On occasion when I start the word-processing software Scrivener it’ll give me an error, telling me that my project files are incompatible with the current version. This is never after an update, but instead usually after a system crash on my end. There isn’t any way to get the program to load the project, and I’m forced to start a new one.
How Scrivener Works
Scrivener works by allowing you to break up longer works into shorter chunks, perhaps scene-by-scene, which you can then shift and move around at will to reorganize your thoughts. The program saves each of these chunks as a separate .rtf file, so in the past when the project file dies on me I’ve been reduced to copying the .rtfs back into a new project by hand — an inefficient and time-consuming process.
Solution to the Scrivener Error
I recently discovered that each Scrivener project folder contains, in its Files subdirectory, a version.txt file. There’s some unexplained bug that will occasionally overwrite this, so if you have the “Incompatible Version” error all you need to do to fix things is to open up version.txt, delete anything there, and replace it with the version number (in my case, 16). Don’t hit a carriage return after the number, just save the file.
In my experience that fixes everything.