writer collaboration

I searched the forum to find out about using Scrivener to collaborate on projects. I did find an interesting post written by Jeremy Douglass, but that was about it.

I frequently collaborate with other writers using Google’s online tool, but I hate it. I’d love to use Scrivener to collaborate, but as an ex-software engineer I understand the enormous amount of work involved to make it possible.

Keith, consider this an “if you ever have the time and resources to get around to” it type of wish. I’d buy a multi-user license in a heartbeat.

I’m already recommending the product to everyone I know. Being able to collaborate with them on Scrivener projects some day would be wonderful.

for a collaborative version from me too. I am working on the usual complicated shared copies stuff but it WILL all go wrong … I just know it …

I have no idea what I would need to do to do this. I’ll certainly look into it when it comes time for version 2.0 in a year or two, though, unless someone has a boneheadedly easy solution that I can implement in an hour or two before that. :slight_smile:

I would love this feature also. I think to implement it you need to use Bonjour. I dont know if it will be easy. A good program that uses this is subethaedit(sp?). I use Scrivener for taking notes in class. Having a collaboration feature would make this program even more amazing than it already is.

In Word, Track Changes uses colors to distinguish deletes, inserts, and moves. In Scrivener, collaborators could use font colors to distinguish their work. Writer A is black, B is red, C is blue, and so on. That’s how we marked drafts, galleys, and pages in the pencil-and-paper era.

Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of additional development required Keith.

Scrivener is a well-designed client, but enabling individual Scriveners to communicate means adding the network/Internet connectivity and enabling people to create and work in project “teams”. I work with two other writers. I’m located in New Hampshire and they’re located in North Carolina and Arizona. A collaborative Scrivener would be a huge improvement over our current process, and extremely valuable to any collaborative and creative writing teams (just imagine what marketing teams could do with this application).

You would continue to offer the standalone version of Scrivener. And for an additional fee, any individual user would have the ability to unlock the collaboration features. Companies would be able to purchase multi-user licenses.

Regarding enabling Scrivener…look at applications such as instant messengers and Groove for inspiration. And when the time comes, if you would like some help defining the requirements, I’d be happy to donate time to the effort. I used to design, develop and deploy information management systems for a living.

You have to be extremely careful with this approach, especially with a large number of participants. I have some MS Word docs that are virtually impossible to read [with changes turned on] because of the number of edits made by different people.

Ah, I think this one will have to be relegated to the “far and distant and only maybe” future, then. It is fantastic that so many users are finding uses for Scrivener that I never anticipated, but in a 1.x release I am afraid I cannot give the time over to major overhauls or additions. (Hey, I have my own writing to do, too. :slight_smile: )

All the best,

In the meantime we have to use pass the parcel, but the best ideas will always come when someone else has editing writes (sic)! It would help if SCR was a document, not a bundle (all that zipping) and if I didn’t make the bundles soooo big (hey, it’s good to share multi-media isn’t it?)

Keith, I’ve been wondering how the heck you find time to write.

This is the same old story. A practitioner comes up with a wonderful concept to help others in the field. And in the process of developing the idea so that others may benefit, they have little time to practice what they love most.

May you find plenty of time to write - as long as you keep us happy first. :wink:

Just kidding.

I have found that most users prefer the bundle approach - it has been mentioned positively in a number of blog reviews, too. Most users find it very reassuring to poke in there and realise that all of their documents are saved as RTFD files. Me too, come to that. No matter how stable, no program is ever 100% bug free, ever, so I like to know that even if part of the file should ever become horribly corrupt (not that there is anything in the code that should ever cause that, of course, but it’s best to be over-cautious), all that writing will still be accessible.

I don’t. :frowning: Just after 1.01 came out, I started to again, and I started making headway. Then I discovered that there were problems with Scrivener on Leopard, so I have worked frantically for the past month ensuring full Leopard compatibility, and adding some features that I decided I wanted to add before really getting stuck in with my project.

When 1.02 is out, I will write. I will, I will, I will. :slight_smile: Once 1.02 is out, all I am going to do is keep an eye on new Leopard seeds and ensure Scrivener still works on them, and fix any other bugs that arise.


Many thanks and all the best,


i’m new to this forum and also new to scrivener, just bought it 20 minutes ago (after using the trial).

Scrivener is cool so far, i’m writing all my technical documentation with it, but this task is for Colaboration and i know this from SubeThaEdit (I’m using this together with other programmers of our company) it is important to work together, online in this kind of tools.

From my point of view, the way SubeThaEdit is doing the colaboration is a good one, you can choose to work together via Bonjour or ICQ/AIM or iChat, thats really brilliant.

Looking forward to upcoming releases, so far all i know from Scrivener is brilliant!

Thanks for this great Software!


Thanks for your comments, and for purchasing! :slight_smile:

To be honest, collaboration wasn’t ever something I had in mind when designing Scrivener. It was intended for the lone writer - the novelist, academic, journalist, screenwriter or whatever. It is great that users are finding different ways of using Scrivener, but I just don’t have the time or resources to bend 1.x releases into something else. SubEthaEdit is a great program, but it is a different beast altogether than Scrivener.

Out of interest, what sort of tools for collaboration do, say, Mellel or Nisus Writer offer? Or Ulysses or Copywrite? Do they have something like this?

Thanks and all the best,

Hi Keith,

for my smal wish, it is not important to have this now or in two days, if you keep this wish in your mind and implement something like this if you think you have the time, this is ok for me :wink:


Absolutely. There have been enough requests for me to look into this when it comes time to make a major revision to Scrivener. No promises, of course, but I’ll certainly seriously consider it when I do look into features for 2.0 - although that is some way into the future, obviously.

Keiith, I’m not familiar with the other applications, but I can easily find out for you. It’ll take a few weeks. I’ll speak with the developers to determine the true extent of the collaborative capabilities.

Historically, content creation applications were developed for individual use despite the periodic need/desire to collaborate. That made sense. Much of the infrastructure necessary for fast, reliable, long distance collaboration didn’t exist at the time, or it was simply too cumbersome and expensive. Things are different today.

In your specific situation, I can understand why collaboration wasn’t on your mind. And, quite frankly, I am glad it was not on your mind. The amount of additional design and development involved is substantial. Scrivener would not have seen the light of day this soon, and thousands of us would not have had the pleasure of experiencing the Scrivener advantage. I know I’d still be whining about how much I hate writing with MS Word.

Once you have a couple of major releases of Scrivener under your belt, you should seriously entertain the idea of including collaboration. My advice - keep the eventual possibility of collaboration in the back of your mind while you work your way toward v2.0. The design decisions you may now will affect whether Scrivener collaboration involves minor code additions and changes or a major overhaul.

Thanks for taking the time to personally read and respond to our suggestions.