Using both Scriv 1 for writing & Scriv 3 for compile

Hi all,

From other posts, it looks like there’s no problem using both Scrivener versions together (provided you’re fine with converting each time), but I want to make sure I won’t run into problems.

For background, I’m really happy with Scrivener 1 (i.e. look & feel of the interface) and am leary of upgrading (v.3 screenshots don’t look as appealing). At the same time, I can see needing the new style and/or compile features. My questions are:

If I write in v.1, then open the file in v.3, does anything get lost or unalterably changed if I try to work with it again in v.1?

Would I have issues writing in v.1, then compiling in v.3?

What are the limits of using v.3 styles if I go back & forth between versions?

Thanks for any help.

Personally, writing in V1 then taking my project to V3, I’d stop there. I wouldn’t take it back to V1.
If I don’t really see an issue with taking a project from V1 to V3, going back and forth (or even only back, for that matter) sounds like a bad idea to me. Potentially way more trouble than what is to be gained from it. (And that is assuming it can even be done. V3 opens V1’s projects no problem, but I am not certain there is an easy way to go from V3 to V1. Unless maybe you used none of V3-exclusive features. But then, if that is the case, what’s the point ?)
I say learn V3 and be done with it. You won’t regret it.

Any settings or results dependent of a feature exclusive to V3 (like styles assignation) will for sure be lost in the V3 to V1 migration. (Might even mess up things even worse. If not in V1, I’m thinking more on your second V3 trip.)
I can’t be 100% sure tho ; never tried, never will.

Styles do not exist in Scrivener 1. Period. It won’t recognize them, it won’t intentionally change them, and if it manages to preserve them it’s entirely by accident. You can certainly test with your own data to see what happens, but I would not recommend using a highly style-dependent workflow with Scrivener 1.

I’d recommend having a look at the Scrivener 3 upgrade guide, which you can find here:

It’s a good way to both explore the new interface and introduce yourself to the new features.

Greetings, newScriv. Nice name!

Exporting as Scrivener 1.9 is an option under File-Export. So I’ll assume it pretty much works. And so what you are considering can probably be done. But it doesn’t seem like a good idea to me, either. For one thing, troubleshooting and getting support, even for something having nothing to do with the project’s biversionality, will be more difficult with that kind of backstory. More interesting, maybe, but that still doesn’t recommend it, I don’t think. :slight_smile:

For me, working with Scrivener brings with it enough “overhead” in the realm of project management that having to keep track of converted versions of similarly named converted versions would not be worth it. But I feel the same way about using Scrivener with a cloud service, so maybe I’m just not adventurous enough.

I started out on Scrivener 1. I used it intensely then didn’t use it for a good while, then started again with Scrivener 3. And for all the improvements it was really very much the same program. Even visually, since you mentioned screen shots. S3 looks a little less old school than 1.9, but neither looks or operates like a good native Windows app. And the differences aren’t worth the consideration, I don’t think. Really, you might as well just upgrade to 3 and get on with it, and spare yourself the overhead of roundtripping your project.


Okay, project biversionality is my new favorite term today. :nerd_face:

@newScriv, I agree with the others that you would probably be better served by fully moving to v3, but for slightly different reasons.

My use case may be different than yours. I don’t use v3 styles at all, and my compile needs are simple and straightforward, so in those areas moving to v3 provided minimal benefit or workflow changes.

However, I’ve found v3’s new Quick Reference panel and Copyholder features, and the improvements to Project Bookmarks to be gamechanging.

QRPs - The ability to open an unlimited number of editors has completely changed how I work. Every session I have multiple QRPs open. Most of these will be for reference. A few are documents I am editing in conjunction with Scrivener’s two main editors. I frequently have my main document in Composition Mode on one monitor and access QRPs on the other monitor.

Project Bookmarks - Project Bookmarks combined with QRPs provides a completely separate navigation system from what’s defined in the Binder. I use this every writing session to navigate to frequently used documents via QRPs.

Copyholders - I don’t use copyholders often, but setting up a main Editor with Outliner on top and Copyholder on bottom provides me the equivalent of a second Binder/Editor navigational tool, which can sometimes be just the ticket if I’m hunting something down in a project.


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Thank you all for the VERY helpful posts.

I get the message that reverting to V1 after V3 is not a good idea, so I think I’ll get the V3 trial, try it out, and switch over if I like it.

I take it there’s no problem uninstalling it and reverting to V1…but that does raise another question: when I install V3, does V1 get replaced/upgraded, or do I then have both available on the same computer, to use whichever I want?

I hadn’t thought to use copy holders that way. So then in the upper outline, you right click a document and open it in the copyholder, which opens it in the bottom CH view? Interesting. In some ways that’s better than using the binder to populate a CH, as rightclicking a doc in the binder loads it into the active editor, unless it’s locked.

The Quick Review Panels were a really useful update in Scrivener 3. I use them often. Though there too, I find loading a QRP from the binder a bit awkward, unless I first lock the editor.

Excellent questions, newScriv.

When you install the Scrivener 3 trial version, it’s a stand-alone program on your PC. So, you can have both versions installed if needed or wanted.

We have this Upgrade Guide for Scrivener 1 users. It’s a Scrivener 1 project that we expect users will open with Scrivener 3. It demonstrates how your existing Scrivener projects will have their formatting updated to work with Scrivener 3. I recommend working through it before you attempt to upgrade any of your existing projects into Scrivener 3.

If you decide that Scrivener 3 isn’t the program for you, you can use Scrivener 3’s File > Export > As Scrivener v.1 command to downgrade any projects back to Scrivener 1-compatible versions.

As my colleague kewms aka Katherine noted earlier, though, any use of styles in Scrivener 3 will be lost if you downgrade the project back to Scrivener 1.

So, if you’re on the fence about the decision, I suggest working through that upgrade guide and the Scrivener 3 Interactive Tutorial before opening any of your existing projects with Scrivener 3.

And, as an aside, after you install Scrivener 3, your PC may make it the default for opening any Scrivener projects on your PC. If you’re in the habit of clicking on your project’s folder and the double-clicking the .scrivx folder to launch your project and Scrivener 1, the PC will try to use Scrivener 3 instead.

You’ll want to open Scrivener 1 and then use its File > Open command to navigate to your existing projects and open them.

Yes, that will open up the Copyholder in the editor. But what I was getting at was more of a structural/navigational thing. See these screenshots for example layouts -

So I’d navigate the binder to drive the left editor, and the Outliner to drive the Copyholder in the right editor.

Alternatively, you can also set up both editors with a Outliner/Copyholder layout.

You need to double-click the Automatically open selection button image in the editor footer to configure the Outliner to drive the Copyholder.

I find these type of layouts to be useful when I need to review and compare multiple documents located in different parts of the binder.


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I see. That’s a useful layout. I didn’t know the outliner could be used that way, or about that little button, which seems to be an option in both the outliner and the clipboard. It was hard to tell visually if that button had 2 modes or 3, so I checked the manual and it says 3.

Playing with it now, I locked the editor, and found that clicking in the outliner continued to update the copyholder, which I thought was quite nice, since it locked-in the existing relationship between the two panes, but without limiting their interaction. But then, when I clicked or right-clicked in the regular binder, that also updated the CH in the locked editor. Hmm. I need to explore further.

Does the “Automatically open…” button have a specific intended interaction with the lock status of the editor, maybe depending on the editor’s view mode and/or CH state? Something like that seems like it might be at work.

(Perhaps this should be another thread. Didn’t mean to hijack.)

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Each mode does have a different look to it, but yeah, that Outliner button is tiny!

First mode does nothing: image

Second mode impacts other Editor: image

Third mode impacts Copyholder: image

Locking the Editor doesn’t impact the associated Copyholder, it just locks the Editor.

Yes, right-clicking an item in the Binder offers the option of opening the item in a Copyholder–but–I’m not seeing any way that left-clicking an item in the Binder will affect a Copyholder. So, unless I’m misunderstanding or missing the actions you’re taking, I’m unable to replicate this behavior.


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Thank you, Ruth – that’s exactly what I’ll do. I’ve already downloaded the upgrade guide.

I appreciate your detailed clarifications on this.

As for JimRac & Mad_Girl_Disease, you guys are WAY beyond me in Scrivener know-how, and I’m getting a case of Mad Girl Disease just reading your posts (and I’m a guy) !!!

Seriously though, I’ve copied your posts to my Scrivener features To-Do List to look into – thanks for the ideas.

Happy writing (though you guys seem to get off more on navigating…so, whatever)!

One last question on upgrade to v.3:

I presume that all ‘styles’ must start from scratch (i.e. assign/select a style, THEN write), but is it possible to convert text that has been written using a style ‘preset’ from v.1 into a v.3 ‘style’ ?

I doubt it, but just thought I’d ask.

Edit->Find->Find by Formatting is the menu you will want. It’s not automatic, but you can at least easily locate all text that is formatted a particular way and then apply the appropriate style.

Note that Scrivener isn’t designed to apply a style to the body of your text. It’s intended use is for text that deviates from the norm, such as block quotes, or to use headers in the text (if you’re not going to let Scrivener use document titles for headers).

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I highly recommend coming back to look at @JimRac’s use of copyholders when you’re more comfortable with Scrivener - I use that feature in a similar way and it’s one of the best things about Scrivener, especially if you like to refer to other parts of your draft as you’re working. @KB outdid himself when putting that feature together

Rdale – I’ve seen that Find dialog in v.1, but it’s not complete enough to do what I need. I would also want to check for font size, justification, and maybe even spacing before & after the paragraph. Does v.3 do that?

It’s not a deal-breaker; I’ve found a great work-around in one of the best features of MS Word – you can find & replace by virtually any formatting criteria with remarkable flexibility.

So when I’m done writing in Scrivener, I compile to a Word or RTF doc, then run it through MS Word for final formatting tweaks. Works like a charm, and saves days of work going through a long doc manually.

I also rely on Word to do final formatting for some documents that need the attention. Scrivener built to allow and even facilitate moving the manuscript into the formatting or production tool suited for purpose!