Synchronizing e-Sword Across Multiple Computers Using Dropbox – Revisited

Some time ago, I wrote about synchronizing e-Sword resources across multiple computers using Dropbox based on a change implemented with version 9 of e-Sword.  Based on a comment that was made on that post today, I’ve updated the information and wanted to refresh the post.

e-Sword now lets you open most resources in a file location other than the e-Sword program file, typically C:\Program Files (x86)\e-Sword.  This allows you to synchronize those e-Sword resources across multiple computers using Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive, or another similar service.  This is really slick.

I had been using this feature to synchronize downloaded resources, like commentaries, Bibles, and topic files.  But it works just as well for your personal study information, like verse markups, study notes, journal notes, and topic notes.  Setup is just a bit different for those resources.

To set e-Sword up to look for Bibles, commentaries, and the like from a Dropbox file directory, first create the directory in your Dropbox folder.  Move the Bible (*.bblx), commentary (*.cmtx), dictionary (*.dctx), devotion (*.devx), and topic (*.topx) files to that directory and let Dropbox synchronize them.

Open e-Sword, click Options – Resource, click the little file folder icon in the lower right corner and select the e-Sword folder you created above.  Restart e-Sword and you ought to be set.

I had written about this much in my original post.  What I didn’t adequately cover in that article is how to reset e-Sword to write your personal study information to that folder.  I strongly suggest backing up your files before you do this, but a strong backup strategy ought to be part of your computing experience already!

To do this, you’ll first need to create new journal notes, markup, study notes, and topic notes files in your Dropbox folder.  Do this from the computer where you have your personal information saved.  This will create blank files in those locations. You can then exit e-Sword and copy files from your My Documents/e-Sword folder to your Dropbox folder, overwriting the blank files you just created. When you next open e-Sword, your notes ought to be there.

On your other computers, you need to tell e-Sword to open the new file. For markup, this is under Bible – Markup File – Open. For journal, study, and topic notes, you need to press CTRL and right click in the respective window and select Open.

I don’t know whether this can synchronize with the new e-Sword iPad app.  It would be useful if that app used the same files as the PC version, but I just don’t know if that’s the case.  If someone wants to buy me an iPad, I’d be more than willing to figure it out and write about it!  :-)

I hope this helps you.  It is certainly a useful feature for me.

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Comments

[…] 09-Jan-2013 Update: In response to a comment, I’ve explained how to configure e-Sword to look for personal study information in your Dropbox folder.  See the comment below or a new post I just wrote describing how to do this, here: http://www.countrykeepers.com/wp/?p=3322 […]

What am I doing wrong? My .topx file on my main computer’s My Documents won’t synch with DropBox unless I manually copy it to that eSword subfolder in DropBox. Then I must open up that file from my secondary computer. But if I make any .topx changes on my secondary computer, I must manually copy the file to from the secondary computer’s My Documents to the DropBox subfolder.

Is there a way to either have the OS automatically save down all .topx files to the DropBox or make a copy of the My Documents .topx file and have it map to the DropBox subfolder?

Thanks!

If I’m following what you’re saying, Paul, it sounds like eSword is set to read files in your My Documents folder structure but that Dropbox is set with its folder elsewhere. You need to change your eSword configuration to look for the resource files in the file that is part of your Dropbox folder.

Here’s the relevant paragraphs from the post. If I’ve not caught your situation correctly, please let me know.

To set e-Sword up to look for Bibles, commentaries, and the like from a Dropbox file directory, first create the directory in your Dropbox folder. Move the Bible (*.bblx), commentary (*.cmtx), dictionary (*.dctx), devotion (*.devx), and topic (*.topx) files to that directory and let Dropbox synchronize them.

Open e-Sword, click Options – Resource, click the little file folder icon in the lower right corner and select the e-Sword folder you created above. Restart e-Sword and you ought to be set.

Posting this again here Gary. Can’t get the .lstx files to work on the cloud drive. Program keeps going back to the default folder for it. Don’t know how to tell esword to look for them on the cloud drive. Thanks. Rodger

That’s curious, Rodger. The only .lstx files I have are in my Dropbox folder. Bookmarks.lstx is the only one I have, mind you, and it hasn’t been updated in a long, long time, so I’m not using the feature and haven’t run into the problem with it yet. I’ll post here if I find a solution.

Thank you!

For what it’s worth, Rodger, I can repeat the issue, but have not found a solution yet. Have you asked Rick (e-Sword creator)? That would be my next step. I’ll do so if you haven’t.

I haven’t asked Rick about it. If you find the time, please do. Thanks!

I sent a question to Rick using the feedback form on his website and will post whatever he suggests, if he does so.

Rodger, I received this reply from Rick today. There appears to be an option that should work, though I’m not crazy about its implications.

Gary,

LSTX files are hard-coded to the Windows’ %user% directory at this time. Of course it is possible to change the Windows’ %user% directory to being under Dropbox, then all of your documents (which presumably are important) would be backed up. It is just a Windows Registry setting. Change the “Personal” item under this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

In His service,

Rick Meyers

Does this tip work on iPad?

I don’t know, but I suspect not, as the file structure for the iPad app is different than for the PC program.

Thank you Gary! I’ll have to wait for a future update for that feature. Take care!

Hi Gary,

How do I map the Bookmarks LSTX files? I am using Dropbox and my primary computer has all the other data files synched to the Dropbox folder–they are working fine on my secondary computer (they are not duplicated under the default install location on my hard drive so I know that the LSTX files are being pulled from that location.) However, my secondary computer is not reading the LSTX files in Dropbox. How do I map them to the Dropbox folder?

Thanks!

Rodger, I asked Rick Meyers about that. His response is in this comment, which is part of this post:

http://www.countrykeepers.com/wp/?p=3322#comment-245384

That’s not a great solution, methinks. It is, however, the only one I’ve come up with.

Does Esword then need to be reinstalled after the registry is changed? I’ve changed the registry, which changed where the Documents folder points to, but Esword is still looking in my local Users folder for the study notes.

Not sure, Aaron. I’d have thought not, but maybe it won’t reset itself once installed. I’ve not tried the change myself.

Not sure if anyone has seen the new update, but version 10.4 now allows you to specify not only your Resource folder, but also your User Files folder – now any computer equipped with a dropbox folder can have their notes, markups, etc., linked.

I did see that update, Tito, and thought it was a great add. I’d like to think that our asking about it played a small part in Rick deciding to add that.

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