Automatic indenting: Sporadic

I clearly do not understand the indenting algorithm. I start out a new document and paragraphs are automatically indented. I format a list with bullets, and thereafter no indenting. I tried using the preset “Body”, but that doesn’t include an indent. (I have no idea why the document begins with indenting, but it’s useful.)

I tried copying one of the early paragraphs to a location following the bulleted list, thinking it might carry its formatting, but the formatting doesn’t make it.

If I could just understand the causes of the behavior, it would help a lot.


First, the default formatting is set in the “Formatting” pane of the Preferences. By default, it has an indent, although you can change it.

Bullets are a bit of a special case, though. Scrivener uses the standard OS X text system at its base - the same as TextEdit uses - and bullets are a bit buggy. They have a tendency to reset the font and formatting, but unfortunately they are a bit of a “black box”, in that they are governed by Apple code I don’t have access to. What I generally do to work around this is hit return a couple of times before creating my bulleted list, then I move the cursor back up and enter the bulleted list so that there are a couple or blank lines after it, which will maintain the original formatting. Then I can just place my cursor after the bulleted list and carry on typing in the original format.

The “Body” preset is different again. All “Presets” are just a bunch of either character formatting, paragraph formatting, or both - you can set up your own by selecting some text and then going to Format > Formatting > New Preset From Selection. The default “Body” one is just standard single-space paragraph formatting with no indents - it’s not related to the preferences. You can change it, though - you could select some text that uses the same formatting as your preferences and go to > Format > Formatting > Redefine Preset From Selection > Redefine Body. This will make it so that in future, when you select “Body” it will match your preferred paragraph formatting.

Finally, copying and pasting text with the formatting you want should in fact bring across the formatting you want, so I’m not sure why it isn’t. Make sure you’re pasting it at the beginning of the line, and if that still doesn’t work, if you had bullets, choose “None” from the bullets drop down list at with the cursor at the location you want to paste the text - it may be that the bullet formatting has lingered even though there is no bullet present. I have seen this happen (as I say, the Apple bullet code is a bit glitchy - it would be nice to replace it one day, when I can afford a text engineer of my own :slight_smile: ).

Hope that helps.

All the best,

That helps a lot. Many thanks.