Beta 21: Project Settings > Format seems unusable

On any project I create (or open from past), Project Settings > Format doesn’t function.

It has strange appearance, as in the image below. Neither the text area or any of the buttons responds.

There is one exception, out of some variations I’ve tried.

If I try this on the (new, fresh) Tutorial, any saved copy, then this screen appears properly, and operates normally. So you may not be seeing the problem in testing.

I’m not sure how far back this problem goes, as it seems I was using the settings not long before. Why I wanted to do it today leads to a question, to be asked separately.

Installation: 64bit in C:\Programs, Win10 everything very latest, no funny background programs I’m aware of.

I believe those options are only available if you enable “Use different formatting for new documents in this project.” Otherwise new documents will use the settings from Scrivener’s main options under Editing>Formatting.

You’re right – es funktioniert.

It helps, thanks. But:

  • It’s a kind of invisible at first glance logic, though on reflection I see the point.
  • But how often would you want to create new documents that automatically didn’t have the default formatting you’d just set so that you could convert to it?
  • So it does seem the default ought to be with the box ticked for ‘Use different formatting…new documents…’
  • This would also make ease in removing the problem that at present, the dialog shows as if broken, per my screenshot, which leads you to believe it is
  • The ability for mass conversion by being able to select folders still is I think a quite strong need, no @Tiho??

Well, I did actually make that last a separate issue, thank goodness, but may be useful to mention it here.

Perhaps it could be more visible, but I don’t think it should default to not use the default settings you’ve set for Scrivener. I’m sure you have excellent reasons for wanting to use a different default formatting style for each of your projects, but that certainly isn’t true for me and I suspect it’s not true for the majority of Scrivener users.

You are aware that there’s a program-wide formatting setting under Settings>Editing>Formatting, right?

Hmm. Actually, not – I don’t find any Settings>Editing>Formatting. Am I missing that somewhere??

Help > Search doesn’t seem to find it either?

But you’re right, such a thing is what I want to do.

I’m not actually trying to use different formatting settings per project, though I might – that can be very useful.

What I want to do is normalize No Style among pages that have been collected from various sources. In particular, from iPad as well as Win Scrivener, which has it’s own ideas as to what constitute fonts and styles…

Sorry, Options, not Settings. It’s under File>Options, or just F12 on the keyboard.

That said, I don’t know if that would affect imported documents.

As a temporary solution to your problem, you could choose View>Outline>Expand All in your binder, then select all, then use Documents>Convert>Text to Default Formatting. Obviously selecting a folder should select its children, but until that behavior is changed, expanding everything instead is probably your best option.

Ah. Then it’s Options / Editing / Formatting, which I’d missed on a quick look due to the way levels are presented there. And probably by being distracted with the thought of Help / Search just finding it for me.

However, it’s specified as how New projects will be formatted, and true to this, it doesn’t affect an old one. Which wasn’t imported, but might have been shared in the distributed work fashion, which is how you use the iPad.

I do see, however, how this gets confusing, if again it does make sense.

  • you have a setting for new projects
  • you have a setting for any new documents ‘from now’, within a project
  • you have conversion, but it doesn’t work on any folder structures, so it isn’t global.
    = Yet. I have good hopes.
    = I, as many I imagine, have many projects with mixes of Scriv Win 1, Scriv Win 3, and Scriv iPad’s very different ideas of stock formatting, distributed across created documents within.
    = Not to mention Research content, also important for flow.
    = Thus the particular desire that conversions operate smoothly and with capability to be done globally…

Thanks for thoughts, @Typoglyphic

You can use the document conversion globally if you recursively expand your folder structure and select the individual documents. Folders are treated as their own objects instead of as parents like most programs would, but having them selected doesn’t matter for the conversion function so long as you have every text item you need selected as well.

Fair enough, and thanks, yes, that will work.

I’d already forgotten your mention of same via Expand while writing the reply, apologies.

I do think it would be a lot clearer, as well as nicer to use, when the folders act as folders are usually considered to do, propagate such changes downwards. Especially for the new or non-programmer writers using Scrivener.

There’s a sort of rule, unspoken of what you should do, though it is unspoken, about anything you have to use many words of documentation to explain, isn’t there…

I agree wholeheartedly. There are lots of little behaviors in Scrivener that seem very counter-intuitive. I don’t know if those are born of its macOS origins or just quirks of design, but many of them should really be normalized.

Then how would you handle the case where you only want to change the format for a few top-level documents that happen to have a hierarchy of child documents (so they are folders with text) without changing any of the child documents?

Folders are not strictly containers only in Scrivener. You shouldn’t expect them to act as folders in a file manager, because they can have content of their own. Only applying changes to those items explicitly selected does the least amount of harm to the average writer’s work.

The logic makes perfect sense to me: it should be a conscious choice to deviate from the general preferences default. You signal that you’ve chosen to do this by ticking the ‘Use different formatting’ box. By graying out the formatting options you stop any chance of overriding the standard defaults by accident — that’s a fairly common technique, isn’t it?

Personally, I wouldn’t want the selection of folder to convert their subdocuments automatically. Conversion is a one way process — you can’t ‘undo’ it, and having to go back and manually make the changes you didn’t want afterwards wouldn’t be fun.

Again, this is good defensive programming, I think: Scrivener is often good at stopping you doing things you really didn’t want to do…

Ok, @AmberV has offered a good way to actually accomplish this, and I’ve tested and replied – when it fully works as expected, it will be a fine solution. Appreciated.

You can see [url]]

On these other comments, I guess I would make observation about perils of attempting committee design, but more importantly could suggest that rather than speak to ‘what is(?) and one thinks should be, oneself’, attention to thoughtfully answering the need is probably your better course.

This would particularly be welcome for inexperienced askers, which I would have to admit I am not…

Part of successfully answering a question is dealing with expectations that may not be aligned, and that can sometimes involve education as to why the question one asked isn’t going to get the answer one expects, because those expectations aren’t properly lined up with the way the program works.

Since we’re speaking in generalities…