Using both Scrivener 3 for Mac and Scrivener for Windows

Sorry if this has been asked, having trouble finding the answer.

I do all of my writing on the Windows version of Scrivener. For my needs, it works perfectly.

But when it comes time to compile, I use Scrivener for Mac. Just more options there compared to the Windows version. Between Scrivener 2 for Mac and Scrivener 1 for Windows, I could work back and forth with no issues (using cloud storage).

Just this past week, finally finished my book, and went to compile. I had to move to Scrivener 3 for Mac (which is fine, overdue for upgrade anyway). But in opening my project, it said the project was old, and needed to be updated.

Does this mean that at this step, I can no longer edit with Scrivener for Windows?

Scrivener 3 uses a different file-format, When you open your Scrivener 2 project—as you know Windows 1 uses Mac 2 format—it not only upgrades the project to v.3 but it also creates a back-up version in v.2 format. Windows 1.9.x can work with that file but cannot open the v.3 file. Furthermore, Mac v. 3 can export to v.2 format. There is also the Windows v.3 beta, currently at RC12. You can have both Mac v. 2 and v.3 on your machine as long as the app names are differentiated, and you can run Windows v. 1.9.x and v. 3 Beta as long as they are installed in different directories, I believe.

So you have options as to how to go about it, but my advice is to install the v.3 Beta on your Windows machine and use that in conjunction with Mac v.3. My Windows-using collaborator has been using the v.3 betas for about two years now; generally it is stable, though there are still glitches coming to light, though none of them have affected my collaborator. That said, some people seem to be having problems with the latest High-DPI version. It is a Beta so the current version expires on Dec 31; but L&L will release a new version before that deadline … they have never failed in that, though they’ve run it very close a couple of times.

To download the Beta, go to:
and make sure to read through all the blurb at the beginning, as well as keeping an eye on the various threads.

I suspect compiling will still be best done using your Mac, but be aware that for many seasoned Mac Scrivener-users, the changes to the compile system in V.3 constituted a bit of a learning curve, so take the time go through the tutorial section on compiling if you haven’t got your head round it already.

Hope that helps


Oh man, you’re not kidding about the “version 3 compile learning curve”.

I pulled in my Ver 2 presets, and they just weren’t quite the same.

Took me about five hours to really figure everything out. In the end, I took the default “eBook” profile and just made a few changes, and actually, the book turned out better than expected.

Although, saying that, I have to do the paperback Createspace version soon. That scares me.

A little nervous about the idea of writing a full-blown novel on a “beta”, but maybe I’ll give it a shot.