Working a project on Mac AND PC?

I’m considering making the giant leap from PC to Mac this month. When I do, Scrivener will (of course) be my first software purchase. However, I’m concerned about whether I can work the same project on both kinds of computers. Currently, I write on my laptop (PC), our household desktop (PC), and sometimes my husband’s laptop (PC) using Dropbox with Scriv installed on everything. If I switch, I would like to know I have the ability to continue working on the other computers even if I primarily use Mac.

I hope this makes sense. Any insight would be great.

If I recall correctly, all writing function will be the same (Mac might even have some improvements in this respect), but Mac definitely has more compile functionality. So you could quite feasibly write on whichever computer you want and if you’ve set your compile setting using Mac-specific functions, just remember to use the Mac to compile.

One word of caution with Mac and Scrivener, due to the use of the Mac underlying text rendering engine, tables are terrible. If you don’t use tables, go for your life.

I’m having quite the problem trying to use both the Mac and the PC. I just moved to a Mac and I’m really beginning to regret it because my writing partner is still on the PC. We’re working on a project where being able to switch fonts is important, but we’ve made sure to choose fonts that both Mac and PCs both have natively. However, if I create a file using two different fonts on the Mac all the fonts are gone when she opens it on the PC and vice versa. This is a real pain in the butt. Everything else is there, but the formatting is completely and utterly gone. Can anyone help?

I haven’t got a full answer - I don’t work on both platforms. All I’d say is that part of the philosophy of Scrivener is to execute the formatting (and layout) of the work at the end, in the compilation, not all the way through - unlike the practice with traditional word processors such as MS Word. So as long as you can distinguish the pieces of text where you’re using your two different fonts - and I realise that’s an issue if your current experiments aren’t succeeding - then you’re home and dry. Compilation plus maybe, presets, can sort out the precise actual fonts of the final output.

This will also depend on how formatting-heavy your document is. I put all my formatting in my document in scrivener because I have quite a bit, it being a thesis rather than a novel. You might want to experiment with options like ‘preserve formatting’ and override formatting in compile, which will allow you to, for example, fully format everything at the compile stage so it’s consistent, but preserve the formatting of individual chunks of text if they utilise specific tabs, indents, fonts, whatever.

Another option is to employ unique formatting, and then in word, after you compile, take all sections formatted like that and make them a style, which you can then format as you like. A lot of people use this technique to merge scrivener’s formatting presets into Word’s styles.

I should also point out that Scrivener is not at all built to cope with collaborative projects, and will produce unintended results when a project is opened on two machines at once.

It’s definitely not a matter of the project being opened on two machines at the same time. When we were both working on PCs, I would open the document on my machine, write my section, and then close the document. She would then open the document on her machine, edit my section, write her own, and then close the document. I would then open the document, edit her section, etc, etc. At no time did we both have the document open at the same time.