What are some tips for using Scriv cross-platform?

Hello all. I’ve been working on some scraps and outlines for what I think is a novella or novel. I split my time between a Mac and PC, and I’d like to be able to work on the project from both machines. I made the mistake of working with the outline view on the Mac, adding a synopsis to each point in the outline. The PC version wouldn’t open the project after that, and when I opened it back up on the Mac, the synopsis bits had been stripped.

I had a backup, so it wasn’t a big deal, but those of you who work on Scrivener projects on both Mac and PC, what are some tips and tricks for making it work as smoothly as possible? Is it better to create the project on one platform or another? What should I do, and what should I avoid?


How did you transfer the project back to your Mac? It sounds like you might have dragged the .scrivx file from Windows alone, which would result in the binder structure loading without any data in it. On a Mac, the project folder is displayed and treated as a file would be, but on a PC you’ll see the folder and its internal pieces. Make sure that whole folder, the one ending in “.sciv” is copied back to the Mac.

As for why it didn’t open on the PC, it’s hard to say, that should work just fine. It might help if you supply us with a sample project you’ve created (perhaps with dummy data) that does not open in Scrivener 1.6.2 for the PC. You can either attached a zipped version of that here, or send it to is via e-mail.

The Scrivener project was shared via Dropbox. I’d quit Scrivener on one computer before trying to work on the project on the other… the sharing was all done via Dropbox.

I can do that when I get home tonight… I was more asking if there are certain features to avoid in one version that don’t work with the other, that sort of thing. I know the Windows version doesn’t quite have all of the features of the Mac version. I want to make sure I’m not going to do anything on one version of Scrivener that I won’t be able to edit on the other version.

Oh, sure, the compatibility list can be found on our knowledge base. At this point there is not too much to worry about, only a few details. The main thing is multiple project notepads (a somewhat more advanced feature on the Mac, anyway).

Since Dropbox is involved, make certain you are following the guidelines we recommend for using Scrivener with dropbox. An empty binder like that could indicate that the project was manipulated before your computer had a chance to finish fully synchronising it to the local machine. That article is fairly long and goes into the whys and wherefores, but for a simple rule of thumb: never open your project or shut down your computer while Dropbox is still working.

Thanks. I guess I just figured the issues I was seeing were related to the fact that I was using it on Windows and Mac, and not a bug or something wrong with my file. It was odd: I tried to open the file on Windows and the little “new project” dialog came up instead, every time. So I tried to open the file on my Mac, and when I did, all of the synopses (the text on the index cards) were gone.

I deleted that project and created a new one, and since then I haven’t been able to recreate the problem. If I do, I’ll upload the project file here. Thanks for your help.