Total File On Desktop

I wanted to print a file but thought I had to save it to the desktop in order to create a PDF document. When I tried to move one (chapter) to the desktop, the entire project moved to the desktop. I do not know how to get it back into Scrivner, and do not want to leave the entire book on the desktop. Can some kind soul give me with the 1,2,3 (steps) that will do this?

You can create a PDF and print directly from within Scrivener (either via File > Print or File > Compile Draft) so you may not have needed to move your work out. So that I can help you further, could you please tell me the exact steps you have taken so far? If you exported your work to the desktop then it should still be in Scrivener too, so I’m not sure how you have moved it out.
All the best,

I’m sorry, I don’t know what I did, except that I thought I was moving one file (the file I had opened) to the desktop; maybe “append selection to document” or “export”, in order to submit it (via PDF) to an online publisher. I realize now, that I might have done it a different way. In any case, the entire Scrivener book manuscript is now sitting on the desktop. I can open it with one click. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except I would like a little more security, in case anyone should open my computer and click on the file that is sitting there.

Hi, MSW44,

Fellow Scrivener user here. Here are some thoughts on your situation:

Unless you just dragged your scrivener project file out of a Finder folder onto the desktop, it is unlikely that you have /moved/ your Scriv project at all. It is more likely that you did something like create a Finder /copy/ of the material from your project (like if you chose to Export>Files).

Here is what I would do: Quit Scrivener and, in the Finder, find your original Scrivener project file–the one you were working on. It would be a project file whose name ends in ‘.scriv’.

Locate that file in the Finder. Double click on it to open it in Scrivener. Confirm that your stuff is still actually all in your project.

Once you have done this, then you know that what is on your desktop is just a /copy/ of some or all of the material of your project.


P.S. I am going to guess you got into your situation, because you used Scrivener’s Export Files command – which, if used to export your whole project, would have created a folder containing separate documents for each item in the Binder of your project–which would not be what you had wanted to do, of course.


Thanks. It sounds to me like your guess is accurate. I will try what you suggest, and get back to you. Appreciate you helping me think it through. I’m a little scared I will lose everything (of course).
More anon,


As an interesting “end” to this story, I was able to drag the desktop file back into Scrivener. This has provided me with a desktop version of the book I’m working on, as well as the version dragged to Scrivener. While that is nothing that isn’t possible within Scrivener, it is a different way to do things. The desktop “copy” won’t open unless Scrivener is opened first …

What is the “desktop file”? Select it by clicking only once, and then press Cmd-I. In the very top, under “General” there is a line that says “Kind”. What does that say?


Following your suggestions, I have no heading “at the top” that says “general”, or a sub-heading that says “kind”. I’m on a Mac; maybe you have a PC? I do appreciate your thinking about it …


I really doubt that Amber is on a PC as there is no Windows version of Scrivener.

What Amber meant was to open the file information window of the file you mentioned. If cmd-i does not work a right-click/ctrl-click on the file will open a context menu in which you can choose “Information”.

In the window you will find from above: the file name, size, then spotlight comment, then “General”. If “General” is not unfolded click on the triangle right before it. Then you will see “Kind”, “Size”, “Location” and more.

If you don’t use an English Max OS UI you will find these terms translated into the language you are using. (As do I: So maybe “Information” is not the correct English term.)


OK, I found it:
Kind: “Scrivener Project” (the whole project), also size, where, created, modified, etc. As I have dragged it into Scrivener now, a second copy was created. So I guess I can delete the desktop copy any time I want to. Thanks one and all. What a great forum.


It still do not understand how you could have dragged a complete project “out of Scrivener”.

But anyway: If you are not running short on HD space I’d strongly recommend you to rename the desktop version to something like “My book pre weird incident version” and move it to your documents folder or wherever you keep your texts. Just in case that something out of it did not make it into the new project.

Great thought, and one I had too; I was just thinking of putting a number on it, but I like your title even better. What are you doing in Germany? I stayed in Eschwege (not sure of the spelling anymore - on the old East West border with a friend, when I was young and impulsive, working in a Massey Furgeson Farm Machinery parts warehouse. Learned enough German to count from one to 20, got the job and after 6 weeks returned to England, where I lived for nearly 5 years. Thanks for posting.