" Many people working all by themselves have made the mistake of opening a Scrivener project twice and messing it up"


Could you say a bit more about the sentence above, I just read it in an answer to a different question, and found myself concerned and wishing to know a wee bit more about what happens? I often have many documents open and could have or could make this mistake if I am not extremely careful which I now will be, hopefully.

Aisling :question: :confused: :wink:

Can you link to the thread you are quoting? Isolated like this it is hard to tell what is meant.

I’m pretty sure that is something I said. As long as you are working on a single computer it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s a problem when you move files between computers a lot, or try to use things like DropBox with plain Scrivener projects in them. You might forget to shut down Scrivener on the home machine before you leave for work, and then open the same project at the office—that kind of thing. Or drag a project to a flash drive while it is still open.

What can happen is that file nodes get “lost” within the project at the least, and the project definition file can get corrupted and the whole thing will fail to open at the worst case.


Yes it was you and below is a wee bit of what you wrote. I will try to be very careful to just open a Scrivener project once and to close that project when I open a different one? Is this right?


You do not, under any circumstances, want to have an ordinary Scrivener file available on the Internet that people can just open and work on—in place. That is a recipe for disaster on so many fronts. Scrivener projects can only be open by one person at a time. Two people opening the same file and working on it at the same time would most likely corrupt it in a matter of seconds.

The only other alternative to this is emailing zip files to one another. Instead of the FTP account or iDisk or DropBox sharing (or whatever), you send the latest zip date-stamped project when you are done. This method also includes an automatic “I’m done; you go” message, so there is merit in that.

As suggested, the only other alternatives are formats and applications which have been designed for concurrent editing. These tasks are so complex that you are likely to only ever find them in programs which have been specifically design for doing that and little else.

[1]: That’s the old-school way. You might find Dropbox to be better, as it allows a shared folder which two people can remain synchronised with. Be sure to only put zip files in here though. It is tempting to throw the Scrivener project up in there by itself, but this can lead to the problems indicated above. Many people working all by themselves have made the mistake of opening a Scrivener project twice and messing it up. The more people working on the file, the higher the odds of that happening b

Remember that if you do try to open the same project twice by mistake in this way, Scrivener will warn you about it.
All the best,

Hi Keith

Thank you, that I will be warned is helpful and relaxing to know.

Hope all is well in your worlds



Aisling aka Laurel