Transferring Manuscript from Windows to Mac

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:47 pm Post

I am trying to transfer a copy of a manuscript from my Windows laptop with Windows Scrivener 1.0.1 to my Macintosh with Scrivener 1.54 and no matter what i seem to do with "Save As..." Or "Back Up", I always get the same message when I try to open the file on the Mac

Could not open project.
No valid Scrivener 1.x project could be found at the specified path.

I have made sure I was at the top level while saving. I have tried the back up zipped and unzipped. are the two just incompatible? This cost me a solid hunk of work while travelling with only one machine, so i am frustrated and a little cranky at the moment.

thanks in advance!

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:38 pm Post

The windows version has always used a format compatible with Mac version 2. Or maybe it's that Mac version 2 changed formats to accommodate what the Windows version needed... I don't know the exact reasons for the format changes, but the fact remains that you can't open a Windows Scrivener project with Mac Scrivener version 1.x.

You can upgrade to version 2 for Mac to for pretty cheap, though. :)
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Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:58 pm Post

Thanks, Robert!

This falls under that category of "answers i was afraid of." There's no way I am buying software I have bought twice so it will work with itself. Ugh. Looks like I have a nice afternoon of .txt file copy-pasting ahead of me.

I appreciate the assistance.

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Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:29 pm Post


Not to be confrontational, but - given the complexity of the application and the additional features that the Windows version has adopted from 2 for the Mac, it's no surprise that 1.54 for the Mac is not forward-compatible with the Windows version. Personally, I think you'd find if you upgraded to to Scrivener 2 for the Mac that it's a good deal ($25 IIRC, or whatever is your local equivalent) - if that is what you mean by "buying software I have bought twice". I don't know of anyone on these forums who's said that the Mac upgrade isn't worth the price, with a very large number of new features and code re-written to optimise it.

If - instead - you're saying that you bought the software twice by buying for both Windows and Mac, elsewhere on these forums the developer explains why no joint license is available, but I think his message boils down to the fact that Scrivener on either platform is a very complex application, there's no transferability of code, the development teams are tiny, and for the Mac development has taken more than seven years and for Windows more than two. If there weren't separate license fees, the Windows version couldn't have been built.

I'd add that in this category of software for the Mac, there are rival applications costing twice as much.
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Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:31 pm Post

Hey, Keith...reading this thread, it occurs to me that in future versions a "compile to discrete .txt documents with binder tree filenames" preset might be nice.

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Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:30 pm Post

EdDitto wrote:Hey, Keith...reading this thread, it occurs to me that in future versions a "compile to discrete .txt documents with binder tree filenames" preset might be nice.

Wouldn't that be "export"? (It maintains the folder structure of your binder, too. Not the order, but the folders with their names are there.)

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Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:49 pm Post

Or if this is a one-time transfer, moving from the Mac to Windows and not intending to go back, then just download the 2.x demo and use that to update your projects to the new Windows compatible format. Just be aware that's a one-way trip in regards to future changes. The 1.x version cannot load newer projects.

There is no feasible way to get the Windows version to open the old format. It was designed when there was no thought of a Windows version ever being available, and uses Mac specific formats throughout. When development on the 1.x version ceased, there still wasn't a Windows version---it came out in public beta form when Mac 2.x did, which had already been in development for around two years at that point.
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