What's the difference between "Synced Documents" and my 'normal' Drafts?

User avatar
Jot
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:35 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS

Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:23 am Post

Well, this is embarrassing.
Obviously, this is the first time I've opened an iOS created and then synced project on my laptop.
Created the project on the iPad, Dropbox synced, DB synced the laptop (so I had a copy) and then worked on the iPad.
Synced again to Dropbox and then to the laptop. No conflicts.
I just don't know what "Synced documents" means and if/how it may be different to my Drafts. Do I need to do anything.
I could be the longest using newbie ever.
J

User avatar
lunk
Posts: 3479
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:24 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Sweden 64° N

Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:42 am Post

It depends on what you really wonder about.

Your iPad can read projects from the Dropbox server and also save/upload to it. On iOS this is called syncing although it's really only a question of manually telling the iDevice to read/download or write/upload copies of your projects between your iDevice and the Dropbox server, by tapping the sync icon in Scrivener.

On the laptop you have a Dropbox App which automatically, in the background, without you having to do anything, monitors the Dropbox folder on the Hard Drive, and automatically read/download or write/upload copies of any files that have changed, either on the laptop or on the Dropbox server. This really is syncing in its true sense, as you don't have to do anything.

In both cases it means that Scrivener use the same project, which is stored on both your laptop, iDevice and the Dropbox server.

Then there is a completely different process available in Mac Scrivener, called "Sync with external folder", which had to be used earlier if you wanted to edit a project on an iPhone or iPad, before iOS Scrivener existed. People with Androids still have to use it. It means that your project is exported as text files, one per document in the binder, to a folder on the laptop that is synced to a cloud server, and they are then readable by e.g an Android cell phone.

So in essence, your "normal" Draft is synced between laptop and iDevice with the Dropbox server as an intermediate station, automatically on the laptop, manually on the iDevice.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

User avatar
Jot
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:35 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS

Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:55 am Post

Thanks Lunk.
So...my Synced Documents and my Draft is...the same thing? I'm kinda paralysed by the two options. Which one do I edit on my laptop? I hate being the dumbest person in class. Sigh.
J

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 3987
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:05 am Post

Hi Jot,

Where are.you seeing this "Synced Documents"? Are you looking in the Dropbox folder on your laptop?

Can you post a screenshot for us? That would help.

:)

Mark
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
rMBP 13" (early 2015) 10.14.5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
MBP17" (late 2011) 10.13.6, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
2017 iPad, iOS 12.3.1, 128GB, Apple Pencil
Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …

User avatar
Jot
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:35 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS

Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:27 am Post

The Synced Documents is a Collection. When I opened the project on my laptop, it was what was presented (but I freaked out because it was "coral" coloured and then realised it was a collection).

I can select the x and close the collection and then see my Drafts (which looks the same except..monochrome).
I've been scouring the forums etc and it seems there's an option for turning off "Synced Documents" - I think I'll do that and just go back to my happy place (apparently sometime in 2015).

And yes, I save my projects in the DB folder (Dropbox>Apps>Scrivener) so I can work on my iPad. I obviously haven't done this for quite a while because I've not had this "issue" before.

To be honest, I'm not seeing what the advantage of Synced Document is (but I have no doubt that it's vital to someones workflow).

Anyway, I've turned it off (FYI it's in Preferences>Sharing>Sync and I've deselected the options
  • "Place documents affected by sync into a "Synced Documents" collection" and
  • "Automatically show the "Synced Documents" collection after a sync".

I didn't even know they were a thing (and now they're not). Phew. I thought I'd blown up my project.

Thank you Lunk and Mark for the help.
J

br
brookter
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:22 pm
Platform: Mac

Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:45 am Post

Anything in a Collection exists somewhere else in the Binder as a 'real document'.

A collection is simply another way of looking at real documents clustered together in some way. That could be because they all contain a certain phrase, or they've all got a certain keyword etc, or just because you've decide to manually select some documents in the Binder and added them to a collection to make it easier to look at them as a whole.

When you see the 'Synced Documents' collection, all you're seeing is that process in action -- Scrivener automatically shows you the documents which were changed in the previous sync so you can check them all at once if you want to. If you don't want to, just return to the Binder and carry on -- the contents of the Sync collection will change next time you sync. I recommend you keep this feature on, because it's a simple sanity check that the sync worked and worth the additional keystroke it takes to return to the Binder after you've checked...

You can obviously, keep editing them while they're in the collection without returning to the Binder -- it's exactly the same document either way.

Hope that helps.

User avatar
Jot
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:35 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS

Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:53 am Post

Oh, I see. Many thanks, Brookter.

Actually, the whole process has been positive. I've learned a lot. It's good to be paddling in Scrivener again (even if I did scare myself).
J

br
brookter
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:22 pm
Platform: Mac

Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:59 am Post

You're very welcome!

May I suggest you have a look at the Tutorial section for Collections? It won't take long, and they are much more powerful than the brief outline I gave -- well worth seeing if they'll fit with your workflow...

Eg. if you're writing fiction -- automatically group together all the scenes written from the point of view of character X which take place in town A... or non-fiction -- all the subsections discussing punctuation where Macbeth is mentioned etc etc.... The more you use them, the more you find a use for collections...