Working on one project with somebody else? How to safely share?

I’m finishing my Ph.D. so it is time to work with a proof-reader. At the same time, I’d like to work on it. Is there a way so 2 people can safely work on the same project in Scrivener while syncing via iCloud drive?

(1) Do not use iCloud, it cannot handle the project format of Scrivener and you will end up with a corrupted project. There is an advisory on the support website, which you should read. Dropbox is the best option, though there are other cloud services which work with Scrivener … Google Drive is another absolute No-No, and One Drive had problems too, though that may have changed.
(2) Two people cannot have the project open at the same time. This means that you can share the project, provided you schedule work times appropriately.

I’m sorry that must sound like bad news, but … Most people reaching proof reading stage move on to using Word/LibreOffice etc./Nisus Writer Pro, etc.


Ohhh… that explains a lot!
thank you.
also, why there is no “track changes” mode? It will be hard for me to convince proof-reader to use scrivener…

Essentially (as I understand it - I’m simply a Scrivener user), Track Changes is a mightily complicated feature to code for a traditional word processor, and would be even more complicated to code for Scrivener because a Scrivener project - for very good reasons - consists of a folder containing hundreds, possibly thousands of files (which is also the main underlying reason you can’t collaborate on a project with someone else on a separate computer simultaneously). And unlike the software of Microsoft and Apple, Scrivener for the Mac is developed and coded by one person, not many, so Track Changes would take up a disproportionate amount of development time.

But Scrivener does have several useful tools for tackling revision/suggested-changes needs - for example, Inline Annotations and Revision Mode (details are in the Scrivener Manual, under the Help menu). Or, as xiamenese suggests, you can move the project to a traditional word processor; again, Scrivener has plenty of functionality (in its Compile feature) to accomplish this.

When I’ve done this for large projects I’ve Compiled to DOCX then the collaborator makes changes, then I manually edit my Scrivener project, importing the track-changes version as a PDF normally. That is tedious but still preferable for my workflow to losing all the other benefits of Scrivener, even towards the final stages of a project. But I’m probably in the minority…

I make named snapshots before and after each round of revision, and you can use snapshots to visualise the differences like track changes does (use the Inspector). Snapshots are in one way superior to track changes in that like Time Machine, you can scrub back and forth through snapshot history and it gives you a much better sense of the historical progression of your writing.

Will you please expand upon the statement I colored? Do you have direct experience with, or knowledge about, any of these other services?

I’ve been using Dropbox for years and never had a problem with it—leaving aside the issue of it being blocked in China, so I can’t use it with my collaborators there, or when I’ve been in China—finding it rock solid; also, if you want to use Scrivener for iOS and synchronise with your desktop or laptop, Dropbox is the only cloud service which will work.

Apart from Dropbox:
I used Cubby for collaboration purposes as that is not blocked in China, but it is now no longer free and the cost is too high for me and out of reach for my Chinese collaborators.
I have used SpiderOak and still have an account but haven’t used it for a long time; that worked fine, though the interface was ugly, and it required more housekeeping than Dropbox as it didn’t automatically empty its backups or trash folder and I kept running out of space. There is a new version with a better interface.
I am currently using Sync, which can be accessed in China—though I haven’t had any collaborative occasions since we installed it—and seems to be fine between my Macs, though I do seem to get conflicted files periodically … I think it might be more bandwidth sensitive than Dropbox.
I also have a Box account—other Scrivener users talk positively about it, but it turns out that the Box people do not make it available in China, so it’s no use to me for collaboration purposes.

So currently, I use Dropbox for my personal Scrivener projects and those I want access to on my iPad, as well as non-Scrivener stuff; I have Sync set up ready for any collaboration work with my friends in China; I have iCloud which I use for zipped Scrivener project backup storage and for stuff from other apps; I also have Google Drive, which I only use for stuff I share with my daughter, who set it up in the first place.


Thank you very much. :slight_smile:

iCloud charges £2.49 for up to 2TB, Dropbox charges £7.99 for half that amount of space… I call that a good reason to use them… shame about Scrivener file format support, but… really, as I could not get my iOS devices to sink with my early 2015 MacBook Pro, that removed any need for the Dropbox.

If you only use Dropbox for Scrivener related things, you don’t need that much space. I only have 10MB of Scrivener stuff on Dropbox, and another 300MB on Sync. So unless you have a fair number of projects that include lots of big images and PDFs in the Research folder, the free space allowance on Dropbox could be enough.

As for why you couldn’t get your iOS devices to sync’ with your MBP, I cannot comment. I have not had any trouble, nor have a presumably large number of other Scrivenerati.