Auto-format lists

When I am brainstorming I tend to make a lot of unordered lists. In most word processing and non-plain-text text editors I have used, lines that start with a hyphen and a space are auto-formatted into a bulleted list after I hit the enter key. (Similarly, lines that start with a number and a parenthesis or a period are usually auto-formatted into numbered lists.)

Scrivener doesn’t do this, at least for me. Is there any way to turn that on? It’s a bit of a nuisance to have to make a line and then manually format it every time.

I am using Scrivener 3.3.6 on MacOS 14.2.1.

On your Mac, check out the TextEdit program provided by Apple with your macOS.

Scrivener uses the same text engine that TextEdit does, and TextEdit also does not automatically format bulleted lists or numbered lists.

If you tend to work with lists a lot, you might find that creating customized stylesheets for each level of your list and then importing those styles into other projects will allow you to format the different levels of your lists more quickly and consistently across your proejcts.

In the Scrivener manual, Chapter 17 covers Scrivener’s styles. You can access a PDF of the manual from Scrivener’s Help menu.

Also, §15.7 discusses using Scrivener’s ruler and its Format > Paragraph > Tabs and Indents settings, which you might find helpful as you build your styles for the different list levels.

1 Like

A little Mac trick, that should work in most native programs like TextEdit and Scrivener, is to use ⌥Tab on any regular line to turn it into a list line, which will continue formatting as a list until you terminate it normally by pressing Return twice.

Now as to why that uses dashes instead of round bullets, while the default list choice is round bullets, who knows! :person_shrugging:

Oh thanks AmberV! That should work well enough for me. I don’t mind the dashed list instead of round bullets for my purposes.

1 Like