Working on Files Outside of Scrivener?

I frequently work on manuscript files created by Scrivener and sync’d into Dropbox using an Android tablet to edit the core Scrivener created RTF files.

This has worked perfectly for many single file (no chapters) non-fiction articles. One RTF file in Scrivener for the whole article. Android created changes are reflected perfectly when documents are opened with Scrivener.

But I now have a larger project that will require a chapter structure in Scrivener. The program creates a numbered RTF file in the Documents folder in the Project folder for each chapter, note, research note, etc. but that numbering system does not correspond to a Chapter number so figuring out what file represents what chapter is cumbersome.

I can usually find the last chapter file and work on that in the tablet and sync it back into Dropbox but what I cannot figure out is how to work on the entire manuscript at once in the tablet.

Is there a master file of the complete manuscript kept somewhere?

And without even asking I am pretty sure that working on the full original DOC file and reimporting it with changes would result in disaster.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

If I understand you correctly, you are loading and editing individual components of the project by hand in third-party software? We do not support working that way, as project damage or data loss could occur rather easily (it sounds like you’ve been lucky so far).

There are two tools you can use:

  • File/Export/Files… will dump all of the binder items into folders matching the outline. They will be named as you see them in Scrivener. You can then copy and paste the contents of the changed files back into Scrivener when you get back home.
  • File/Compile… will turn the whole thing into a single file, which may be easier to work with using a tablet. I would recommend customising the Separators compile option pane to insert hyphens or something in between each section, and enable Titles for everything in the Formatting pane. This way you’ll know where things should go and where the boundaries of the files are in Scrivener.

In the next major upgrade to Scrivener, we’ll also be introducing a feature that does the first option semi-automatically. It will produce and name the component files, you can edit them on the go, and when you get back all of the changes will be automatically brought back in where they should go.

Thank you so much.

Either or both of those options will do nicely for me.

I fully accept that I have been playing with fire for the last year or so and you are mostly likely correct that I have been lucky. I do not recommend that anyone reading this should try it for themselves without being aware of the dangers.

I keep parallel backups of the full projects in Dropbox for everything I need to mess with, just in case.

I do look forward to the enhancements in this area that you are planning.

I do the same. Scrivener is the best for writing, but I need to be able to keep writing on my little netbook ruinning Android when I’m out and about.

That export feature in the next upgrade would be excellent! I hope it will apply to Wondows to and not just Mac! I love what you guys do!

Amber is definitely talking about the next major upgrade to Scrivener for Windows (which would be version 2, if I’m not too far off the mark). Version 2 for Mac already has the feature. It’s the advantage we have with MacScriv having a several-year head-start.

Yes, upgrade, not update. :slight_smile: The next update is already in beta and you can preview what it will be capable of in the beta forum release notes, or download it if you are feeling adventurous and want to try it out—but it does not have a folder sync feature. That is very complicated and must be very thoroughly tested in a wide variety of conditions, it’s not something we want to put resources into right now when there are things like syncing with the future version of Scrivener for iOS that more people will consider to be important than a general sync convenience tool.