compile changes italics to underlines

Compiled manuscript from scriv. 1.6 into .docx for MS Word 2010 - it shows up in ‘compatilbility’ mode (I’m not smart enough to know what that really means…just thought I’d mention it!).

Wonky line spacing like others have mentioned, but also it underlined all my italicized words.


There are options in the “custom compile” to alter what happens with italics, do you have this set correctly - otherwise mayhap you’ve a bug …

Open the compile window.

Click on the text options pane.

Look in the RTF section. Are either of the boxes ticked? If so, you need to uncheck them before compiling.

Hope that helps.

Ah so. My bad. Sorry 'bout that! The ‘convert italics to underlines’ was checked (unclear why this would be wanted…but at least I know to look at all of those options before compiling again!).

Thanks for the help of this ‘not-a-bug’!


Once was a standard for submitting a manuscript just about everywhere; nowadays it’s entirely at the whim of the agent or editor you’re submitting to, but some still prefer underlining to italics.

I’ll tell you why some editors prefer underline to italics. If you read a lot of manuscripts, italics can become indistinguishable from roman type, but underline will always stand out. If the ms. is submitted in Times New Roman, and a lot of them are, the italics can be very hard to read, if you’re reading all day and your eyes are tired. (TNR is not the greatest font for reading all day.)

Nobody’s wonderful manuscript will be rejected because they had TNR and ital, but a lot of editors do prefer Courier and underline, just for the readability.

FYI, “compatibility mode” is to do with Word 2007/2010. It’s nothing to do with Scrivener. Prior to Word 2007, the Word document format was .doc. Since 2007, it’s been .docx. Compatibility mode just means that Word will warn you if you try to incorporate features into your document that are only readable in Word 2007/2010. It keeps the file compatible with earlier versions of Word that use the .doc format.

The reason why someone “would want” italics to render as underlined text is because in the days of typescript and hot metal, when text was underlined with a single underline, the compositor would set that text in italic type. In effect, single underline means italicise.

Just to let you good people know from years in the future.

Thank you for this information. I finally got round to finding the answer to this (after manually changing it in Word / Vellum several times) :blush: