Back and Forth with Word 2013

Is there a format setting in Scrivener that’s close to the Normal style in Word 2013? The one thing that’s sent me back from Scrivener to using Word is that the formatting gets really screwed up after compiling, and even worse if i go back to Scrivener from Word to re-work passages.

Biggest issues are that Indented paras (like blockquotes, not just indented first line) disappear (go back to flush left) and have to be re-indented, one para at a time. Italic words and paras get reversed, so that the italicized word/para becomes straight, and the rest of the doc goes italic. And, just generally, the line spacing goes all different. Many more such issues.

Is there any way around this? I don’t need a lot of unusual formatting. Just need the basics to come out the same. Thanks for any help.

A few things to note up front: the formatting used in the editor is not necessarily the formatting used when compiling, and importing rich text documents preserves the original document’s formatting as much as possible (or should do so–you sound like you’re having some particularly strange formatting issues I’ve never heard of before, with italics and non-italics switching).

First I’d try changing the import converter used. In Tools > Options, click Import/Export, then click “Import converters…” From the left drop-down menu, choose the format you’re working with (I’m assuming DOC or DOCX), then from the right menu choose a different converter–it’s probably just “Scrivener” right now, but if you have Word 2013 installed, “Microsoft Office” would be a better option.

You can set the default formatting in the Editor tab of Tools > Options. This is the formatting that will be used when you create new documents in Scrivener, but you can also easily convert existing documents, including your imported ones, to match that formatting. Use the format bar in the options to give this a similar look to what you use in Word. The blue A button opens the font options and choosing “More…” from the spacing drop-down menu will give you options for paragraph as well as line spacing.

Since the original formatting is retained on import, the default formatting in Scrivener won’t affect the documents when they import, but you can select the documents in the binder after import and choose Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style to update them to your Scrivener formatting. It’s a quick way to clean up the overall indentation, spacing, font, and size without changing specific character formatting like bold and italics.

When you compile, you have the option of reformatting the documents to a new standard, letting you use completely different fonts, spacing, etc. in Scrivener’s editor from what you use in your final document. If you expand the compile dialog (with the blue arrow button), you can choose “Formatting” on the left and see the options for formatting documents of different types (folders, file groups, and files) and binder levels. Many of the compile presets apply formatting here, but you can deselect “Override text and notes formatting” to instead keep the documents formatted just as they are in the editor. The “Original” preset keeps the editor formatting this way and is a good place to start if you want minimal embellishment on your compiled manuscript.

That sounds very helpful. I’m away at the moment, but will work on all your suggestions when I get back. (Should probably have looked more closely at all the compiling options first!) Thanks so much!. MM.