Tips on Syncing iOS with Desktop Scrivener

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rdale
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:28 pm Post

It seems there are a few people falling victim to assumptions regarding the "Sync with External Folder" feature (which was added at the same time as the iOS compatibility in the Windows version). Also, some people don't seem to understand how to put a project into Dropbox so that it can be accessed with the iOS version. So for those of us who are experienced with this procedure, let's share what we know so as to get people up and running with minimal fuss.

Setup steps
  1. So, to start, you need a Dropbox.com account.
  2. Then, download the dropbox software to your computer. If you are logged on to the dropbox.com website, click on your name in the upper right area of the page, then click on "Install".
  3. Once installed, it should create a "Dropbox" folder on your computer.
  4. If you don't already have a folder for syncing with Scrivener in the Dropbox folder, create one. Name the folder for Scrivener in general, not for a specific writing project; all projects must go into this folder to sync with the iOS version.
  5. Finally, close your desktop version of Scrivener, and move one of your projects from its original location to the new Scrivener folder you just created in Dropbox.
  6. Let Dropbox finish syncing the files up to the dropbox.com servers (the icon for Dropbox in your windows toolbar/mac menu bar will change, and clicking on it will reveal if it's up-to-date, or still syncing). One a slow internet connection, this can take a very long time, depending on the size of your project and the number of files in your binder.
  7. Finally, in Scrivener for iOS, set up sync if you haven't already, and then tap the sync button and wait for it to finish.

Please let me know if I've left anything vital out, and I'll edit the steps. Please feel free to share your tips here, but if you're having other issues, please start a new topic; your support questions might get overlooked in this thread of conversation.
Last edited by rdale on Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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rasnell
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:37 pm Post

Very helpful. Exactly what needs to be on the very first page of the ios tutorial under "How to open an existing file."

I'm three hours behind on getting to play with this as I stumbled through the forums. But it sure is a great day to finally have this in hand.

Thanks, Keith, for the hard work on this. Just needed the steps in this thread in your tutorial to have avoided today's chaos.
Love, Grandpa, my memoir as reporter, Mormon bishop, and a near-death patient will be published in late 2017. My first book was Root for the Cubs: Charlie Root and the 1929 Chicago Cubs. Details at http://www.rogersnell.com

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KB
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:47 pm Post

We had 600+ beta testers and honestly, no one has had a problem with setting up sync until release, so it's taken us somewhat by surprise that so many users have been trying to use Sync > with External Folder. Actually, I think I understand why with Windows users - the Sync with External Folder feature has just been added to the latest Windows version at the same time as iOS sync, which I can see might cause some confusion. The Sync > with External Folder feature has been available on the Mac for six years, though, so I didn't think anyone would try to use that with the main Scrivener sync, given that the tutorial clearly (I think) covers what you need to do and at no point mentions this feature. If your just follow the instructions in the tutorial, really you should be fine. Of course we will update it based on user confusion, however...
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lunk
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:52 pm Post

I honestly think it is the word "Sync" that throws people off in the wrong direction. They start looking for a way to Sync, possible search the Help, and end up with "Sync with external folder".

The circular arrows (indicating 'sync') on the iOS version should be called 'Save changes', not Sync.

My humble advice is – avoid the word "sync" because it makes (some) people think they have to do something special, something complicated.
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 Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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Happy Writer
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:59 pm Post

Good basic tutorial @rdale. I was just about creating something similar, because it's very obvious how this works when you have it in place, but not before. So some simple explanation was in place.

Here is my short version;

1. Setup dropbox app on your Mac (https://www.dropbox.com/downloading)

2. Buy and install Scrivener iOS (https://itunes.apple.com/se/app/scriven ... &at=10ldvx)

3. Set up Sync in iOS devices by clicking the "recycle" arrows > Choose Dropbox > Default dropbox folder (Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener).

4. On your Mac > Copy* your Scrivener project into the new dropbox folder (Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener) > Wait until sync is complete (all files are "green √").

5. Choose sync again on your iOS device and your projects with all contest is synced.

6. Remember to hit the Sync button ("recycle arrows") everytime before you switch device.

Happy Syncing!


* The reason I say "copy" and not "move" at this point, is to make sure you have a safecopy while testing out the sync features.

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rdale
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:12 pm Post

KB wrote:We had 600+ beta testers and honestly, no one has had a problem with setting up sync until release, so it's taken us somewhat by surprise that so many users have been trying to use Sync > with External Folder. Actually, I think I understand why with Windows users - the Sync with External Folder feature has just been added to the latest Windows version at the same time as iOS sync, which I can see might cause some confusion. The Sync > with External Folder feature has been available on the Mac for six years, though, so I didn't think anyone would try to use that with the main Scrivener sync, given that the tutorial clearly (I think) covers what you need to do and at no point mentions this feature. If your just follow the instructions in the tutorial, really you should be fine. Of course we will update it based on user confusion, however...

On the Desktop, there's no mechanism to "set up" a project with Dropbox within the Scrivener interface the way there is in the iOS version, but there is a way to "set up" external folder sync within Scrivener for Mac/Windows. If one is starting from their Mac or PC, and looking for the function within Scrivener by which to do this setup, Sync with External Folder is the only feature to be found that features the word 'sync'.

I wish I'd had this insight during beta testing, but it's only occurred to me now that people are reporting confusion.
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lunk
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:15 pm Post

Happy Writer wrote:* The reason I say "copy" and not "move" at this point, is to make sure you have a safecopy while testing out the sync features.


... which means you will have to remember that you from now on will have to projects with identical names but in different folders – one which you will be working on, and one which will be left to slowly fall asleep and get old? Unless you suddenly forget which one you were working on and start working on the redundant one on the desktop. Then you will really have 'sync'-problems.

About "safe copy" – you do have backups, right?
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 Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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lunk
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:17 pm Post

rdale wrote: On the Desktop, there's no mechanism to "set up" a project with Dropbox within the Scrivener interface the way there is in the iOS version


Oh yes there is! You "Save as..."! The confusion comes from using the word "Sync", suggesting that you need to do something else than just Save in a new location (unless you want your iDevice to upload all your Scrivener projects).
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 Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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rdale
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:28 pm Post

lunk wrote:
rdale wrote: On the Desktop, there's no mechanism to "set up" a project with Dropbox within the Scrivener interface the way there is in the iOS version


Oh yes there is! You "Save as..."! The confusion comes from using the word "Sync", suggesting that you need to do something else than just Save in a new location (unless you want your iDevice to upload all your Scrivener projects).

Save As may technically work, but it's not obvious if a person doesn't understand Dropbox, or if they're familiar with Sync with External Folder. If you've synced with an external folder to use with Plain Text or the like, and you don't really understand Dropbox all that well, then it's only logical to look for "sync with iOS", or to assume that "sync with external folder" has been retrofitted to work whatever magic is necessary to sync with the iOS version of Scrivener.

Reading the iOS tutorial is key, but lots of people jump in without doing that on the desktop, and they muddle through. I think there are a lot of people who will leave the tutorial for later, assuming everything will be so familiar as to make it optional.
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Happy Writer
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:33 pm Post

lunk wrote:
Happy Writer wrote:* The reason I say "copy" and not "move" at this point, is to make sure you have a safecopy while testing out the sync features.

... which means you will have to remember that you from now on will have to projects with identical names but in different folders...

About "safe copy" – you do have backups, right?


Hi lunk,
Since this is the version 1.0 of the Scrivener iOS I think it's smart to leave "extra" safety copy behind just in case, before trusting the new sync feature completely. I've learned this the hard way, far to many times with other programs over the years and it costed me many rewrites etc. Just trying to help others here to avoid the mistake I did. And I've already found a couple of smaller sync issues (read more here: viewtopic.php?f=54&t=35112).

Backup is running always of course! And to three different physical places as well.

Th
Theoros
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:36 pm Post

I'm losing the will to live. I have followed the instructions in the tutorial. I have replicated what has been suggested here. I keep getting:

"Could not complete Dropbox operation. Error 4. The file doesn't exist. (The file doesn't exist)."

I know it exists because I have been using it on my desktop version which stores the files in my dropbox account.

Help?

Bo
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:45 pm Post

Theoros wrote:I'm losing the will to live. I have followed the instructions in the tutorial. I have replicated what has been suggested here. I keep getting:

"Could not complete Dropbox operation. Error 4. The file doesn't exist. (The file doesn't exist)."

I know it exists because I have been using it on my desktop version which stores the files in my dropbox account.

Help?


Where are you getting this message? Within Scrivener on iOS? Can you post a screenshot of the dropbox folder containing the project on your desktop?

Th
Theoros
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:47 pm Post

BookBoy wrote:
Theoros wrote:I'm losing the will to live. I have followed the instructions in the tutorial. I have replicated what has been suggested here. I keep getting:

"Could not complete Dropbox operation. Error 4. The file doesn't exist. (The file doesn't exist)."

I know it exists because I have been using it on my desktop version which stores the files in my dropbox account.

Help?


Where are you getting this message? Within Scrivener on iOS? Can you post a screenshot of the dropbox folder containing the project on your desktop?


Within Scrivener on IOS.

I don't know how to do the screenshot or how to post it. Sorry.

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rdale
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:48 pm Post

Theoros wrote:
BookBoy wrote:
Theoros wrote:I'm losing the will to live. I have followed the instructions in the tutorial. I have replicated what has been suggested here. I keep getting:

"Could not complete Dropbox operation. Error 4. The file doesn't exist. (The file doesn't exist)."

I know it exists because I have been using it on my desktop version which stores the files in my dropbox account.

Help?


Where are you getting this message? Within Scrivener on iOS? Can you post a screenshot of the dropbox folder containing the project on your desktop?


Within Scrivener on IOS.

I don't know how to do the screenshot or how to post it. Sorry.


Best to start a new topic with a title like "Could not complete Dropbox Operation" so people with similar problems, but who solved them, can chime in. Also, in that new topic note which device and software is giving you that error, be it the Dropbox software on your Mac, or Scrivener on iOS. People can then help you post screen shots or whatever is necessary to fixing your issue.
Last edited by rdale on Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Th
Theoros
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Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:50 pm Post

rdale wrote:
Theoros wrote:
BookBoy wrote:
Where are you getting this message? Within Scrivener on iOS? Can you post a screenshot of the dropbox folder containing the project on your desktop?


Within Scrivener on IOS.

I don't know how to do the screenshot or how to post it. Sorry.


Best to start a new topic with a title like "Could not complete Dropbox Operation" so people with similar problems, but who solved them, can chime in. Also, in that new topic note which device and software is giving you that error, be it the Dropbox software on your windows computer, or Scrivener on iOS. People can then help you post screen shots or whatever is necessary to fixing your issue.



Hmm, okay, thanks. That's $20 I'll never get back.