Auto-updating text when script stylesheet modified


I am considering paying for a Scrivener license but one (probably simple) issue with the app is holding me back.

Context: I am writing a script for a point and click adventure game in screen format, and have never used dedicated software before. I was previously trialling Montage and found it very good on the whole, but its license rather pricey especially now that I realise Scrivener too can do most of what Montage does. However, I’d already written the start of my script in Montage, so when I copied it into Scrivener it retained its formatting. I’m going through it to set Scene Heading/Action/Character etc formatting as appropriate - better now than later!

However, I notice that after I’ve set the formatting properly, if I update the formatting (Text > Scriptwriting > Script Settings), nothing changes. To force the formatting changes, as far as I can tell, I have to set formatting for every paragraph a second time. If my script grows to, for instance, a hundred pages, this is going to be extremely counter-productive if I want to make a formatting change later.

Is there a quicker way to do this, or am I approaching the whole application arse about face?


Oh and if it makes any difference I have Script Mode enabled (Cmd-3) via the Text > Scriptwriting menu.


I’m afraid that there is no simpler way of doing that in the current version, simply because the text system doesn’t actually support “true” styles. However, I’ve just added a script format converter for the next update and intend to make this pop up when you change the script formatting in the next update, too. So in the next update, if you change the script formatting, a panel will appear prompting you to confirm that you want all existing formatting to be updated, allowing you to check that it will apply the correct formatting (e.g. old “Action” for the new “Action” formatting etc - in case you changed element names, for instance).

In other words, this should be much easier in the next (free) update, although it won’t be available until sometime around September, I’ afraid.

All the best,

I have to remark on the fabulous speed with which you have answered my enquiry. Awesome. Shame it’s not a feature now, but if it’s upcoming then I guess I can start out by setting up a stylesheet now that I like with a shorter test doc.

Thanks Keith. Theith.

Theith?? :open_mouth:

Scriptwriting is something that kind of got added gradually to Scrivener - it wasn’t a feature at all in beta, but so many scriptwriters asked me to add a mode for scriptwriting that I ended up doing so. The next update makes things easier for scriptwriters in general - it exports to Final Draft (and more easily to CeltX, too), provides a pages view and then there is this script converter that can be used to convert existing documents to a different format or to update to changes made. So the next update should be more scriptwriter-friendly in general, even though Scrivener will never be a dedicated scriptwriting program.

All the best,

Reading it again, I realise how bad it sounds, but I only meant it comically, eg. “Thanks Doctor. Thoctor.” :mrgreen:

Yeah, I tried some other apps - Final Draft, Montage, Celtx - that are meant to be geared towards scriptwriting, but in the first two cases the licenses were extortionate and in the last I just couldn’t get on with the interface. I thought Montage was great, but frankly it doesn’t have the Corkboard, which I’m finding to be very helpful… so good work. My $39.95 is going to Scrivinator.

In fairness, if you’re using it for paid work the license on Final Draft is actually pretty reasonable for a robust, industry-standard piece of kit.

I bought FD back when I started freelancing and never regretted it - think of it as in investment that ensures your scripts will always be in the correct format, and will transfer happily between Mac and PC. Also, it features the very “retroactive styles” feature you’re asking about :slight_smile:

Alas, I am only a student. Also, I did try Final Draft, but I honestly didn’t like it all that much - probably just unfamiliarity - whereas I’ve found Scrivener much more accessible.

I’m actually an interactive media student, not a scriptwriter, so I don’t expect to need professional-standard software which saves files I can share with others with the software; Scrivener so far does what I want, simply and quickly.

No doubt, if I do somehow start getting paid for scripts, I will investigate Final Draft properly. For now, I’ll run with this.

Thanks anyway!

Far be it from me to turn someone away from Scrivener. Quite the opposite, I use both very happily :wink: