Changing paragraph spacing on the whole manuscript at once

Through a series of misadventures, I now have a manuscript that is mostly formatted with paragraphs that don’t have any extra spacing around them, except for the occasional rogue paragraph here and there that has 6.3 inches of space on the right and 5 points of space on top.

Obviously, this is annoying.

I can go through every single file, hit control+A, and apply the correct body style, but that would be a pain in the butt because this manuscript has a LOT of files. As far as I can tell, though, I can’t apply formatting without highlighting the text I want to apply it to, and I can only highlight text from one file at a time.

Someone please tell me there is a more efficient way to set the paragraph spacing the way I want it for the entire manuscript?

This article on formatting text in the knowledge base might be of help. In short the answer is yes, there is probably a much more efficient way of approaching this.

Also consider that Scrivener is designed so that one needn’t have to stress out over formatting while writing. The compiler is designed to make it possible to override formatting throughout the text of the book, in one shot, so you can be as messy or organised as you care to be.

Thank you, that was the info I needed!

I understand that my final compiled manuscript will have the formatting I set up for that, but it was driving me nuts that some of my paragraphs only went about halfway across the screen. It made it hard to read.

FYI to anyone else with similar questions, here’s what I did:

  1. Select all the files in the binder I wanted to fix
  2. Documents > Convert > Formatting to default style
  3. The message that pops up is very scary so double check first to make sure the default formatting is what you want. It will override any special fonts you have in there, but it will NOT remove italics or bold (unlike the style drop-down).

Yeah, not removing bold or italic is a pain in the butt, Especially given that Scrivener applied the bolding in question all on its own, at odds to the default formatting that was in force during the creation of things. It really needs to override those things as well, though for the reasons it doesn’t, those should be part of the check boxes in the warning message.


If you don’t care about inline formatting then there are already perfectly good options for fully blowing away formatting, such as Cut and Paste and Match Style. The vast majority of people using this tool do not want it to strip out inline formatting, and indeed the major point of its existence is to provide a tool that does just that.