About Submission formats, compile formats, etc. and overriding formatting

Be nice to potential agents seems like sound advice - use their preferred font, spacing, italic/underline so the MS does actually stand a chance of being read.

However, in the novel I shall shortly be compiling I have a few (not many) short sections of text within scenes (not entire documents on their own) that should be visually different, e.g. an “old fashioned” typewritten document should be distinguished from the surrounding text, and I current use Courier for that.

However, if I use a Compile Format with a default font such as Times (and the layout has “Override text and notes formatting” enabled, I guess all text formatting will be overridden and the distinction between “scene text” and “embedded typewritten text” will be erased.

Is it better to accept uniformity despite incongruity , or is it worth extra effort to (somehow) retain the formatting for specific elements? (If so, how?)

No rush… still have to get the MS out to beta readers first.

My recommendation would be to retain formatting for specific, special text as long as it’s limited and easily legible. This can be done in Scrivener by applying a paragraph style to those specific elements in the Main Editor. You can have the Compiler ignore any paragraph styles so that text is not converted.

Thanks for the input; it’s what I would have thought but experience is lacking at this end.

Can you clarify that? It sounds like just what I need :slight_smile: Where/how can one tell the compile that certain styles should remain “as-is” if the “override…” is enabled for general replacement. I’ve been looking at compile quiet intently recently and I hadn’t spotted that.

Styles are “protected” from the Compile command by default. (Which sometimes causes confusion when people haven’t used a style consistently or used a “body” style – which we don’t recommend – and then want Compile to change the font.)

I’m back to being confused again.

Everything is styled in my MS, and the vast bulk is “Simple Indent”

What do you mean “used a body style”? Do you mean, exactly what I have done, rather than using the “default format” (that gets set somewhere I’ve forgotten)?

Coming from Word, the failure to use styles is a heinous sin; are you saying it’s the other way round with Scrivener?

If so, what do I do now?

The first thing you should do is read the section in the manual about how Scrivener Styles work.

Then the section in the manual about Styles and the Compile command.

With that information, you can make an informed decision about what to do next. Generally speaking, in Scrivener the default format plays the same role that the Normal style does in Word. So having a “Normal” or “body” style in Scrivener is unnecessary, but it isn’t a “heinous sin.”

Anyway, since the Style exists already, it’s just as easy to deal with it as to get rid of it. The big thing to remember is that the Compile command won’t touch it, no matter what you set in the Section Layouts pane. Which is fine if you just want to pass that formatting through to the output document. If you want to change it, you’ll need to use the Styles pane of the Compile Format editor. Again, see the manual for full details and screenshots.

Where things get really complicated is if you want to selectively change the style, for instance if you had some epigraphs that were formatted with the body Style, and you wanted to change them while leaving the rest of the body text alone. You’d need to somehow make sure that the things you wanted to change had a different Style from the things you wanted to leave alone. But as a Word refugee you probably already know that.

It’s a 700pp manual… I tried, honestly.

Having been a dedicated MS Word user since the late eighties, perhaps I may be forgiven for taking that paradigm to be the default in recent decades.

If I understand correctly now, Scrivener doesn’t have a “Normal” or default “body text” style, rather it has “No Style”, a name which to me implies the absence of a thing (style) rather than actually being a “thing” with a very specific and important role. Seems like a bit of a misnomer to me. (c.f. “Nobody put my eye out.”; Odyssey)

But… yeah. Like, Wow. I wish I had known that earlier.

That said, I think you are saying that I can fix my format font styling issue by redefining the styles appropriately in the Compile, Format Edit, Styles area. That works for me.

Yes, that’s correct.

Scrivener’s default formatting is not a Style in the Word sense: it does not apply a label to text, nor does the formatting automatically change if you change the default formatting. So text with the default formatting has “No Style” applied.

When trying to figure out how Scrivener works, it can be helpful to remember that the creator didn’t like Word. The underlying idea was not “we should emulate Word, because that’s what people expect,” it was “how do I like to work?”

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THIS changes all perspectives. Thank you! (Both for your explanation and to @KB for taking on the task and creating an outstanding alternative that is also how I like to work!

Let us all not forget the learning curve we went through with Word when we dive into Scrivener’s learning curve to harness it’s full power. It’s certainly worth the effort!