Unable to access project started in try-out yesterday. Only

I downloaded Scrivener try-out 4 days ago and worked on my own project all day yesterday, after having been through the tutorial twice. Very impressed - will buy in ten days but need to know why I can’t get back to my project now. Don’t want to waste the whole day I worked using the index cards for first draft. Many thanks for any help. Ria Booth riabooth@paradise.net.nz

What exactly do you mean by “I can’t get back to my project now”? Do you know where on your hard drive you saved it, and if you do, what happens when you click on the icon of your saved project in the Finder? Is there an error message? Is the project you created listed under File > Recent Projects? (Sorry if that sounds patronising – there’s been some understandable confusion over the fact that Scrivener, unlike apps like iTunes or iPhoto, requires you to save each project to a particular place on your drive. The blue pane of the Binder only shows you what’s inside each project, not the sum total of all work produced in Scrivener.)

Yes, I think I assumed my project would be saved in Scrivener because as well as the automatic saving, I used the Save icon to save it myself. I don’t remember any message asking me where to save it to my own files. Yes, Scrivener does bring up my own files but when I access my Ria’s Text Files I get as far as Ria’s Life Story then all the separate documents are only faint and inaccessible.
As long as I now know that any work can be saved till I open Scrivener next time, then I can work out the process: this is probably Save - Ria’s Text files - Ria’s Life story etc.
Thanks for your help. It does look as if I shall have to start over again but it’s all good experience. The same work would have taken me ages in Word and was quite daunting. I shall certainly buy in the next few days. Many thanks. Ria Booth

Yes and also, when I follow your route i.e. Save - Recent projects - Ria’s Story is there but is faint and inaccessible, so I can go no further. I’m not sure why this is. (I feel like the little creature in Ice Age that could never attain his coconut!). Thanks again for any ideas. Ria

Hello I have accessed my project - I think Scrivener saved it in Documents - I will check again. As I become more familiar with this programme I shall be able to be more competent.
I am delighted with the speed of your help. The feeling that there is a real person on the other end is very comforting. Go London - Scrivener. Regards, Ria


When you go to File > New Project, part of it asks you where to save your project. If you don’t click on “Choose…” to pick another location, ~/Documents is indeed the default location. Glad you got up and running!

All the best,

Hey Keith, just curious, but is there any particular reason that unlike the Backup To pane, the New Project assistant isn’t like usual OS X Save dialog, with a drop-down menu for the save location, a button to the right of the file name field to reveal the file browser?

If you click on “Choose…” you’ll see exactly that…
All the best,

Oh no, I realise you can get to the file browser that way, but just wondered why the UI of this dialog differs from other Save sheets/dialogs. It is probably clearer than the other approaches, but perhaps pure familiarity with the usual layout is causing confusion.

That is because the save dialog is exactly that - a dialog provided by Apple to choose a location on the hard drive. The New Project assistant has a different purpose - one of the things it does is to get the user to choose a location (and for that it uses the default save dialog) - but it is also there to assist the user in creating a new project from templates etc, and so it needs to have its own pane.


Gah, I don’t think I’m making my point clearly enough.

Matt, what you call the New Project assistant’s “standard Save dialog” is what I’d call a separate file browser sheet that slides out on top of the New Project Dialog. This file browser is not exactly a “Save dialog”; it’s more of a “location chooser” that makes you click a button called “Open” rather than “Save”. Once you do this, the sheet goes away, and you can then click “Save” in the original dialog. I do appreciate that this has a certain logic to it, but it’s a slightly different logic than what I’m used to.

My point about the standard OS X Save dialog/sheet is that it allows you to choose the location by clicking a button that resizes the dialog/sheet to reveal the file browser, rather than sliding out another sheet, thus keeping the same single action – “Save” – in the lower right, rather than having to click an additional, intermediate button called “Open”, which feels slightly counterintuitive.

Also, many other applications add controls to the standard Save dialog. For example, TextEdit’s Save sheet has a drop-down to choose file format. DevonThink’s New Database dialog – the closest analogue I can find to Scrivener’s New Project – also uses the standard Save dialog style, with an additional checkbox for Spotlight indexing.

I do understand that the options in the “Templates…” drop-down menu require the New Project assistant to spawn another file browser to export or import templates to or from particular locations, which could be slightly confusing if the New Project dialog were a more standard Save dialog in expanded file browser mode. But IMHO the current “Choose…” -> file browser sheet -> “Open” -> “Save” experience is more confusing than the possibility of having a file browser pop up over another.

I totally don’t mean to disrespect Keith’s beautiful New Project dialog :slight_smile:. The only reason I’m thinking about the issue this much is because so many users have mentioned lately that they have no idea where they’re saving their projects, so I’m trying to see how the user experience of the New Project dialog might have a role in this. Of course, I’m convinced that a lot of the confusion isn’t really about this issue, and might be instead prompted by the fact that lots of apps with blue source lists work within a single library paradigm (and contemporary users’ unfamiliarity with hierarchical filing), but but once I did concentrate on this particular dialog box, I must admit I was slightly thrown by its different feel. (I’ve been working on a single Scrivener project for a looong time, so I don’t really see that dialog that often.)

An additional point: what I do appreciate about Scrivener’s New Project dialog is that it attempts to be explicit about how to change the intended location of the project: it states “Project Directory” with a “Change…” button to the right. (The standard Save dialog, in its minimised mode, requires you to click the triangle button to bring up the file browser.)

However, perhaps a lot of Mac users don’t know what a “Project Directory” actually is. Meanwhile, the standard Save dialog’s indication of location is far clearer – it says “Location: XXXXXX”.

I would argue that given how the instructions in the panel itself make it pretty bloomin’ obvious; it’s based on the one in Xcode as designed by Apple. Anyway, it has been totally replaced in 2.0 with a Pages-style template-choose and standard save dialogue, so the debate is rather pointless anyway. :slight_smile:

Oooh, shiny. :slight_smile: