Using Scrivener across Mac and Windows


I’ve done a search but can’t find an answer that addresses this particular query. I work mainly on a Mac. I have a Windows laptop which in the past I’ve used Word to edit my work in Scrivener using Dropbox when I’m on the road.

I’m about to spend much of my time working away from my Mac desktop, using the laptop. Rather than simply revising individual scenes I might be doing more structural work, writing across the whole draft. Because of this, I want to work in Scrivener. So I’ve downloaded Scriv for Windows. The question is: how do I set it up so I can work on the full draft on both machines most efficiently using dropbox? Obviously I sync the draft in Mac with dropbox. But how I do best import all those files from dropbox into Scriv for Windows and back again?


I’ve never actually done, this, so it’s just what I’ve gleaned from the forums.
Move (or copy) your .scriv folder (I think it shows up as a file on Macs) to your dropbox folder. Then use it as you would. As long as both computers sync, you’ll be able to work across both computers.

As ReadySetWrite said, the easiest way to do this is to keep the project itself in your Dropbox folder–I’m not sure if that’s what you’re doing now or if you’re using the Sync with External Folder feature on the Mac. The latter won’t work for what you want here–the ability to work with the entire project in Scrivener on Windows–but keeping the full project in Dropbox will allow you to access it from either machine. The key thing here is to make sure that you always allow the project to sync entirely before shutting down the first computer (that is, anything that would cut off the network connection) and again making sure that you allow Dropbox to complete syncing on your second computer before you open the project. Although the project appears as a single file on the Mac, it’s really made up of multiple files (as will be visible on Windows), so Dropbox needs to entirely sync all these files before you open the project or the project itself will end up with the pieces out of sync, which can get messy. Check out the Scrivener Everywhere section in the user manual for the basic guidelines on using Dropbox this way; as long as you abide by those, you shouldn’t have any trouble.

And of course I’d also recommend making regular backups. Your Mac version might already be set up to do this automatically on project open or close, but in Windows you’ll need to make sure to do this yourself using File>Backup Project To.

Other main thing right now working cross-platform is that there are some Mac features not yet available in Windows; the data is saved, but it may not all be visible or editable in Windows. The main one is that Windows only has inline comments, so you’ll want to just use inline on both–with 1.0, inspector comments and footnotes on the Mac will get converted to inline notes when you open the project in Windows (this is still in-progress with the 035 beta, so you’ll find that your inspector notes aren’t visible n the project–they are still saved, and will appear again when you reopen in the Mac, but this will change so they just become inline).

Thanks both of you. That works fine. Got so used to syncing with external folder automatically…