

That will teach me to respond five minutes after waking up, but yes, menu or keyboard shortcuts or fictional toolbar buttons, it’s all pretty easy to do, and for those that don’t want to remember, the possibility of having an option to run this upon project close as Keith suggests, would solve any problems of forgetting to do it.


Some people are just sick like that. :wink:

True enough. I try to wake up five minutes after waking up, there is no room for doing such a heroic thing like actually doing something…

Or was the “Really?” meant to imply that I will not learn. In that case, probably not. I will probably still answer questions while half asleep in the future. :mrgreen:

Knew it… :mrgreen: