How To Sync Your iPad With Scrivener

How to Compile a kindle ebook in scrivenerI’ve been sat like a lemon waiting for Scrivener to come out with an iPad app. This was going to change my world, so I waited. However, it turns out that I was waiting in vain because I can already add/edit my document on the iPad and then just sync it across. Ooh… fancy.

It’s dead easy and if you don’t believe me then just take a look at this from the nice people at Scrivener. (There’s a video at the bottom called Folder Sync) I’m going to run through a very quick step-by-step guide but watch the video if you run in to trouble.

  1. Get Plain Text App on iPad
  2. Get Dropbox linked between your computer and iPad
  3. Sync Plain Text to Dropbox
  4. Create a folder in Dropbox/Plain Text. Dropbox is free for 2gb and unless you’ve got War and Peace you’ll be fine for storage space. I created a folder especially for my novel.
  5. Click in File/Sync/With External Folder in Scrivener. Link your newly created Dropbox folder in the Shared Folder choice.
  6. Click ‘Sync all other text documents in the project’.
  7. Change the format to Plain Text. Just easier.
  8. Sync.
  9. Open up Plain Text on the iPad and voila there’s your book.
  10. Make a change to it, go back into Scrivener and File/Sync/with External Folder now. Job Done.

It’s that easy that it’s a bit annoying that I’ve waited so long to be able to do it.

I hope this helps you if, like me,  you want to edit on the move. What’s the point in being a writer if you can’t sit in coffee shops?


29 responses to “How To Sync Your iPad With Scrivener

  1. What are you going to do when your daughter wants her iPad back or even wants it used for HER needs? Only joking….I’m sure she gets a look in once in a while!!
    Lets have an update on how the book(s) is coming along….oh, and when it finally does hit publication can it be available on as well please? I notice that there are a LOT of books only available on co.UK and that’s no good to me!!! (or any other ex-pat sitting on a distant shore).

  2. Pingback: How To Sync Your iPad With Scrivener | Everything Scrivener

  3. (sigh).. I got excited when I started reading your post, and thought there was something new, but alas.. this method has been around, but it works for Mac users only. For Windows users, we still have to export to Dropbox as a .txt file, and then open it up using Textilus or something similar, and throwing it back into Dropbox, and then importing back into Scrivener. Not as clean, easy or idiot-proof… but it is a workaround, although it’s not synced, and you’ve got some odd duplication things going on you have to clean up.. but it is do-able. Fortunately, Scrivener is so awesome, it’s worth the effort.

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  5. Ah, another wonderful feature not yet available in the Windows version. Can’t wait to see the iPad version. In the meantime I’ve abandoned Scrivener for much of my writing (so much is done on iPad an Android) and use just plain text files DropBoxed together. By the way, WriteRoom (the big brother of PlainText) is well worth the modest cost for its enhanced keyboard alone.

  6. Thanks a lot for this. Very helpful! One little note however… if your Scrivener files are filled with images (as some of mine are, depending on the topic of the project), then this will be void. But for text-alone projects this is GOLD. As well… I know for myself that the sub-folders are a major way in which I use Scrivener — for organizing a hierarchy, etc. — and that, as well, will become flattened with this option. But still… it’s a way to be able to carry Scrivener projects on an ipad, which is swell.
    I have also heard tell that the Index Card app will work… but it also takes some hacking around. Might be an option for image-heavy projects, which yours is better for text.

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  9. Reblogged this on Publicly Available Angst and commented:
    You’re welcome.

  10. Have you checked out the SimpleNote syncing they reference on the Literature and latte site? I watched the YouTube option and it seems to work well.

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  14. Hi Michael.
    Sue’s right. I’ve just got an iPad and am finding that sync with Simplenote is a piece of cake. I can edit and add stuff on it and sync with the MacBook Pro when I get home, and vice-versa. I have already had a couple of failures, but the trick seems to be simply keep trying and it will sync on the second or third attempt. True, I only have about 9,000 words so far, but it works a treat. I just feel so comfy in Scrivener, it’s the dream programme for writing longer pieces. Like the rest of you, I can’t wait for a good version on the iPad, but Simplenote is more than doing the trick at the moment, and it feels nice enough to write in. A cafe with outside tables, fags, ashtray, coffee, wireless keyboard, iPad, it’s the only way to write. Shame about the weather in Scotland, but never mind. I’ll just have an awful lot of rainy themes dripping through my great novel.

  15. academicalism

    I use IndexCard, an iOS storyboarding app, mentioned briefly above. It syncs very well with Scrivener for Mac OSX. (Not sure if it does so for the Windows version.)
    Scrivener-IndexCard sync tutorial:
    (This comment is not a paid product placement, just a user vouching for something that works simply. I needed a Scrivener sync solution for iOS and discovered this one via the L&L Scrivener site.)

  16. All, I have used many of these tools, but the best compromise by far (on the iPad only unfortunately) is called “Writings for iPad”. Of course it’s subjective but they are a few good reasons why one would want to use this one in particular… The main one for me is that it can sync with multiple folders at the same time in Dropbox. I keep my chapters in one big folder, but all my ideas (which would then appear on the scratchpad in Scrivener) are stored in another folder. Writings keeps it very simple, and you can easily go back and forth between the said folders if need me, right within the app. I also find it very stable, and it never crashed so far (I use it daily) and I never lost anything i wrote, even with 75’000 words+ so far. Finally, it means to me that that app is also beautiful, in other words, it’s also a pleasure to write in such an environment, which allows you to change colors (of the font itself and the background – perfect at night), change the width of the page, use an extra row on your keyboard and so on. And it’s all very simple. The app is here: Others come close, such as Daedalus, and Nebulous Note, but i keep the latter for my iPhone for quick ideas any time of the day, and also linking to the same “ideas folder”… Thanks for the tip ref. IndexCard. This is a valuable addition to the process until such time when Scrivener for iPad finally becomes available. Wish you all a nice weekend.

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  18. This works great, but I am having one issue. I write Scripts, and after I sync with Plain Text, the formatting goes out of whack. When I sync back, it goes out of whack again.

    My guess is, I am missing something obvious. One of my special skills I might add.

    Any thoughts?

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