Conflicted copies


Is anyone else having problems with conflicted copies? I have a project that I’m working on from two computers, my home computer and my work computer. So what will happen is that I spend time at home (or vice versa) working on photos in the project and then exit the program. Then I open the program at work (or home) and it won’t open the same version that I last worked on, but the version from before the last time I opened the project.

This means, that all the things I changed in the project during the last session is lost (or rather, saved in a conflicted copy-file), and if I don’t notice this, I continue editing the project in some way, meaning that whichever version I then move forward with, some work will be lost.

This is fairly frustrating to say the least. Hours of work is lost and has to be repeated. I don’t know what’s causin the problem, if it’s me or if it’s the program or the project file itself.

Has anyone else had this problem?


How are you keeping the projects in sync? Tropy itself does not yet support synchronization at all, which is why it cannot protect you from such conflicts yet. Until Tropy adds sync/collaboration features proper, the only thing you can do is to make sure the file is fully synced before you start working – but this depends on the file-syncing method you’re using.

(In the short-term, copying data between project windows will also help to ‘consolidate’ such conflicted copies. This is planned for one of the upcoming 1.6.x releases.)

As usual, thank you for the fast and pedagogic response.

Well if there’s no synchronization feature that explains a lot :slight_smile:. I have a folder with all the source material and the project file in the same folder, because this is what you guys recommended if you do a collaborative project. The folder, and thus the project file, is synched by Dropbox, in order to facilitate me working on the project from different computers.

I get what you’re sayin and I will have to be more vigilant and keep an eye on if the program generates conflicted copies, so that I don’t lose information.

But just to make sure: right now there is no way to transfer information between projects right, besides doing it manually, right? When this problem has occurred, I have solved it by opening the two copies and then manually copy the information from one project to the other. This is faster than doing it from scratch, but still takes a lot of time.


Yes, but I try to always include the caveat that collaboration/syncing is not yet supported by Tropy itself. We’ll start working on this soon but meanwhile the portable projects are meant mostly to make it easier to move projects (although that should not be necessary nowadays, because of automatic path consolidation).

Yes, that’s right. As I mentioned copying between projects will be much improved by one of the releases later this fall: when support for copy/pasting item lands in Tropy you should be able to copy whole items from the one copy of the project file to the other (this will copy the photos, metadata and tags, though probably not the association to lists although we’re still figuring this out).

Hi again

No I remember that you guys have been very clear that this is something one does at one’s own peril. So to speak. It’s worked a treat for me I’d say, besides the conflicting copies. I’ve not encountered any other issues so far.

That sounds great re the possibility to copy paste between projects. Looking forward to it a lot. Parts of my current project is relevant for another project that I have with a colleague but I don’t want to mess up my notes by adding to them from this project, so a copy paste function would be fantastic.

Re the list: So one would have to create a new list in the other project and then paste into that list, right? That doesn’t sound like too big of a deal to me, although I understand why you would want to be able to copy the list as well.

If you use Dropbox and have everything in Dropbox folders including your database, what you must do is to force a sync with the Dropbox Client after you Close Tropy, you then need to wait closing down the PC untill you see that Dropbox is in sync on that computer…
Then on the other computer, you need to force a sync (or wait til Dropbox has done autosync) and wait to the sync is finished before you open Tropy on computer 2…

You also need to turn Dropbox sync off while you are working, else you will end up with multiple copies of the databases and multiple “sync errors” in Dropbox…

Gotcha, thank you for the tips!

Btw, when are you planning to release the copy paste function?

Hey. I’ve read through this thread to figure out why I’m getting conflicted copies. I’m checking to see if the syncing problem was solved and if I’m losing work done by my RAs. The master file is saved in Dropbox and we each have an account. I thought everything was working but I now see that all four of us have (inadvertantly) generated multiple conflicted copies. :frowning_face: Can you please help?!

Work on this is still under way. But several improvements have already made it into the 1.7 release. In this version Tropy will not alter the project file anymore unless you actually make changes: this makes it much easier to avoid conflicts, for example if your RAs mainly edit the project and you review it the situation should already be much improved.

The other important new feature in 1.7 is that you can copy/paste items between projects: this way you should be able to ‘merge’ conflicted copies if you’ve ended up with considerable data in two different branches.

I’m happy to help if you have any specific problems. In general I would suggest to back up the copies somewhere for future reference and then go through them and discard/merge them as necessary until your back to single file.

Thank you so much for your help. I’ll try to sort it out – but will let you know if I hit a wall.

Hi there!

I am one of cnielson’s RAs. I was looking through and trying to figure out how to copy and paste from conflicted copies, as you mentioned was possible, but I don’t think I quite grasp it.

Is there any possibility of me getting a bit more information on how I could do that? I’m a bit nervous to be working on live files as I don’t want to inadvertently do damage to the main file.

Any help is greatly appreciated!



See here. Basically, if you select any number of items in Tropy and hit Cmd/Ctrl + C (or Edit -> Copy from the menu) you will copy those items (as JSON-LD) to your clipboard (obviously this only works if you’re not currently editing a text field somewhere, in that case you would copy only the selected text). You can then open a different Tropy project and paste the item there with Cmd/Ctrl + V or Edit -> Paste.

Normally you would open different projects in a new window and then you can just copy and paste between the windows. In your specific case, this should work too, although it’s generally not advised to open the same project (i.e., two copies of the same project) at the same time.

If you accidentally paste wrong items (or you inadvertently delete or edit something wrong) you can always go back via undo. But to be extra careful, just make an extra backup copy of the main file before you start: if anything goes wrong you can just discard your changes and go back to the backup.

Thanks for the quick response!

So does that mean that if the same image has been changed by two different people, and potentially exists on two different conflicted copies, we will have to choose which person’s work will stay? So like, an ‘either-or’ situation regarding which work to keep for that image?

Thanks again,


Yes, if you copy one version of an item into a project which already has the ‘same’ item, you’ll see it twice.

You can then also merge the two items: this will merge the metadata (the first selected item should win out for fields that exist in both items), but it will keep the duplicated photos in that item in-tact – you can just remove one of the photos after the merge.

Okay, I think that makes sense.

Do you think there is any possibility to have a screenshare at some point tomorrow? If that doesn’t work with your schedule, perhaps Wednesday?

I really appreciate your help, I think that if I was to see it in action I would better understand. We have about 12 conflicted copies (with around 7000 images) so to do it manually, as explained, feels daunting. I was hoping that we could find a more streamlined way.

But I can absolutely work around your schedule.



I think the merging of items is probably the lesser problem: the difficult part will be to determine what the changes are. I think I could probably help you figure this out by looking at the project databases directly; if you put all 12 copies into a zip file (just the project files, not the images) and send it to me I can take a look (e.g., if you send me a Firefox Send link as a direct message).

Hi again,

It appears that I am unable to send direct messages - perhaps it’s because my account is too new. I have the Firefox Send link though. Is it possible for you to send me a message when you have a moment and I can forward you the link?

Thank-you, and sorry for this!