Working download

I’m a beginner. Not lazy, just insecure. I’ve been working happily (happily!) with Scrivener for a couple of months. However, I think I may not have never completed the download properly. I have never seen the “starry starry night” screen, for instance. After reading various horror stories about people losing months of work, I have anxiety about proceeding to correct things.

I had never put a disk into my Macbook until yesterday, when I successfully managed to do that and drag a copy of my work onto the disk. Now I’m backed up and I’m ready to proceed.

Maybe what I’ve got is fine. When I click on the desktop icon, I get the cork-board window. But I always have 2 icon images of Scrivener on the desktop when I open it, and then I have to look around for a way to stop the scrivener icon from bouncing in the Dock.

Step 5 in installation isn’t clear to me. Where is my “Applications directory in the Finder?” Do I have to open my hard drive to get there? Or is that “directory” the one to the left of the cork-board?

Step 7 isn’t clear to me either. Where is the “icon under the “Devices” section in the Finder”?

Will I be able to drag the backed-up copy onto the newly downloaded Scrivener?
How do I trash the present copy of Scrivener before downloading the “new” copy of Scrivener?

Sorry to ask such elemental questions …

No, you didn’t complete it properly. But wait patiently. Someone will clear everything up pretty soon, I’m pretty sure of it.


Sorry, I’ve had family visiting since Thursday so haven’t had as much time to answer forum questions as usual, but are these the instructions you referenced? … _Scrivener

I have to be honest that I’m not sure how to make that page any clearer (my own failing I’m sure), but I’ll do my best to answer your questions:

I’m not sure what you mean about the “starry starry night” screen. What is that? As for horror stories - first, back up. Go to File > Backup To and make a backup of your project(s). Copy all of your important projects into another folder or to an external hard disk or both. Scrivener is only as likely to eat or destroy your files as any other computer program, but it’s always wise to back up before doing any installs - just in case.

Excellent! So you’ve backed up already, you are good to go…

No, that means you haven’t installed correctly. See this page: … Disk_Image

I would recommend that you uninstall Scrivener completely and drag any copies of Scrivener or Scrivener.dmg to the trash (but don’t drag any .scriv project files there of course!) and then start again using the instructions on the wiki page. To clear up your queries about those instructions:

When you open the Finder (the OS X program that you use to access hard drive files, the one with the blue and light blue smiley square face in the Dock), on the left there is the source list, one of which should say “Applications”. That is your Applications directory in the Finder. The Finder, in other words, is a different program, one built into OS X; it is OS X’s equivalent to Windows Explorer.

There is actually a screenshot of this on the wiki page linked above - again, it is in the Finder application (not in Scrivener itself).

I’m not quite sure what you mean - you can open any old projects in the newly downloaded version of Scrivener, though.

Using the Finder, just drag Scrivener from wherever it is installed on your hard drive to your Trash folder (the trash icon in the Dock). To remove icons from your Dock, drag them out of the Dock so they disappear in a puff of smoke.

No problem! Hope that helps.

All the best,

Thanks Keith. You come across as having such a helpful attitude and it’s appreciated. Don’t know how you do it.

I’ve followed your instructions and “may” have a correct download of Scrivener now. But when I open the “new” copy of Scrivener, I can see the old projects, although they aren’t all highlighted. I guess I thought a “new” copy would be a blank copy. And I can’t open the old projects. Even the ones that “are” highlighted won’t open.

I did choose “backup” as you suggested, but I don’t see a file labeled “zip” anywhere though that is what I chose to save.

What I think “may” be happening is that even though I have trashed the old copy of Scrivener, I may be opening that same old copy because I do have an “edit Scrivenings” copy that I copied and pasted to the desktop in a folder. So now maybe I have to delete that folder? And if I do that, and go through a new download of Scrivener, will that backed up “zip” file show up on the new download of Scrivener?

P.S. I was not asked to register or anything with the new download. Is that suspicious?


When you say that you can see the old projects, where do you mean? Do you mean that they open in Scrivener? What do you mean that they aren’t all highlighted? I’m not quite sure what you mean by this. One thing to note is that Scrivener stores its preference information outside of the program itself (as do all OS X apps), so re-downloading or re-installing does not affect the preference information. Preference information doesn’t just hold your preferences settings but also a list of recent projects and your registration information, so re-installing won’t affect this sort of thing. The .scriv projects themselves are stored on your hard disk (in your ~/Documents folder by default unless you changed the location when you created the project), so they are not affected by a re-install.

When you choose File > Backup To, you get a normal “Save As” sheet which allows you to choose where to save the file - if you check the “Back up as ZIP file” tick box, the file will be saved as a .zip file, otherwise as a .scriv file. It will be stored in whichever folder you chose in the Save As sheet.

What do you mean by an “edit Scrivenings” copy?

No, that’s normal - as explained above, the registration information is not stored inside the application itself.

Given that I think we have a terminology problem here, it might help me help you if you could post some screenshots of what you are seeing that is causing you problems. You take a screenshot by opening the Grab application from the ~/Applications/Utilities folder (using the Finder). When you open that, a menu will appear at the top of the screen saying “Grab” on the left, and you can use the features in the “Capture” menu to take some screenshots of your computer screen showing where the problems lie. You can then upload those images using the “Upload attachment” tab that appears below where you write your post in this forum so that I can see them.

All the best,

Yes, the old projects open in Scrivener. Some are highlighted (in dark print), and some are in pale print.

I didn’t choosea “save to” location or folder. Didn’t know that was necessary.

Edit Scrivening copy: a copy where the book is opened, the “edit scrivenings” choice is made, control A is chosen, and then the entire Scrivener file is copied and exported to the desktop as a word document.

OK, I will now attempt to take some screenshots and send them to you.

When I choose “Grab” the 3 options that ought to be available (“screen, Selection, Timed Screen”) are not available to be chosen (in other words), but are paled out.

Managed to take a screenshot; found the “upload attachment window” can’t find the file to select it. My neck hurts. This is 3 hours later. Damnit!

When you’ve taken the shot in Grab, you need to save it somewhere on disk - just use File > Save in Grab and choose a file name and where to save it, then you’ll know where to find it when you upload.
All the best,

Thanks Keith. I’ve found a “workaround” to my problems, but having the problems helped me learn a lot; Scrivener is properly set up now, and I sure appreciate your help.

Great, glad you got it sorted!
All the best,