I love Scrivener - but I'm too scared to use it

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Xade
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Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:53 pm Post

I too occasionally have trouble with lost documents. It normally happens with onedrive and I when it happened the last time I had to scramble to locate the most recent zipped archive and restore it because I simply did not wait long enough for it the filter through the cloud down to my current computer. I've also had many problems with onedrive getting hung up on other files instead of my books. I solved it by moving my active scrivener files to dropbox, which is more suited for database cloud computing. Another thing you should consider is naming your sections in order like so
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This way should you accidentally drag one around you can see at a glance what happened and return it to its proper place. I once had this rather embarrassing episode with my ghostwriter consultant where one whole chapter got moved up to the chapter I sent off to her. Another time I somehow inserted my blank character sheet into a section and I have no idea how that happened.

Now, one of the best things I do in order to make sure there is a backup is to save my backups to the cloud too. I use different folders for each device. "Desktop" Tablet" "Laptop" That way should I find a corrupted file I immediately go back to my most recent backup and restore it. Computers were built by man so I make a point of being redundant in my backups. I also make a point of exiting out every few hours so that there is a recent compressed file on the cloud (in my case onedrive.)

However, it's odd that iOS is having dropbox issues. I wouldn't know the first thing around iOS due to being a windows girl but I believe dropbox should be a go between them, unless the windows and iOS uses a totally different save feature. Did L&L take into account that people may switch at random between versions?

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Graybyrd
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:52 am Post

NorthTexasGirl wrote:I cannot afford to keep opening my project only to find a skeleton of Chapter and Research titles but missing the actual documents - full of blank pages.


Sorry, but that is a strong clue that either Scrivener or the computer is being closed/shut down before file synchronization has had a chance to complete. (My wife has the same problem: she expects the computer to do exactly what she is thinking it should do, rather than paying attention to what is actually happening... such as a slow write/sync process.

I've used dozens of writing apps since the late 80's, and never have I encountered an application as safe as Scrivener. It has many safeguards built in to prevent file and data loss. First, one should go to "Tools" => "Options" => "Backup" and set the backup file location convenient to one's normal working folders, where it is easy to access if needed. Second, one should always, always be very careful with multiple project or syncing locations. Always be sure a project is "closed" or completely "synced" before shutting down, and re-opening the project on a different device. Pay attention, and you'll never lose documents in Scrivener. I flat guarantee it!
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MSO
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Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:30 pm Post

I have been using the Windows version for three or four years now and since I started with Scrivener I save all of my writing projects to sub-folders within my main Dropbox folder and I have never had a single issue. I have never, ever "lost" any files and the only instances of "corrupt" Scrivener projects occurred because of my own carelessness in saving/moving/archiving projects.

In fact since beginning with Windows 3.0 in the early 1990s I have never "lost" anything because of any faulty computer or software issues. I've accidentally deleted/updated/corrupted many, many of my files but I have yet to "lose" any.

Having said that my good friend and fellow writer Sukie uses the Mac version and she has some difficulty finding her files at times but it is usually a case of her not knowing where she had put the files in the first place. (Her Dropbox folder is mysteriously filled with dozens of videos of her child and when it hit the space limit she just quit using it.) I have, respectfully, found the few Mac users I have known personally to be less-than-experts when it comes to organizing and locating files on their computers.

I know creatives are supposed to love Macs, but I have had issues switching my brain from a lifelong Windows organizational structure to the one Macs use. Getting organized on the Mac and moving/creating folders does not, to me, seem very easy nor is it very intuitive. I do admit everything seems to look "cleaner, cooler, better" on the Mac and that includes Scrivener as well --- at least in my opinion it does.

As for being "too scared" to use the Windows version of Scrivener I recommend anyone in that situation to use Dropbox or Google Drive as the place where you save your Scrivener Projects and that you turn-on automatic updates (with dates auto-added to titles) and set Scrivener to save a back-up each time you close your project. If you have a recent backup and don't want to create another simply click on "Abort" as the Project Backup is being created. With this system you don't forget or go too long between backups. The Scrivener-Windows-Dropbox combination just plain works and it will work for you too if you let it!

I also urge the masters of magic at Literature & Latte to consider letting Windows lead their software development path and begin creating new features for Windows first and get around to adding them to Mac versions at some future date ---- and in the process helping build greater self-esteem in us Scrivener for Windows types by embracing a Windows Supremacy philosophy. Maybe even charge Mac users an extra $10 or so just to make the point clear. (Yes I recognize I may indeed be haunted by a ghost dressed in a black turtleneck and jeans because of this blasphemous rant.)
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“Do not despair: one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume: one of the thieves was damned.”
—— Falsely attributed to St. Augustine by Samuel Beckett
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MSO
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Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:45 pm Post

NorthTexasGirl wrote:
I have even uninstalled Scrivener on all my devices and tried to re-install it on my Mac so I can use the original version without the complications from the iOS version. No deal! The Mac remembers all the settings I made to the original to accommodate Dropbox (ick) and the iPad. I want to completely erase the install and install FRESH. But once again, no deal.


I ran into this issue with a different piece of Mac software with a friend's laptop and using the CleanMyMac app mentioned in this How-To-Geek post solved a similar problem.

Check out this post and see if this won't help you get back to writing: http://www.howtogeek.com/231496/how-to-uninstall-applications-on-a-mac-everything-you-need-to-know/.

Good Luck NTG! As a citizen of the Republic of Texas myself, and a fellow writer from the South, I hope you can resolve the issue and will continue to reach our for help until you get the problem whipped!
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“Do not despair: one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume: one of the thieves was damned.”
—— Falsely attributed to St. Augustine by Samuel Beckett
http://MichaelOBryan.com

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devinganger
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Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:20 am Post

MSO wrote:I also urge the masters of magic at Literature & Latte to consider letting Windows lead their software development path and begin creating new features for Windows first and get around to adding them to Mac versions at some future date ---- and in the process helping build greater self-esteem in us Scrivener for Windows types by embracing a Windows Supremacy philosophy


...and COMPLETELY FAILS to nail the landing.
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kewms
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Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:02 am Post

NorthTexasGirl wrote:I don't want my book stored ONLY on Dropbox and as far as I can see that's where it is now. I've wasted so much time trying to get this to work. Time I should have been writing.

I cannot afford to keep opening my project only to find a skeleton of Chapter and Research titles but missing the actual documents - full of blank pages.


Scrivener stores projects where you put them. If you don't want a project accessible to Dropbox, don't put it in the Dropbox folder. If it's already there, you can use Save As or Windows Explorer to put a copy in another location.

As pointed out elsewhere, a project "in Dropbox" actually has a copy of itself on every system that has access to that particular Dropbox folder. In addition, I recommend directing Scrivener's automatic backups to a location *other* than Dropbox, to protect you from Dropbox-related disasters.

As noted, a project full of blank pages generally indicates a synchronization error of some kind. It's difficult to answer more specifically without more information; have you tried emailing our support address?

Incidentally, all versions of Scrivener -- iOS, Mac Scrivener, and Windows Scrivener -- use the exact same project format. Any differences you see simply reflect how the particular operating system displays things.

Katherine
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devinganger
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Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:03 pm Post

MSO wrote:As for being "too scared" to use the Windows version of Scrivener I recommend anyone in that situation to use Dropbox or Google Drive as the place where you save your Scrivener Projects


Dropbox, yes. It's been shown to be stable for handling a Scrivener project.

Google Drive? Just don't.
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Devin L. Ganger, WA7DLG
Not a L&L employee; opinions are those of my cat
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Tribalrose
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Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:20 am Post

MSO wrote:I know creatives are supposed to love Macs, but I have had issues switching my brain from a lifelong Windows organizational structure to the one Macs use. Getting organized on the Mac and moving/creating folders does not, to me, seem very easy nor is it very intuitive. I do admit everything seems to look "cleaner, cooler, better" on the Mac and that includes Scrivener as well --- at least in my opinion it does.


It's nice to see I'm not the only one in whatever small minority there is of people who don't fall in love with a Mac at first sight. I got a MacBook Pro just so I could use the "better" version of Scrivener and Vellum. So far it's had the effect of making me go right back to Scriv Windows. It doesn't look particularly better to me and so far I haven't needed any of the features it has that Windows doesn't.

I do use the Mac for Vellum because I have to if I want to use Vellum (wonderful ebook formatting program by the way), but I can sure see how people can't figure out where anything is. Probably I'd have the same problem with newer version of Windows, but since I've been using it for a long time, I know how to thwart the built-in supposed helpfulness that tries to put things where the system designers think they should go, hide identifying file extensions, etc.

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Sanguinius
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Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:05 am Post

Tribalrose wrote:I do use the Mac for Vellum because I have to if I want to use Vellum (wonderful ebook formatting program by the way), but I can sure see how people can't figure out where anything is. Probably I'd have the same problem with newer version of Windows, but since I've been using it for a long time, I know how to thwart the built-in supposed helpfulness that tries to put things where the system designers think they should go, hide identifying file extensions, etc.

How does Vellum compare to Sigil in features and effectiveness?

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rdale
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Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:06 pm Post

Xade wrote:I wouldn't know the first thing around iOS due to being a windows girl but I believe dropbox should be a go between them, unless the windows and iOS uses a totally different save feature. Did L&L take into account that people may switch at random between versions?

Syncing between iOS and Windows/Mac Scrivener versions does use Dropbox. However, one cannot "randomly" pop between the iOS version and the "desktop" version. It's not possible to sync automatically when you pause on the iOS version*, so you have to sync changes manually EVERY TIME you pick up or set down your iOS device. In other words, a sync has to happen before you start work on the IOS Scrivener, and you have to sync the IOS version when you want to go back to a desktop version of Scrivener.

This is unlike how it works when you share a project using Dropbox on two PCs; in that case, the syncs happen automatically, without any extra work on your part; you just have to close the project on one PC (and let Dropbox sync between both computers) before you can start work on the other.

* I don't know the details, but I assume that they would have implemented automatic syncing in the background if it were possible on iOS without messing up your Scrivener project. As I understand it, this is the only workable solution, unless Keith stripped out the feature (from all versions of Scrivener) allowing importing of non-text documents (eg: PDFs, image files, etc...) to Scrivener projects.
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Tribalrose
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Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:04 am Post

Sanguinius wrote:How does Vellum compare to Sigil in features and effectiveness?


I have very little experience with Sigil, but it seems a more technical program and only does epub from what I know. However, it is free, which is a big plus. Vellum does very attractive formatting and exports files for all the major ebook vendors pretty effortlessly. You can download their trial and experiment with it, but you don't get the full program like Scrivener - it won't actually output an ebook. And it's not free or IMO as much a bargain as Scrivener.

Ma
MalcolmSm1th
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Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:59 pm Post

What I don is to have Scrivener save files to my document folder which is C:\_Documents as it's root (I never use Windows' library folders for anything as they can cause permission issues somewhere along the line).

I have Dropbox working out of C:\_Dropbox and the folders with in. Under there I've will have three folder trees of Scrivener data files. One is labelled ScrivenerFast, the next ScrivenerMedium and the last ScrivenerSlow.

I have a folder sync application in which I have three profiles. Each profile copies my Scrivener data files from the documents folder to each of these Dropbox folders. One is scheduled to run weekly to the Slow folder, another runs daily to the Medium folder and the last every four hours to the Fast folder.

Then Dropbox will do its stuff when the files are uploaded.

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AmberV
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Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:07 pm Post

rdale wrote:I don’t know the details, but I assume that they would have implemented automatic syncing in the background if it were possible on iOS without messing up your Scrivener project…


Why isn’t syncing automatic?.
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rdale
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Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:19 pm Post

AmberV wrote:
rdale wrote:I don’t know the details, but I assume that they would have implemented automatic syncing in the background if it were possible on iOS without messing up your Scrivener project…


Why isn’t syncing automatic?.

Um... you tell me?

What I mean by "Automatic" is that it happens without my intervention, like it does on my Mac or Windows computers. Scrivener for iOS requires my okay at the very least (when I first load the app), or I have to tell it to sync manually. Both methods require my intervention.
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Jaysen
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Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:01 pm Post

rdale wrote:
AmberV wrote:
rdale wrote:I don’t know the details, but I assume that they would have implemented automatic syncing in the background if it were possible on iOS without messing up your Scrivener project…


Why isn’t syncing automatic?.

Um... you tell me?

What I mean by "Automatic" is that it happens without my intervention, like it does on my Mac or Windows computers. Scrivener for iOS requires my okay at the very least (when I first load the app), or I have to tell it to sync manually. Both methods require my intervention.


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