3 Wishes!: Override Font in Compose; Enable Space Before on First Paragraph; and Customise NC!

Hi Keith,

I’ve got 3 wishes for Scrivener, and I’m not hopeful you’ll grant them (because I may be only one of very few that want them) but I wanted to slide them by you:


When I’m proofreading, I like to change the font, as it makes errors stand out when you read in a strange font like American Typewriter (I’d never want to edit in that font though). At the moment, I have to go into all 34 chapters, change the font, proofread, then change it all back again. In my current MS, I have some strange fonts that have ‘preserve formatting’ on them, and so I then have to go through it all, find these and change them all individually. What a dream it would be to be able to override the font in the compose window and proofread from there without physically changing anything in the MS.


I logged this as a bug before. I know it has something to do with Mac’s engine, so you may not be able to do anything about this. But it’s so much easier in compile when you can just pick a style that has (for example 220pts) space before it, to drop that chapter heading to halfway down the page, instead of filling the final Word compiled document with lots of messy carriage returns. It still seems odd to me that ‘space before’ works on every paragraph except the first one in a document.


Now you’ve decided not to add support for Growl (I spent three days in a cupboard crying when you said that), it would be great to be able to customise the NC sound. When I reach my daily word count, my computer farts at me. It’s not very inspirational when I hit 2,000 words in a day. Growl used to throw a beautiful banner up on the screen and sing, ‘So What Have You Done Today To Make You Feel Proud!?’ It’s completely SILLY I know, but I do miss it. The farting … it’s not so great!

Thanks Keith!!!

p.s. Still LOVING every moment of Scrivener. It’s made my writing life so much easier! :smiley:

  1. Why not simply compile to something in an akward font?

  2. In Compile you can specify how much empty space you want on the page where a paragraph starts. Don’t remember what it’s called rigth now. In the Format pane, just above the formatting ruler and to the right.

Two suggestions to help you with this workflow:

The first is to use the difference between the default formatting setting in Preferences and the per-project setting in Text Preferences. E.g. set up your normal format for writing in the project’s text preferences and the ‘proof reading’ style in General Preference.

When the time comes to proofread, just unset the ‘use different format in this project’ checkbox and convert your documents. You don’t have to go into all 34 chapters, of course: just select them all in the binder and choose Documents > Convert > Convert to default text format (might not be the exact wording…). In the dialogue choose ‘Convert Font Only’ and you should be good to go.

To reverse it, just reset the ‘use different format in this project’ checkbox to yes and convert all the documents back.

Secondly, have you looked at the Find by Formatting option (cmd-alt-control f)? This allows you to search by a variety of formats, including ‘Preserved Formatting’ (cmd-alt-control g to go to the next one) which may speed up the ‘strange fonts’ issue.

Version 3 allows you to assign a style and change them all text with that style at once, so this won’t be such a problem in the future.


Hi Lunk,

Thanks for the suggestion! I really appreciate your help. But I don’t want to compile it. I want to proofread in the Compose window and edit as I go.

The option you’re thinking of to add space during the compile simply adds carriage returns to the document. I find this messy in Word. I don’t use carriage returns to add space before a paragraph. I use the paragraph spacing as it’s fixed and definite. Carriage returns can be easily accidentally deleted.

But Brookter,

This is VERY interesting. I’ve never tried that. I’m going to give it a go and see how I get on. It will save me HUGE amounts of time if it works. THANKS!!



Trying your suggestion made me realise I can just do a select all in Scrivenings mode to set the font, without having to go into each document. Obviously, it does change all my preserve formatting pieces as well, but your suggestion to use the ‘find by formatting’ enabled me to find them easily and change those sections individually.

Keith… although this is a good workaround, I’d still love the option to change the font in compose mode!


Hope it works for you.

Just be careful though – the process is not ‘undoable’ (i.e. you can’t press cmd-z to undo your changes), so make sure you’re happy with the options in the Convert dialogue box, and be sure to try it out a few times on test data so you get comfortable with it before converting your whole document at once. I’d take a copy of documents where you know you’re got non-standard formatting and practice the ‘round-trip’ a couple of time with them first.

(EDIT because I’ve just seen your latest… I’m referring here to the Convert procedure, obviously, not using Scrivenings…)

Thanks! Really appreciate the help!