Using ProWritingAid with Scrivener

I just spent several weeks editing my Scrivener-based novel using the desktop version of PWA, which is supposed to work with Scrivener. I found it very useful and made many, many edits to the file. Problem is, when I now try to open the edited version in Scrivener, I’m not seeing any of my edits. It’s possible I’m opening the wrong file, as I can’t tell exactly where PWA is saving the edited file. When I re-open PWA and open my novel again, all the edits are still there. I thought of trying to specify where the file is being saved, but the ‘Save As’ function under ‘File’ is greyed out.

Are there any others using ProWritingAid that can advise me? Thanks!

Have you tried to simply use “open file” in PWA? You should at least see the directory it took the currently open file from.

Yes, but the problem is, the file path is so long that PWA abbreviates it as /…/filename.scriv and when I try to view that abbreviated path, it just opens another copy of the document. Sounds like a ridiculously easy problem, I know, but I can’t seem to get the two programs to open the same version of the file.

Have you tried to simply use “open file” in Scrivener? You should at least know the directory to open the Project file from.
Can’t you use the file Explorer to locate the edited project file.?

Yes, that’s how I noticed the problem.

When I decided to try ProWritingAid, I saved a copy of my original Scrivener file with a new name, to allow me to distinguish it from an unedited version of the file. After editing with PWA, when I open the file with the new name in Scrivener again, none of the edits are there.

I assume I’ve either got a problem with PWA not saving the changes, or perhaps PWA is saving the edited version of the file somewhere else and I’m not finding it.

When you close a edited document in PWA, the software warms you if it’s not saved. It would be strange if you neglected that every document you changed in PWA. I guess you saved the documents alright.
Can you open the original Scrivener Project to see if the change are there?

I haven’t seen any warnings or notices when I close a document in PWA, but maybe that’s because I’ve been saving the changes every time I move from chapter to chapter so there are no new changes in the document as a whole. I wonder if I neglect to save the changes until I close the document if it would show me where it’s saving the document?

I have not seen any changes to any version of the document I’ve tried opening in Scrivener.

Thanks for trying! Guess I’ll have to wait for PWA to get back to me…

@Dory123 , are you on Windows, or on MacOS?

I’m on MacOS - should’ve said that…

Directly editing a Scrivener project with any tool other than Scrivener itself is not supported and entirely at your own risk. Either (a) PWA created a new copy of the project; or (b) PWA saved the files in the original project, but with new names, those names are not reflected in the master index used to build the Binder, and therefore Scrivener can’t see them. You should contact PWA support for help, as their software is responsible for the problem.

In the future, we recommend using the Sync with External Folder mechanism for this sort of thing.

I’ve done that; waiting for a response and just checking to see if it could be something simple I could address in the meantime.

Very odd that PWA advertises themselves as compatible with Scrivener… I never considered that this was being done without some sort of communication with Scrivener. Buyer beware, I guess. :confounded:

At this point, I haven’t lost anything but time. Still, very frustrating.

I actually edit the original files using PWA and have had no issues on Mac. I suspect you have inadvertently edited one .scriv file in PWA and opened the other copy in Scrivener.

PWA does not save files with a different name, it simply saves the original without changing the formatting, in my experience.

Try searching for the project name in Finder and see how many it finds.


I’ve not had any problems with PWA in Scrivener. I’ll ask the obvious question since the thread does not indicate. When you are using PWA, is Scrivener over? Scrivener will auto-save its version over the one you are currently editing in PWA.

In PWA try File > Open directory and it should open the directory the file you edited is saved.

Okay, I’ve looked over and over and PWA is definitely not saving the file into any of my directories. When I’ve been working in PWA, Scrivener is completely closed. When I close PWA and open the latest version of my file in Scrivener again, none of the edits are there. Strangely, when I reopen PWA, the edited version of the file opens up right away.

Today, just to keep from losing the edits, I copied the whole manuscript into WORD from PWA. Doing this, I made a few changes to the PWA version and each time it asked me if I wanted to save and I said YES. When I finished and closed both WORD and PWA, the only newly saved file was the one in WORD; there was no updated .scriv file anywhere on my computer. As someone suggested, I also did File > Open. Interestingly, it took me to iCloud, but there were no new files there, either.

Totally bizarre… Appreciate your feedback, all. Glad to know it’s working for some, but I must have something strange going on in my system that’s not allowing me to save. Not sure why it’s still available in PWA, even after I close and reopen the program.

If the changes are still there in PWA, then PWA is saving somewhere.

You can use Finder to search for .scriv files to locate all projects on your system.

You can inspect the contents of a project as follows:

  • With Scrivener closed, locate it in Finder.

  • Right-click, and choose the option to Show Package Contents.

  • Browse to the Files → Data subfolder.

  • You’ll see a bunch of folders with random-looking alphanumeric names. Sort by modified date and look in some of the recent ones. What do you see?

I don’t see Files or a Data subfolder under the Scrivener Package Contents. When I search on Scrivener for Data, I got a list of files all created and modified on Dec 15, 2020, but those seem to be under the Tutorial. Not seeing any other files… Maybe that’s my problem?

You’re looking at the Scrivener application in those screenshots. I asked you to look at this specific project.

Sorry for my confusion. When I open the documents I thought I’d been editing in PWA, all of the files are dated July 18, 2021 or earlier. The content of these files is consistent with the earlier version of my manuscript.

At the top of the list in each Data folder, though, is a file called docs.checksum. The creation/last modified date for this file is sometime in the last few days, more in line with when I was trying to work with/save the PWA changes. These files can’t be opened.