What sync does NOT do

I see a lot of documentation about the sync feature, how to set it up, and all that is great. It works.

But …

What I haven’t seen is any mention of what sync does NOT do, namely, allow two people, both using Scrivener, to collaborate on the same project. Am I correct?

I’m working with a co-author on a book, I set up the sync using dropbox, and she can edit files no problem. Absolutely no problem, except for the fact that she can see the project like I do in the binder, in a hierarchical fashion. She’s using TextEdit to write in rtf files.

Can someone please educate me? Thanks.

Bill means to say I cannot see the binder.

I would like to write in Scrivener rather than in TextEdit.

How can we do this without making a cumbersome patch?

You can use Dropbox to allow as many people as you like to edit the Scrivener project, provided of course that they have copies of Scrivener. The procedure is exactly the same as you would use to edit the same project on more than one of your own computers.

(If you’ve done that, and your collaborator is only seeing individual files, not the entire project, then there is something off in your configuration.)

HOWEVER, it is NOT possible for collaborators to work on the same project simultaneously. That’s a very difficult problem, and one that, as far as I know, only enormous companies like Google have even come close to solving. If that’s functionality that you need, something like Google Docs is probably your best solution at this time.


For all collaborators out out there, you can use iChat screen sharing to work on the same document together over the internet.

It’s a very good very workable solution and it also includes an audio feed so you can talk and type at the same time.

The documentation does address this in a highlight box right below the introductory paragraph explaining the feature in broad strokes. It states:

The screensharing tip is an interesting solution. Thanks for sharing that T-Max. Of course it require a lot of trust or a special working account to do, but that’s a pretty good way of getting around the single machine at a time problem. Of course, if true simultaneous editing is not as important to you as just being able to both see the project and edit it—you can definitely work off of Dropbox as Katherine points out. We even use this technique in-house for some of our internal projects. It does require some care, and I recommend reading the “Scrivener Everywhere” section of the manual in Chapter 13 before engaging in this solution, but definitely feasible and if you get a good rotation set up where everyone can work at different times it is quite nice.