syncing Windows and Mac scrivener files across dropbox


I’m a PhD student using scrivener to write my dissertation. I’ve been
able to secure an office space with a free, basic Windows PC at my
school, and since I have a one-hour commute between home and campus, I
am trying to avoid bringing my laptop to school and rely upon dropbox
to keep files updated.

I installed scrivener on my windows PC and am keeping it on both
Dropbox and Google Drive. However, whenever I open the scrivener file
on the PC, it does not include any of the new changes added from my
Mac at home.

I did a quick test and opened up the Files>Docs folders, and it does
include the latest documents I’ve created and written. But they just
do not show up on the Scrivener interface when I open the project.

For instance, this last weekend, I saved Scrivener to dropbox and then
over the weekend made a lot of changes. When I open Scrivener just
now, on Monday, it looks exactly the same as when I saved it on Friday
– it did not include any of the saved changes from the last two days.

Also, I remember that the last few times when I decided to just plow
ahead and work on the unrevised scrivener file on my PC at school,
that when I returned home and opened it on my Mac, the Mac was able to
detect all the new files I had created on the PC…except, it had no
idea where to put them so it just put them in a new “miscellaneous”

So the MAC VERSION has no problem detecting changes from the PC
version, but the PC VERSION does not detect any changes at all.

What do you think is the solution?

Did you carefully follow the guidelines in the manual under the section called “Scrivener Everywhere”? It sounds like you have a “conflicted” file that’s supposed to keep up with the contents of your project that is affecting the windows version exclusively.

Do a quick search through your scrivener project’s folder, looking for files that contain the word “conflicted”. Those are files that DB will have created if there were changes in both the one on the DB servers and the local copy.

This sounds like not all of the files are getting updated during your sync–the .scrivx file is what indexes everything in the project, so the fact that for instance you’re getting the Mac detecting that there are files in the project that it does not have a listing in the binder for indicates that the .scrivx wasn’t updated to include them. The difference is that the Mac version is able to detect unidentified files in its Docs folder and provide that new listing for them in the binder, whereas the Windows version does not yet have that ability.

The first thing then is to make sure that you are allowing sufficient time for the sync to complete both on your first computer after closing the project and on the second computer before you open the project, since the most likely scenario here is just that the sync is getting interrupted before it finishes. It sometimes takes a minute or two after booting up your computer and logging in for all your programs to start up, the internet connection to establish, etc. and Dropbox to begin the download, so make sure you’re watching for that to kick in and the green circled checkmark to appear and remain before you open the project. (And of course before you shut off your internet after closing the project.) The “Scrivener Everywhere” chapter in the user manual discusses using Dropbox to keep projects in sync across computer, and you might also want to check out our knowledge base article on the subject for best practices and some alternative methods.

I see Robert already covered the conflicted files bit while I was writing this, so I think that should set you up!