Using Scrivener with iCloud

I have started sharing a Scrivener project through iCloud. So far I have not had any problems but I am a tad nervous about the updating process. Am I “playing with fire” and would it be more prudent to use an external folder synch?
In order to share I created an alias of the Documents folder in ~library~Mobile Documents ~com~apple~Pages and copied my project there.
I am using v2.5.

Well, the main thing I would be worried about is the fact that this is not an endorsed usage of Apple’s technology, which to me immediately presents two concerns:

  • Will they pull the plug on it suddenly some day? They are under no obligation to warn you prior to doing so.
  • Why have they hidden this system of general file transfer? The most likely answer is that it hasn’t been thoroughly vetted for this usage, and I would be especially concerned about it with Scrivener, which has a disk access footprint that much more resembles a database in that it is constantly reading and writing as you work. That taxes any ’net storage system, and breaks a few that we know about.

External folder sync would certainly be a lot safer, but it does have its limitations if you’re basically just trying to use Scrivener from two different computers. Folder sync isn’t the right tool for that job, as it is designed for syncing data to anything but Scrivener. I would feel much more comfortable just transferring zipped copies of the project between computers, using this folder, with File/Back Up/Back Up To…. When you set up for the day, just pull down the latest copy to Documents or somewhere handy, work on it there, and when you’re done back up another Zip file to your transfer folder.

This method would make both of the main concerns above irrelevant. If Apple starts cutting people off from using this for general files, that’s okay—you’ve got a copy on each machine. The disk and syncing issues are also made irrelevant because now you are just transferring a single compressed zip file across the planet.

Thank you. Your comments are both logical and cogent. I will remove the project and try the zip file transfer.

I agree with Amber; iCloud is risky for this process.
I have backed-up ZIP files to DropBox, Box, and GDrive
With no problems.
It’s important to ZIP compress in order not to lose data.
Good luck!

You really do have to be careful with sync technology. I’ve never had a problem, but I’ve heard of some issues with multi-file systems like Scrivener and Sente. Sente won’t even let you save into DropBox (they do offer their own free sync though, it’s pretty neat). The key is to not have your file open in multiple places, that will completely make a mess of things. You have to also make sure things are completely synced in area A before you work on it in area B. I use Copy to sync my files since they provide 20 gigs of free space with this link: (this is my referral link).

Sync technology is improving in general, but it’s very tricky. It just hasn’t reached the level of multi-user or multi-location databases (user locking, field locking, etc.)

Thank you Amber for the detail info on compressing the files, as I’m participating in the NaNoWrMo event and working between the Mac desk top and laptop, I have had issues getting all of the information to sync completely.

The detail information everyone has posted has me feeling a lot safer in moving between the two computers.