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Scrivener Updates

mouse cord spelling out "update"Both Scrivener for Mac and Scrivener for Windows received updates recently (to 2.7 and 1.9, respectively). You’ll notice some small changes in the interface—e.g. the Inspector buttons are now at the top of the Inspector for better visibility—and a few new options, but the biggest modifications seem to be under the hood.

New File Structure

In order to make them compatible with future mobile applications, the Scrivener project format has been updated. When you open a current project, you’ll be asked to convert it to the new format. A backup copy will be created in the same folder in case you have any issues. Updated projects—and those created with the new versions—will not open on older versions of Scrivener. They are still compatible between Mac and Windows as long as both computers have the latest software update.

New SCRIVX name (Windows)

Along with the new file structure, the project.scrivx file that resides within your project folder (<filename>.scriv) will now share the same name as the project folder, rather than the generic word “project.” For more on how the file system works for PCs, check out my post on Scrivener Basics.

New Tutorial

Both versions have an updated tutorial. I recommend the tutorial as a great way to get an overview of what Scrivener has to offer. Don’t feel like you have to remember everything you learn, just know that it’s there.

Have you updated yet? What’s cool? Any complaints?

For a detailed list of changes, visit to the Change List page for Mac or Windows. For more Scrivener help, check out Scrivener For Dummies, or my online courses.

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  1. S. J. Pajonas (spajonas)


    I updated last week and like the new interface! It feels cleaner and brighter, but maybe that’s just me. I like that the Inspector buttons have moved. I’m working in it right now and not having any problems!

    • Reply

      S.J.: Yeah, I don’t mind it. One thing I think might confuse some people is that the default Corkboard view is no longer “cork” on the Mac version. Glad to hear it’s working for you. 🙂

  2. Reply

    I extremely dislike the new file format. It looks like it is a forced change from Scrivener 2.6.x. This means I cannot send my *.scriv projects to others who have not upgraded to 2.7. I think we users should have been given the chance to opt out of file format changes, or at the very least been provided with a method to export a Scrivener 2.7 project to a 2.7 file format.

    • Reply

      Sorry to hear that, Bob. I guess at some point, in order to make progress on things like mobile versions and such, they have to make changes. I do think it would be cool to have an option to save into an older version, but of course, they probably would prefer that people upgrade. For such a small company, it definitely makes their life easier if they don’t have to support multiple versions on each platform. I suppose you could opt out by not updating to 2.7…

      • Reply

        I’m a software developer myself. I’ve been writing code for 34 years. It would have been very easy for Literature and Latte to offer the option to keep the existing 2.6 file format and in addition to this, definitely offer an an export option to export a Scrivener project file in 2.6 format. All you are doing is recycling tried and true and already tested code in a slightly different way. If they have the money to develop a new file format, they certainly have the cash to offer a choice of file formats to their users. Microsoft Word and all the open source office suites do offer this kind of flexibility. They have for a long, long time. There isn’t a good reason for for Literature and Latte to force a one way street on their customers.

        Another way of putting this philosophy is: a vendor should never burn their customers bridges. The software development tool vendor JetBrains recently learned this the hard way when they tried to force their customers to accept a new subscription-based licensing scheme effective November 2. A storm of outrage followed, and JetBrains modified its scheme in one respect: if you buy an annual subscription from them, you get a perpetual license so that the software does not shut down and become nonfunctional if you don’t renew the subscription or the next renewal payment isn’t made for whatever other reasons.

        • Reply

          Yeah, I understand where you’re coming from, Bob. I’d recommend making your suggestion to L&L directly. I’m guessing it was less about cash and more about time (only one full-time programmer for each platform). And maybe not realizing anyone would be upset. Keith is a writer who taught himself programming so he could write Scrivener, so he may not have the same programming lifecycle view that you have. 🙂

          • Reply

            Thank you, Gwen! I have emailed their technical support for the Mac. I asked if they have a file format conversion utility. That way one could convert a Scrivener 2.7 project to 2.6 and vice versa. They might have one, indeed probably do, for their own internal use. In case they don’t want to publish such a utility I also requested their file format documentation for Scrivener 2.6 and 2.7 project files.

          • Reply

            Someone from Literature and Latte’s Mac support did respond to my request for a file format conversion utility so that Scrivener projects in 2.7 format could be converted to 2.6 format (and therefore shared with other writers.) They do not have any conversion software available. They warned me not to use Scrivener 2.7 if I need to share files with 2.6 users. The person who responded to me mentioned that my request for the exact file format specifications would be sent to the developer.

            So if a user needs to share a project which is in 2.6 format, it is best to stay with Scrivener 2.6. Going to 2.7 is a one way street: you will only be able to share projects with other 2.7 users. It should not be a problem to stay with the old Scrivener version: there is no compelling reason to upgrade to 2.7 at this time and there is a big strike against it.

    • Reply

      I noticed that too, ashley858. But like Gojira said, you can change it under Scrivener–>Preferences–>Corkboard. It’s in the Appearances section, Corkboard Background.

  3. Reply

    When I checked my project statistics after converting my project, it gave me double the word count. I assume this is due to making the copy. It’s not a big problem as this project is now being edited for publication. I was just wondering if there is a way to correct this. If not, it’s easy enough to divide in half. Thanks

    • Reply

      bookworkgirl: Now that’s odd. The copy they made is a separate Scrivener project outside of your working project, so you shouldn’t see the duplication in your Binder (or your word count). Are you including something in Compile–or in the Draft/Manuscript folder–that wasn’t there before (e.g. front matter, notes, footnotes)? Project Statistics uses what’s being compiled, rather than just the text.

  4. Reply

    I’ve always trusted any notice about updates from Scrivener but this time, I wish it would have come with a warning about the conversion snafu.
    I don’t like the update because none of my work will close properly. I keep getting messages to convert the projects, and then the backup notification gets stuck in the “zero percent” level. I end up clicking out of everything. Then, when I look at my folders, there’s backup versions as well as the versions I’m used to seeing. I don’t know which ones are the current.
    I’m concerned about working with any of them right now. I feel like I’ve got several versions of the same work on my desktop – I haven’t even attempted to open anything on my laptop yet.
    Scrivener did not do me any favors this time around. And here I’ve become so used to them, too. **sad face**
    Jeannie Leighton

    • Reply

      Oh no, Jeannie, that’s not good. Did you go through the Mac app store? I read that they had an issue there, but I think it’s been fixed (or will be soon, can’t remember).

      If you’re trying to find the latest version, I’d check the dates on each file. I hope you get it all sorted out!

      • Reply

        I have a PC. I’ll figure it out but the timing kind of sucks for me – I dislike climbing learning curves so close to NaNoWriMo – as our region’s ML, I have a lot on my plate starting in October. I’ll get over it, accept the upgrade, and discover what’s going on with all the versions currently floating in the virtual universe.
        Jeannie Leighton

        • Reply

          Jeannie: The good news is that the interface changes are minimal, so once you get your file stuff figured out it shouldn’t be too disruptive to your process. Good luck with NaNo!

  5. Reply

    Oh I’m glad I remembered your helpful blog Gwen. I am worried that my old Scrivener projects will be lost if I update the newest project to Scrivener 1.9

    To clarify, does your comment above mean that each old project will be converted to version 1.9 when I open it, but a back up copy of the project in the previous Scrivener version will be saved also? Help!

    • Reply

      Thanks, Catherine! Yes, Scrivener will automatically create a copy of your project in the old format before converting it to the new format. So in the folder where you keep your project (let’s call it My Book), you’ll have My Book.scriv and My Book Backup.scriv.

      If you’re worried, you can always save a copy of each project to another location as a backup before you open any of them. Hope that helps!

  6. Joyce Robbins


    I like the new look, but I found the toolbar buttons different enough that I needed to add text to the icons to know what they are: View, Customize Toolbar… see Figure 1-5 in “Scrivener for Dummies” 😉 Also, I believe I lost my customized toolbar.

    • Reply

      Good reminder, Joyce. I keep the text turned on too. I agree that the new Mac buttons are a bit harder to decipher at a quick glance. Smaller and slightly different. They’re trying to match the El Capitan look. Thanks!

  7. Reply

    I can’t see any changes, which seems odd – the cork background is still there, for a start. So I’m wondering if I’ve somehow had a hitch while updating as my Project Target word count isn’t functioning. The session target is fine but it’s not being added to the Draft Project Target. Any ideas, anyone?

    • Reply

      Wendy: Are you on Mac or Windows? The Windows version still shows cork. If your words aren’t being added to the Draft target, the document you’re writing in is either outside of the Draft folder, or it’s not marked to be included in Compile. You can fix the first problem by moving it into the Draft folder. For the second problem, the quick, easy way to fix that doc is to check Include in Compile in the Inspector.

      If none of your Draft documents are being counted, then you might have them all unchecked in Compile. For that it’d be easier to go to File–>Compile, choose the Contents tab, click the checkbox under the Include column to select all of your Draft documents, then choose Save & Close (Windows) or hold down the Option key and the Compile button will change to Save (Mac). Hope that helps!

      • Reply

        Hi Gwen. I’m on Windows. Good to know I get to keep my cork, btw! 😉
        Thanks for the suggestions but my writing is definitely all in the Drafts folder and I already made sure the ‘include in compile’ box was checked. It was the first thing I did.
        Incidentally, I don’t recognise the File->Compile, choose Contents tab… etc. If I go File-> Compile it goes straight to export to file with only ‘format as’ and ‘compile for’ drop-down options.
        Everything on the Project Target word count has worked perfectly fine until now, so I’m a bit baffled!

  8. Reply

    My mac update had no issues. I think most of the changes that are visible are improvements, once you get used to them. Of course, having taken your fine classes, I am ‘way ahead on understanding (as I tell myself when I’m trying to remember how to … )

  9. Reev


    Hello! Does the latest Scrivener for Windows allow you to edit in Document View like in the Mac version? It’s important for me to see how it will look like when printed while working on it.

    • Reply

      Reev: Not yet. I’d look for that when 3.0 comes out some time next year. But, remember, even in the Mac version, it’s based on the Page Settings. If you use different settings when you compile, you’ll have a different final result.

      • Reev


        Aww. I was hoping the latest update would have that feature. Been wanting to migrate to Windows because I use it more nowadays. Yes, I know about the page settings. I’ve customized mine to the size of a pocketbook because I write novels, and it looks great when exported. Looks like I’m stuck with the Mac version for now. Thanks Gwen! Great help as always.

    • Reply

      Hi, Wendy. No corkboard card numbering yet. I’m not sure I understand your outline question. If you’re trying to print your outline, you can use the Enumerated Outline compile preset option to get a numbered outline. Is that what you’re looking for?

      • Reply

        Hi Gwen – I think it might be. I clicked on the draft folder >outliner mode >print, to get a print out of all the synopses, one after the other but as there’s no numbering, it’s easy to muddle up the order of the printed pages. If “Enumerated Outline compile preset option” can help, that would be great. How do I do that?

        • Reply

          Wendy: I misread. If you want page numbering, that’s on the Page Settings tab of Compile. Just stick <$p> in the section where you want the page numbers to show up.

          If, instead of Compile, you’re using Print Current Document while viewing the Corkboard, page numbers are not an option. If you try Print Current Document from the Outliner view on the Mac, it’ll give you page numbers. PC doesn’t do that yet. HTH!

          • Reply

            Thanks, Gwen. Yes, I did wonder. I’m sure I’d have stumbled across it by now if it had been there! Odd not to have numbering on the Windows version. I assume for some reason it must be tricky to write into the program!

  10. Reply

    I’m thinking of investing in Scrivener for my thesis. Some of my music examples to be embedded are multiple pages long, and I’m not sure how I’d handle that in Scrivener. PDF would be the ideal source material for these examples. Thoughts?

  11. Reply

    Hi Gwen. I upgraded to Scrivener 3 and it looks cool, but my project notes are missing. Are they gone or hiding somewhere?

    • Reply

      Janice: In Scrivener 3, project notes for existing projects were moved to the Binder. Look for a Project Notes folder somewhere below Research. If you don’t already have project notes, you would have to create a document for them separately. They’re meant to be used in conjunction with the new bookmarks feature. You can learn more from this lesson in my free Scrivener 3 transition course: HTH!

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