A question about styles

I’m a Scrivener 3 Mac user who has been unable to figure out if there is a way to avoid this problem:

When using a custom paragraph style set as default, entering a return paragraph break always triggers “No Style” in the drop-down style selection window.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.



You control what the next style should be when defining or redefining style attributes…

Does this help?

@Tango Mike, set up your default paragraph style in Preferences > Editing > Format, or if you prefer in Project > Project Settings… It will be marked “No Style” but on compiling it becomes “Normal” (in Nisus Writer Pro terminology). Then make custom styles for any paragraphs that diverge from the default.

You can do it your way if you want, but you will be making your life more complicated when it comes to compiling, particularly if you plan to compile to different formats, PDF, ePub, DOCX, etc.



Thanks to Lo and xiamenese for your suggestions.

I had seen the “next style” selection when defining or redefining a style, but MS Word’s behavior that automatically retains the current style selection confused the issue. I use the next style feature there all the time to switch back and forth between a heading and the main body text, for example, and I assumed it worked the same way in Scrivener. My bad.

I also appreciate the suggestion about handling the issue in a different way and the reasons for it. For now, I’ll stick with my solution because I don’t compile to multiple file formats. I use Scrivener for the primary purpose as a project organizer with styles that mirror those I’ve built in Word for book manuscripts. Once transferred into Word, I import the file into Vellum Press and handle all the final formatting for generating print-ready pdf and eBook mobi and epub files for publication.

Thanks again to both of you for sharing your knowledge and expertise.


My lucky day.

I finally gave up trying to solve the problem on my own and came over to the forum to ask the same question. And got my answer.

I’ve been using Scrivener since V2 (or maybe V1?) and I love it. Wouldn’t consider drafting any long-form work without it.

But even loving it as I do, I have to say that understanding formatting takes a lot more effort than it should. Honestly, it would never occur to me that “next style” means “use this style when opening up a new line.”

I’m sure this was a conscious decision (to have current style not propagate to newly-open lines) but it might be worth a rethink. I can’t see any advantage to it – it’s counterintuitive. I think most people would expect, as I did, that if you set the formatting for a particular chunk of text, all of that chunk should be formatted that way unless you take an explicit step to call for different formatting.

Please read this as a mild criticism.

The reason behind the thinking is:

  1. It would generally be bad for all text to end up using a style. “No Style” should be used for body text, with styles only used for special blocks.

  2. It’s 50/50 whether the user will want “Next Style” ticked as the default. For code block styles you definitely want it, for block style quotes you most likely want it, and for header styles, titles, subtitles and so on you definitely don’t want it. So if the default were switched, there would be a different bunch of users confused as to why their new heading styles are propagating to the next paragraph. :slight_smile:

All the best,

Thanks for the response, KB. It’s nice when The Man responds.

I completely agree about titles, etc. and also I see the point of not necessarily having a “style” everywhere.

But the situation that was making me nuts was this:

  1. a Scrivener project that I’d been working on for a year or so – many sections, etc.
  2. I wanted to use a particular font for the body text. In my case, Caslon
  3. At one point in the past I’d been using Palatino.
  4. So . . I’m looking at what I typed in Caslon according to a style that declared that font, decide I need to add a paragraph . . . and it appears in Palatino.
  5. At one point, as I remember, I was frustrated enough to select everything and apply the style that had Caslon as its font. I thought that would solve the problem.
  6. Nope, see #4.

So it was clear to me that somewhere there had to be some setting that declared “the font shall be Caslon everywhere,” but I couldn’t find it. It may be that’s my fault – the inability to declare a universal font in a project.

Anyway, I’ll be fine now because of what I learned here.

You might be pleased to know, KB, that a journalist who’s been working on a book about a 1969 murder and its consequences (I was involved, which is why I’ve gotten to know her) used Scrivener from the get-go – not just to write, but literally for many months as the framework for storing interviews and other data. We bonded over many things, and Scrivener was one of them.

It may be against protocol to mention the author and the book, but if it’s not I’d like to do it. Scrivener from Day One, and long before there was a Chapter One.