Just to be clear, PERRLA for Word does not sync your papers across computers automatically. PERRLA does sync your Reference Library across your PERRLA account so it is accessible on other computers and in PERRLA Online.
However, it is possible to use PERRLA along with a cloud storage service (iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) to have your papers synced across multiple Mac computers.
A few clarifying questions
What is cloud storage?
Traditionally, when using a computer, you save and use files that are located on that computer's hard-drive (called local storage). You download a song or picture or file and then open and use it on that computer.
With cloud storage, instead of saving a file to your computer's hard drive, it is saved to a folder that is synced between computers via the internet. Then, you can access that file from any other internet connected device.
What does this mean for papers?
If you make changes to a paper that is saved to the cloud instead of your local device, those changes are available instantly from any other connected device. In essence, you can start a paper on one computer and finish it on another.
How can I do it?
Setting up a cloud storage system to work with PERRLA has three parts that need to be repeated on each Mac:
- Using iCloud
- Update PERRLA for Word's new Paper save location
- Optionally: Moving & connecting existing PERRLA papers
Part 1: Using iCloud
Apple has a built-in storage solution called iCloud and it's the quickest and easiest method to share a paper across Macs. We'll walk through using iCloud to share PERRLA papers between Macs.
If you don't want to use iCloud, there are other popular options you can use. To use one of them, you'll need to install, setup, and log into their services on each Mac. You can follow these same instructions but use the shared folder created using your chosen cloud storage service.
We need to create a new folder in iCloud to hold all of your PERRLA Papers first. Here's how:
- Open Finder
- Go to iCloud in the window's sidebar
- Create a new folder for your PERRLA papers
You can place and title the folder anything you'd like. However, we recommend calling it My PERRLA Papers.
Part 2: Update PERRLA for Word's new Paper save location
Now that you have a folder for your Papers in iCloud, we need to tell PERRLA for Word to start using this folder instead of the default My PERRLA Papers folder.
- Open the PERRLA for Word application
- Go to the Settings tab
- Click Change on the Save New Papers to line at the bottom
- Navigate to the new My PERRLA Papers folder in iCloud
This is the folder you just created in Part 1.
- Click Select
The file path in the Save New Papers to the line of Settings should now reflect the file you just selected.
You will need to repeat these Part 1 & 2 on the other Mac you plan to use. Also, check that you are logged into the same Apple ID on each Mac. You can check or log into your Apple ID using System Preferences on your Mac.
Optional Part 3: Moving & connecting existing PERRLA Papers
Unlike the Windows version of PERRLA, PERRLA for Word on Mac keeps a record of each paper's location individually. This database of paper locations is automatically shared in each Mac instance of PERRLA for Word where you are logged in – just like References.
If you made papers on the original computer prior to this, logging into PERRLA for Word on the second computer will show you a list of all the papers you've made. However, they will have a red Missing Papers buttons beside them.
The problem is that PERRLA is looking for those papers in an invalid location (their location on the other computer) and can't find them.
To fix this, you'll need to move any paper you want to share between computers to the new iCloud folder and then reconnect each paper with its new location. You'll have to do this on both computers.
This can be a bit tedious, so we recommend only doing this papers that you want to work on from multiple computers.
Now you should be set up and ready to work on papers from multiple computers. Any changes you make to the paper on one computer should show up on the other.
Just as a note, this kind of syncing does not allow the paper to be edited simultaneously on multiple computers.