Cleaning up imported text and converting styles

Welcome, @AmberV :slight_smile: .

Talking of styles - a ‘supplementary’ quick question, if I may, please, because I’m still discovering Scrivener, at least in more depth than ever before and really want to make the most of it:

This project in particular consists of a few dozen (mostly TextEdit (rtf)) documents and pasted text brought in from a variety of other sources… web Wiki articles, DEVONthink text docs etc.

As a result these Notes all have their own fonts and settings etc.

Is there a quick, safe - and ideally (semi-) automated and better still across an entire Project - way to remove all styles from these documents except Heading 1 and ordered and unordered lists, please?

As things stand now, fonts, indents, line spacing, sizes etc are all different across most of my Notes :frowning: .

Even if I could successfully remove styles to 13pt Palatino (what seems to be the default style set in this case), then I could define another style and apply it - for the sake of uniformity.

Any help here will be greatly appreciated…

The tips in the article on cleaning up formatting should suffice for most things of this nature. It’s important to know that TextEdit, and most Mac rich text editors based upon it, have no concept of a real style (Scrivener and Nisus Writer Pro are two exceptions). Everything is just raw formatting, which isn’t terribly useful.

For stuff that is styled, the command referred to in Converting Existing Documents to Default Formatting section of that article will also conform any styled text that matches the names of styles you have set up in the project, without stripping the style assignments. But like I say, you probably won’t have any of that with stuff coming from DEVONthink &c.

So for stuff that isn’t styled, what you may want to do first is go through each section of text that should be styled, put your cursor in it, and use the Edit ▸ Select ▸ Select Similar Formatting command. This will bulk select text and allow for easy application of a style with one move—thus very similar to what you would do in a typical word processor if you needed to “upgrade” to styles. This command is not and cannot be perfect. What is “similar” is somewhat strict, so you may need to do some eyeballing of the before and after.

Once you have the exceptions styled, then the Convert Text to Default Formatting command will make everything else uniform in its formatting. And that is how it should be done in Scrivener—you’ll run into friction trying to style body text as well.

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Thanks very much, @AmberV.

Even a cursory few minutes of experimentation with those two routines does, of course, do most of what I want.

I haven’t yet defined a single style in the project in question; so I should be in a particularly good position to clean this up very well, shouldn’t I?

Much appreciated.

Unless you went out of your way to delete the stock examples, you should have a number sitting around. Whether they are used is another matter. You can see what the project defines from the Format ▸ Style submenu.

(Thanks for splitting to this more focused thread, @AmberV.)

Yes, I should have said that I have not defined any new styles; I do indeed have the default ones.

I looked at this page and this one to see how I can (and ‘should’?) set up or fine tune (those) default styles.

Indeed I can.

I wouldn’t go so far as should, as some have no interest in using styles at all and probably largely ignore their existence. But if you do have opinions on how your writing environment should look, and you do prefer to write in a more semantic fashion so that changes to the formatting are not “locked in” as direct formatting, then yes it can be a good investment of time.

A trick I use in my starter project templates is to have a “Stylesheet” document in the research folder that demonstrates all of the styles in the project, against lorem ipsum text. This way I can design changes to the look in a concise context, and when I redefine the style from that section, it updates the rest of the project. Should I want those changes to become global, I click that Set Styles Defaults... button at the bottom of the Editing: Formatting options tab.


Understood. Thanks, Yes :slight_smile:

I might have been clearer by saying that, given my wish to achieve as much control as possible (Yes, I do care about consistency of appearance… at least so as to concentrate on content and not (have to) fiddle with formatting etc), those pages of Kirk’s are as good a description as any of the way to set base styles.

What a good idea. Taken. Thanks…

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@AmberV - just wanted to let you know that I have successfully applied exactly the styles I wanted everywhere across all Notes in two of my current projects in exactly that way you kindly suggested.

At first I wasn’t clear that already-defined default/‘bundled’-with-Scrivener styles (like Heading n) are handled differently. But now it’s all obvious and works really well :slight_smile: .

Thanks so much for your help… I feel I’m making real progress!

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