Any way to Automatically Fix Newbie Formatting mistakes (Tabs and spaces)

Hi, Everyone.

 Well, I'm writing my first novel and would like to start writing in the format it will be finished in.  I have gone through 5 drafts (500 plus pages) and have been making my paragraph indents with the tab key, as well as putting a line space in between every single paragraph.  Now, I know this is incorrect.  Is there an easy way to fix this?  I also don't want to wait until compile.  I want to start my next draft in the final format.  Will I just have to bite the bullet and start fixing my entire manuscript by hand?  Thanks.

Format -> Convert -> Strip Leading Tabs.

Format -> Text -> Increase/Decrease Indents

Format -> Text -> Line and Paragraph Spacing

Set up a section of text the way you want, select it, then

Project -> Text Preferences -> Use Current

Then, for the rest of the project,

Documents -> Convert -> Convert Formatting to Default Text Style. (Be careful with this one if you have any sections with significant use of italics or other non-default formatting.)


Wow! Thanks, Katherine. That’s amazing!

What’s wrong with a line space between paragraphs? That’s how I write!

Apparently, you’re note supposed to use indents AND spaces between paragraphs. You can use one method or the other, but not both. If you look at most fiction novels, there are indents for new paragraphs, but no spaces between paragraphs - for the most part. I think non-fiction may use spaces (without indents) more frequently.

With respect to your caution to “Be careful with this one if you have any sections with significant use of italics or other non-default formatting” - If you do this (convert the whole document) is there a way to undo it or is the change permanent?


Not Undo-able. As with all project-wide changes, I would recommend taking an extra backup first.


Ok, thanks :slight_smile:

It’s apparently extra work for typesetters.

Also, it looks wrong in ebook format, as there’s all this extra vertical space between each paragraph, which is how many books signal a scene break. It confuses me when reading an ebook where the author put extra blank lines between paragraphs, and the e-reader software also adds vertical spacing between paragraphs.

Each paragraph swims in an ocean of whitespace like this.

I can’t tell if I’m just moving to the next paragraph, or if I’m supposed to intuit that “time passes”.

These days, those responsible for getting your manuscript ready for print and ebook conversion (assuming that’s not you) will just strip out all those extra blank lines, which may not be a big deal to you, but if you have any place in your book where you actually need extra line breaks, those will go away too and screw up your intended presentation.

If you want to see vertical space between paragraphs, you can just change your editor settings so that a single paragraph break looks like two.

Sigh. Tell me about it - I recently read a novel that had chapters, and within chapters there were paragraphs without a line space between, then there would be a line space, meaning what exactly? I couldn’t tell. What’s more, there was an occasional asterisk between paragraphs!