Compile feature increases paragraph indents

I use macOS 10.13.6 The pdf produced by the Compile feature in Scriviner increases the paragraph indents to 1". I have tabs set at 1/2" in Scriviner. As an experiment I deleted the tabs and Compiled again. The pdf came out with the 1/2" tabs, but now I don’t see them in the Scriviner document. Please advise.

Paragraphs can be indented as a paragraph formatting choice, or they can be indented with tabs. If you do both, they’ll add up. Tabs are a bad idea, generally.

We can do a Zoom session, if you want help figuring everything out.

one on one assistance

To be clear: both indentation types are at Format/Paragraph Formatting/Tabs and Indents.

And as an addendum, many Compile formats are (on purpose!) designed to give a finished look to your text that is in many ways independent of how your text appears in the Editor pane in Scrivener.

Unless you have specifically set things up to Compile your sections “as-is” (which you can do if you like), then the look of your regular body paragraphs is likely to be controlled by the Compile format, not by the tab stops (or font or fontsize or…) and such that you set in the editor.

As drmajorbob sez, paragraph formatting is really best left to paragraph format settings. In Scrivener, following this good advice gives your text a flexibility with respect to output formats that it would not have otherwise.

There is a menu item in Scriv for removing leading tab chars from paragraphs in a doc. I think it is under Edit > Text Tidying, or thereabouts. Of course, if your default paragraph in Scriv is set with no space between paragraphs, the removing tabs will leave you not reliably seeing where your paragraphs begin and end. You should set your default paragraph appearance so you see what you need to see without typing tabs. You could go with a default with first line indent, but I find it more generally useful to have my in-Editor default paragraph set to no first-line indent and with one line’s worth of trailing space after the paragraph (by which I do not mean typing an extra return char between paragraphs!). Then, my typical compile will transform my paragraphs into ones with no space between pars and with first line indent (and, of course, putting it all into a nice crisp typeset font).

The Tab key on your keyboard is a vestige of typewriter days. It is interesting that the keys on typewriters got digitized uniformly in a way that did not distinguish between character keys and action keys. Hence the weird existence of a “tab character”, “carriage return character”, “linefeed character”. (Of course, Return keys only came in with electric typewriters. Before that there was just a sort of lever to push across.)

We can indent paragraphs without a tab, but tab stops do a lot more than that (in some situations). They just shouldn’t be used for the indentation itself. Similarly, carriage returns usually shouldn’t be used to get line feeds. But ¶ is an important and very useful character.

Agreed. Though I hope no one thinks you were saying the pilcrow char itself (‘¶’) was an important and very useful character (as opposed to ye old ascii 13)! Which, even if true, would not be really on point, I guess.

Newlines look like pilcrows when we’re not hiding invisibles, one of the reasons I find it useful to show invisibles, but you are correct. They’re not actually pilcrows.