Over about 15 years years of teaching others to how use various software and computer systems, I’ve noticed there is much confusion around files. Confusion about where they’re located, how to find them, how to rename or move them.
Not having those skills is usually what people really mean when they tell me they’re “not very good at computers.” I get it! There’s a lot to know. Which is why I always recommend learning the basics of your computer’s file system—both Apple and Microsoft have free tutorials in their Support sections—but no matter your level of comfort with computers, Scrivener 3 has some features that make it easier than ever to find your files.
Understanding Scrivener Project File Basics
Let’s take a quick detour for a couple of key points to understand about Scrivener project files before we get into the features.
Files are Separate from Their Programs
A project file is not stored inside Scrivener. It is created by, viewed in, and edited with Scrivener, but is not part of Scrivener. You could delete Scrivener from your computer and still have all of your Scrivener projects. (You just wouldn’t be able to open them on that computer.)
This behavior is actually true for almost any type of computer file (e.g., Word documents, pictures), not just Scrivener projects. It allows you to send a file to someone else, open it on a different computer, and move it around.
Where Projects are Located is Your Choice
When you create a Scrivener project, it’s saved to the location of your choice on the same screen where you give the file a name. Many people skip the location part of this step, and click Create without paying attention to the default location. Then, they have no idea where the project file is stored.
Sometimes, they do pay attention, but they can’t figure out how to change the location to the place they want. If that’s you, I recommend visiting the appropriate tutorial above. ;-)
Now, on to the fun stuff!
Locating Scrivener Project Files
Finding the Current Project
When you close Scrivener, any projects you had open will automatically open next time you use Scrivener. That’s super handy, but also means you may have no idea where the project is located when it comes time to rename, move, delete, etc.
If you have a project open and you’d like to know where it’s stored on your computer (or any drive accessible by your computer, e.g., Dropbox, flash drive, external hard drive), go to File>Show Project in Finder. A Finder window opens with the current project selected.
From here, you can rename the file, or just take note of where it is. If you want to move it, I recommend closing Scrivener first.
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