[Beta 26] Styles for footnotes?

I have just tried compiling a section of my manuscript in the latest beta, to see how things are working. I compile to Ms Word (because I need to use Endnote to format my footnotes and bibliography), and find that the formatting is a real mess. One specific issue is that the footnotes don’t have any style (they just come out in a random mix of fonts, sizes and alignments, reflecting the mess I have accumulated as I’ve been cutting and pasting references over the years I’ve been working on the current book). I tried defining a “footnote” style in Scrivener, but it seems to be impossible to assign it to the footnotes, either with a shortcut or using the menu.

It’s very possible that I simply don’t understand the wealth of options that are now available under “Compile” and that somewhere in there is the tool I need. Unfortunately the Tutorial project has only very sketchy information about the compile options, and we still don’t have a draft manual for Scriv. 3. Is there somewhere I can go to find out more about how to map styles in Scrivener onto styles in Word, so that I don’t have to reformate the compiled document by hand?


I don’t think there is any way to give footnotes a style, other than character variants like italic and bold. It’s not possible in the Mac version, so I doubt that it will be possible for v. 3 for Windows.

What you can do, is select them all, then Ctrl-click/Right-click and from the drop down menu choose “Convert to default formatting”. Having done that, on compiling, all my footnotes come out styled “Normal”.

I don’t use Word, but I change the style of the footnotes in my word processor. Also I don’t use Endnote, but Bookends—Mac only—using temporary citation markers which are scanned in the wp for the full citation and bibliography creation. So, depending on how your Endnote citations are formatted, you might have to work out how to deal with such matters as italicisation of titles, but I can’t help you with that.



Some betas ago, quite effective export of the text styles was eventually imlemented and works well for ‘body text’ and its parts. However, there seems to be no chance for a customer to assign any style to a footnote when exporting to .RTF or .ODT. You can just get a ‘Normal’ style, the same as for the other ‘No Style’ paragraphs. I see it as a serious flaw in both practical and, even more, conceptual respect.

Practically, most of probable an author will want to give their footnotes some special format when working on the manuscript in Word, or WordPerfect, or Libre Office, or whatever text processor. In Libre Office, I have to manually assign a special Footnote style to each footnote paragraph, and, what even worse, when I do it, there is considerable risk to lose some numerous italics omnipresent in references—they are ‘direct formatting’ and quite fragile in comparison with (character) styles.

Conceptually, it is just strange for a user to easily export quotations, and headers, and any other part of the ‘body text’ with a style tag attached, but to be unable to do the same for such a special text structure as a footnote. Important notion: it just looks like a remnant of the old, out-of-dated approach to the styles (as sort of formatting shortcuts) from 1.x (2.x for MacOS) version.

Just in case, I tried to frame the problem earlier this month: [Suggestion] Almost a Bug: A couple of Essential Compile Options Missed. I am afraid I was too wordy and not convincing enough—there was no reaction from developers. Glad that there are some other people to be interested in this topic.

Just in case, I am still not sure this important matter is for the scrivener ‘wish list’.

I think it’s absolutely a matter for the Wish List. It’s not there in the Mac version, and I’m sure if it had been easy KB would have implemented it. Given that, I sincerely doubt it’s going to be there in Windows 3 when it is finally released; Tiho_D and LAP seem to still have a lot on their hands with the current specification without creating new features.

Just my half-pence as a very long term user and member of the forum.

I don’t use LibreOffice or OpenOffice and have only had to resort to Word once in the last 12 months—and it caused me all sorts of problems with continual crashing!—so cannot add anything there.


Even though I am not in a position to estimate how easy a feature is to implement, I would only suppose that it is rather a routine than a great deal to add another one to a long list of Compiler conversion options. The more interesting matter to think over is about the way it could be done: (1) just to add a ‘footnote’ paragraph style to the default styles list and automatically apply that style to footnotes; or (2) add a Compile option to apply any custom style to footnotes (instead of the font option which is mostly senseless); or some other possible way.

But even if I am totally wrong with inner technical aspects, the point is, this transformation is much more important than it appears to be—even for the developers’ team—that is why, I suspect, it was overlooked by both the Mac version architect & the Win developers.

Whether it is going to be implemented by the release or not, is by no means crucial. I would just very much like to know about the developers’ position on this.

Since Win Scriv is moving towards Mac Scriv functionality, and since there are already a multitude of training videos about Compiling a Scrivener project (Mac) out there, I’ll point you to them. They have helped me get a better understanding of what Win Scriv is supposed to be like, eventually.
Part 1: literatureandlatte.com/lear … uick-start
I’d also point you to the Mac Scriv User Manual here: literatureandlatte.com/lear … ser-guides
You can also check out Anne Rainbow’s ScrivenerVirgin Blog here: scrivenervirgin.com/2019/03 … roduction/


Thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions. I can see that the developers need to focus on getting this version complete and shipping it, so I will post a suggestion over on the other forum, and hope that there will be a 3.x version at some point that offers a few extra style and formatting options.

You can override the compile font output. I don’t recommend it if your footnotes are references using italics for titles. This option will override all your footnote formatting. I think this is a bug. It’s possible this is intentional, however.

You can override the footnote font in Word, but I suspect it may cause the same problem. I don’t have a copy of Word to check this. I know LibreOffice will override the entire font including formatting (I checked).

Fortunately, Scrivener (as of B26) has an answer. Unfortunately, it requires that you touch every footnote.

First, choose the font you want your footnote to be.

Options -> editing -> formatting -> Inspector Comments Font
(footnotes and comments are all considered comments for this purpose)
Choose your font and size, click apply.

Second, I’d suggest Scrivenings mode to gather them all together (reducing clickage). This puts all your footnotes in one nice column at the right. Might want to do this by Chapter or Part to reduce delay in loading Scrivenings mode, or to include more footnotes at one go.

Next, footnote by foonote, right-click in the foonote, and select Convert to Default Formatting. Scrivener does respect your existing formatting (italics and all) (I checked). All it will change is the font and its size.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I have over 400 footnotes in my first few chapters, so doing them one at a time isn’t really an option. One reason I use Endnote is that it uses temporary citation markers; italics and other formatting are applied once you select the output style (but this step only works in Word). So, I can reformat all the footnotes in Word, with relatively little manual work.

I would still to see the styles in Scrivener improved a bit, but obviously that needs to be a suggestion for a later release (and, of course, may not be something the devs — and other uses — are interested in).

@jje, surely iunder Windows, can you not select the first footnote with a single click, click Ctrl-A to select them all at one go, and then Right-click on the mouse to get the dropdown menu giving you “Convert to default text-style”, or whatever the wording is? That’s how it works on a Mac.

I haven’t got access to a Windows machine at the moment to check, I’m afraid.


Xiamenese, do you mean some manipulation with footnotes (selecting, converting to default style) in Scrivener or in Word? In Scrivener for Win (B27) you cannot select all footnotes with Ctrl+A.

I meant in Scrivener. I just tried in Beta 26 under Crossover on my MacBook Pro, and the select all with Ctrl-A worked. However, I couldn’t get the dropdown with Ctrl-click—my Mac doesn’t have a Right-click area on the trackpad so that is replaced by Ctrl-click … I don’t have a mouse to try otherwise—but it worked as the equivalent of Command-click on the Mac, which is non-contiguous select/deselect, so it just deselected the footnote I was pointing at. I don’t know enough about the Windows interface to know if there’s any other way of accessing that drop-down menu.

If Cmd-A is not working to select all footnotes in Beta 27, that seems to be a regression. I haven’t time to install Beta 27 under Crossover at the moment, but I’ll do so later if I can.



Just took the time to install Beta 27 under Crossover and link a mouse. It all works for me:

  1. open in Scrivenings mode;
  2. select first inspector footnote/comment;
  3. Ctrl-A selects all inspector footnotes/comments;
  4. Right-click with mouse opens drop-down menu giving “Convert to default text style”

I can only presume that clicking that will work on all the footnotes/comments; as mine are already in the default text style, I’d have to spend time setting up another test-bed project.



@rwfranz, thank you for the workarounds proposed, but they just perfectly demonstrate that export of footnotes has not implemented properly yet.

Whether it is about ‘400 footnotes in a few chapters’ jje writes about or about some 50+ ones in my 10-pages research paper, it is not about the numbers, but about (a lot of) unavoidable, repetitive manual work where it could be avoided completely and (I hope) quite easily.

After reading the comments above, I have to admit that the problem is not about technical realization, but about general understanding of purpose. It seems a good deal of authors here, including the devs, feel no need in fully correct export to a text processor (.docs, odt, .rtf file formats).

Here are two points to consider:

(1) As an editor, and publisher, and expert in layout systems (LaTeX, InDesign, Quark), I know that not every author is aware of this matter and they mostly don’t have to. But it is general knowledge that the transformation of your manuscript in a book layout in most cases starts from import, say, .rtf file into InDesign and the second—absolutely necessary—is import (mapping) of author’s paragraph styles and then—transformation of all the direct formatting contained in a manuscript into semantic character style(s). In latter case, it can be ‘emphasizing’, ‘reference title’, ‘inline latin quotation’, etc… All the styles may be formatted as just ‘italics’, but you preserve full control to, say, add ‘bold’ or ‘small caps’ to some of them, or temporarily underline them, or mark with color. It is the logic Scrivener has adopted in version 3, and it’s not only great, but—generally—correct.

(What is even more important, practically, is that character styles are much more robust and cannot be lost by mistake in process of applying some more subtle direct formatting (such as special line spacing applied to a page, or slightly reduced spaces between characters or words, for a part of a paragraph and so on).

(2) Besides obvious practical importance, there is conceptual one. Text styles, both paragraph and character ones, are semantic tags first of all. You mark portions of text as body, headers, quotations, etc., and then instruct your word processor how to format those portions. At least, it is how it must work. And it works so in Scrivener. It is just natural to expect that a quotation paragraph is exported with ‘my_quote’ paragraph style, and the same happens with any other paragraph, including ‘No Style’, which becomes ‘Normal’ paragraph style in a Word document. So it cannot be right thing that all your footnotes land in your Word or Libre Office document with ‘Normal’ paragraph style. I am sure it should be regarded as incorrect style export, or, in a sense, a bug.

If you bear the above points in mind, you may understand my approach better.

I tried several times, but I am afraid I can only select one footnote’s text with Ctrl+A. Even if I could, I doubt this could be a solution, as I just wrote above. )

I can’t comment on why it doesn’t work for you … I’m running Beta 27 on my Mac under the latest version of Crossover—a GUI implementation of WINE—in a Windows 7 “bottle”.

Actually, I agree it would be good to be able to have a footnotes style, even though the current footnotes implementation doesn’t cause me any problems, as I always open immediately in my favourite WP, Nisus Writer Pro, where it is easy to clean up such matters,

I also assume that it would be difficult to implement or would impose an unacceptable processing overload and KB hasn’t found a solution yet, which is why I think a Wish List entry would be appropriate.

But as an aside, in the meantime, AmberV’s response to this thread


gives a suggestion of a potential workaround for block transforming footnotes/comments to default style, which is what @jje was first enquiring about.



Well, I tried—with no success—on Beta 27 at ‘natural’ Win 10. ))

If WP means WordPerfect, its DOS version (5.1) was my favourite in mid 90s—really fantastic piece of software, but it still does not support UTF, which proved to be fatal for a ‘cyrillic publisher’ like me. )

I absolutely agree—the current footnotes implementation is quite reliable and works effectively enough. Of course, it won’t be a catastrophe even if they decide not to implement it at all. However, it looks strange at least, that they have built this monumental Compiler engine that can even optionally transform all italics to underline and vice versa, but cannot assign a paragraph style to some special type of paragraphs where it is really important for a good deal of researchers.

Yes, it seems I will have to summarize my previous posts in Wish List thread—never posted there before. And, yes, I have some wishes/proposals like, say, Shift+Enter alternative work in Binder, or some extra options in List formatting, etc., but I understand clearly that they are just wishes. ))

Thanks a lot for the reference. Anyway, I am afraid the only decision that could be regarded as really effective here is to have footnotes/endnotes ‘styled’ properly like any other portion of text. Even though it is not obvious for all how important it is. ))

This is just to say that I have just got that what you meant was not Word Perfect. Sorry for my poor English. )

No problem. I liked WordPerfect for MS-DOS, but when they ported it to Mac it didn’t do well. On the other hand Word for Mac 5.1a was brilliant, but MS ruined it with v. 6, which was horrible! :smiley:


It does not work if you click directly in a comment (that way only lets you reformat comment by comment). If you click in the blank space underneath them (all of them), you may use Ctrl+A, right-click, and reformat to default style. It does not seem to lose individual formatting of elements of the text (boldface, underline, italic). Technically, this should work on hundreds of comments, although it might take some time to select so many.