chat bubble effect


I Want to know if it’s possible to make a chat bubble effect ? In my novel, there is some passage with smartphone, so I want to display this discussion like a chat. Just a rounded rectangle with the text inside. Like we can see on different novel.

Thanks for your help.

Not inherently.

You could use table cells, or create graphics externally and then import them into Scrivener, or complete and compile the work and then use a different app to create the bubbles you want.

Slàinte mhòr.

To make it look like a chat exchange, you’ll have to compile to a word processing format and see if that software can make it look right. But within scrivener, you can mark each text with a custom style (the “me” and the “other person/people” texts would be the only two styles needed). You can style them however you want, but you won’t be able to make them look perfect. The point is to get them into styles so when you compile to a word processor/layout program, it can then redefine the style to look like chat bubbles.

Okay so isn’t really possible directly in Scrivener, I can make a bubble in Photoshop and add it in Scrivener. Or let an empty block and export the project to PDF and add a bubble effect directly on the PDF.

I tried with the array but is not a great result.

Thanks I’ll try it.

FYI, I’d do some googling for how the pros format text chats in a novel before you go too far with graphics. There are plenty of professional writers struggling with this, and apparently the style guides may not have aesthetically pleasing solutions. From my brief skimming of search results, some people use something a lot simpler than left/right justified text with colored bubbles around them.

If you do decide to move forward to with graphical representations, I’d do some test compiles in all of the formats that you intend to produce, and read them in that output format (on paper, on a real e-reader screen with various fonts/font sizes, etc…) to make sure it works in every environment.

Here are three results from googling “formatting dialogue to look like chat texts”: … ction.html … in-a-novel … right-way/

You are right, I just search a good layout way for the conversations. I dont want colors, just a round rectangle with the text inside.

Thanks for your examples with websites (and sorry for my english i’m french), I don’t find this with french research :stuck_out_tongue:

As with most non-native english writers, I hadn’t noticed that you where writing in a second (or 3rd? 4th?) language. :slight_smile:

Searching for solutions to this problem can be tricky. When I first I searched for “how to format a chat bubble”, that search resulted in advice on how one can format a comic-book-like speech bubble in Word, which isn’t the same at all.

You might also think about what function the “bubble” effect serves in your narrative. Why should the chat be formatted differently from a phone conversation or an exchange of emails? Unless the book has a lot of graphic elements otherwise, as a reader I would probably find the bubbles overly “cute” and distracting.


because is not an interaction, it’s textual for that I thinks it’s important that the display must be different.

If you’re planning on publishing this yourself (or hiring a self-publication service) then yes, you should be thinking about these issues and figuring out how to add the intended effect in your final layout program.

If, however, you are submitting your work to a publishing house, you may not want to invest a lot of time and effort in any specific graphic formatting, but raise the issue with your editor once your manuscript is sold. They probably will have ideas on how best to represent this kind of thing based on their production pipeline.

Yes sure, in fact it’s my first novel so I don’t have much hope of using a publishing house.

I’ll see how I can do just with stylise the text, without external graphic support.

Thanks for your help :slight_smile: