Bug? Paragraph Spacing Before Doesn't Work On First Paragraph

Hi All,

Think I may have come across a bug in Scrivener for Mac 2.7.

I cannot change the Format>Text>Line and Paragraph Spacing>Paragraph Spacing Before on the first paragraph of text in my document. Spacing After works fine but Spacing Before does nothing.

If I cut the paragraph out (in my case it’s a giant one-word title), and paste it further down the page, the paragraph spacing will work. I then cut and paste it back to the first line where it belongs and bingo, it works. I can then adjust it if I want to.

I know what you’re going to say… why would you want to do that anyway? Why don’t you rely on the compile to set up the padding. And the reason is that the padding just adds a load of carriage returns (I’m compiling for Word) and I want a specific number of points before that first title. So I’m creating a preset for the title with the number of points before and then use that in the formatting for the compile.

It’s no biggie with the above workaround, I’m just curious as to why there’s this glitch.


p.s. the new forum looks great, and I got all excited that you may have changed the engine. Sadly, no… I still have one giant bug bear … AFAIK you can’t search for an exact phrase?? Which makes trawling through the forum to see if your query has been posted a real pain in the backside because you can’t narrow the results using speech marks.

I’m not sure that’s a bug. Pages works the same way.

When I compile for ebooks, if I want space in front of the first paragraph, I add carriage returns. I only do this to put some space between scene separators.

Hi EvPowers, thanks for jumping in to help.

I’m not sure it shouldn’t work though. Surely space before a paragraph should be recognised regardless of the location of the paragraph?

I haven’t used Pages and I’m no fan of Word but it works in Word.

If you use carriage returns to add space, the amount of space you’re adding will depend on the font size of the paragraph … mine is something huge like 48pts. So one carriage return creates huge amounts of space. I’d have to carriage return then go back and format the font size of the carriage returns to something new until I got the amount of space I wanted. This seems very clunky and odd. If you want space before a para, surely that’s what you should get?

Also, it seems buggy to me that it does work when I cut and paste to the first para a para that already has space before. It just won’t add it to begin with.

Actually, Gilly, Pages and Word are slight red herrings here, as neither of them use the Apple Text Engine on which, Scrivener, Nisus, Text Edit, Yojimbo and a huge number of other apps are built. I don’t think any of those apps respect space before a paragraph following a page break—Keith may tell me I’m wrong, though.

One answer would be to put a single carriage return before your first paragraph and to then give that empty paragraph a line height of the number of points you require. The more elegant solution is to give those first paragraphs a specific colour, then when you have compiled, open it in Word, search for all text in that colour and give it the appropriate style in Word.

To me, Scrivener has never been a one-stop shop. I compile everything to a standard compile preset, with heading levels in different font sizes and the various body paragraphs distinguished by colour. I then open that in NWP and run a macro over it, which asks me for a style sheet from a list of those I’ve set up, and then turns the document into one with fully cascading styles and removes the text colours. If I want something different, I then modify the styles in the document … changing font, line spacing, etc. as necessary.



Thanks Mark, those are helpful suggestions. You’re really springing to my aid on this final compile and I really appreciate your time.

The reason I fight so hard to get everything working the way I want in Scrivener is because I hate hate hate MS Word. I run it on a Mac and it’s so full of bugs and crashes (esp. when working with an 85,000 word novel) that it frustrates me to do anything in there. I want to compile, quickly check the formatting without having to change anything and send.

I guess I’m all outta luck on this one, but at least I have these workarounds.

Thanks! Have a great weekend.