Syncing to PlainText with Dropbox

Has anybody been able to successfully sync Scrivener (for Windows) files with the PlainText app on the iPad using Dropbox? It’s clear that Mac users can do this easily using the ‘sync to external folders’ feature but this isn’t available in the Windows version. I’m instead placing the whole project into Dropbox but as Scrivener automatically saves the content of my scenes in .rtf format (but the synopses in plain text for some reason) I can’t access my work in PlainText - only the synopses, which is useless.

Is there any way that I can save the files as plain text fles, rather than rich text files? Or any other workaround?

I’m afraid there’s not a good way to accomplish what you want.

Allowing other applications to look inside the Scrivener project is a very bad idea. If a file changes outside of Scrivener’s control, then the metadata that keeps track of where it is in the project won’t get updated, which could potentially cause Scrivener to be unable to find the file. (Leading to very unhappy emails to the support team…)

Until the “sync to external folders” feature is implemented, the workaround would be to use Compile or Export to extract the portion of the project that you want to look at, then manually import it back in when you wanted to work in Scrivener again. That can work, and does allow you to save the files as plain text, but it’s clearly not ideal.

(Incidentally, the reason why the synopsis is plain text but the content is RTF is because the two materials are used differently by the Scrivener interface. The Corkboard and Inspector, where the synopsis appears, can only use plain text. No, it is not possible to change the formats within the Scrivener project.)



And when will that be? (the “sync to external folders” feature, I mean). Do we have to wait for Scrivener 2.0, or is it likely to come in a 1.x update? Not that I mean to sound impatient, but I’m not sure whether to bother to buy the full version or just wait until it does what I need it to do. I love Scrivener, but I don’t want to be chained to my desktop in the attic every time I want to write.

The Sync to External Files folder was a fairly recent 2.0 feature for Scrivener Mac, so it probably will not be in the first round of updates to Scrivener Windows. We always encourage people to buy Scrivener only if it helps them now, not in anticipation of future features.

With that said, we also have an iOS version of Scrivener in development, which will offer full project synchronization with both the Mac and Windows versions. That is quite a distance away as well, but won’t suffer from any of the issues that you might see when using non-Scrivener programs.