The Compiler does have a plethora of features, for which I’m thankful for. However, in addition to presenting in multiple formats (pdf, html, e-reader), I also tend to share snippets of my work on web forums that use one form of BBCode or another. This is done for the purpose of getting quick feedback from my prereaders. Additionally, using an open web forum rather than a mailing list makes it far easier for me to attract prereaders - the materials are there, simply waiting to be read, and quickly commented upon.
Unfortunately, forums that use BBCode do not like html unless the board administrator grants a blanket approval. And many Administrators out there keep html disabled on the off-hand chance that a spam bot somehow gets in and starts posting malicious code in the forums.
It is possible for me to upload these snippets as file attachments… However, while some are willing to download files, it’s a bit much to ask for when I’m frequently putting up posts under 2000 words. In these cases, simply placing the body within the message is sufficient.
“2000 words isn’t a lot,” some might say, thinking that such small bits would not require many line breaks. However, they fail to consider rapid exchanges of dialogue between two people within a piece of writing. These tend to be short lines of only a few words each, and can therefore have a good number of line breaks. Particularly if it’s only dialogue, and I’m adding more details later, such as facial expressions, body language, and tones of voice.
Plain Text would work, but there’s a minor issue there. I prefer to use indentations in my finished writing. And while epub, pdf, and html can preserve these features, plain text does not. Compiling a document with single line breaks between indented paragraphs into Plain Text removes the indentations, and the document turns into a wall of text that is difficult to read through. I have to go through and manually insert a second line break between each paragraph. Naturally, I tend to miss a few because the line breaks aren’t always easy to spot, even when you resize the window several times. There’s always that one or two that manage to sneak by your eyes.
I have found that it’s possible to use the Replacement tool in the Compiler to automate the process, but this took some trial and error to figure out. Eventually, what I wound up doing was to copy a line break from Scrivener’s Document pane, go to the Compiler’s Replacement tool, paste the line break into the “Replace” field, and then paste it twice in the “With” field.
And it works. Sorta.
“Sorta” in the sense that if I have a hunk of blockquote with lyrics or poetry in there, this also winds up having double line breaks.
It’s an annoyance - one that I can live with since it’s easier to remove double line breaks than it is to insert them. (The whole issue with finding the sneaky little buggers…) All the same, though, it would be nicer to have an option for plain text compiling that converts indentations to double line breaks.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’ll understand if this is too much to ask for.