Compile indents

I’m trying to compile a .mobi version of my novel. The convention for novels (and short stories) is that the first sentence of a chapter or scene should not be indented, whilst subsequent new lines should be. I can’t work out a way to do this via the Scrivener compiler. Every line is indented, whatever means of indent (or lack of) I use, including spaces, tabs and Ruler markers. It should look something like this at the beginning of every chapter:

This line should not be indented.
***But after this all new sentences should indent.
***‘Yes they should,’ he agreed.

(ironically, I’ve had to use characters at the front of the lines on this post and colour them white to get an indent effect…)

Any suggestions?

PS. I’m using Windows Version:

Do a search here on ‘indent’ or ‘indents’ or ‘first paragraph indent’ and you may find a workaround. It’s my understanding that this setting is a Mac-only feature.

As an aside, I’ve concluded that this no-indent ‘rule’ is an arbitrary attempt by the typesetters to reach in and manipulate the text where they have no business being involved. My Kindle version of ‘The Hunger Games’ does not have this no-indent first paragraph, and those books sold well enough. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks. I did previously carry out the search and you’re right, I could only find suggestions in the MAC version.

You say this is arbitrary, but every book I’ve looked in does it (in the thriller genre, anyway, which is where my novel sits). And the reason I am trying to follow this is that I had a critique of one of my stories from a writing magazine recently where they stated that for a submission to be acceptable it should have the non-indent rule applied.

I’m using Windows, my work around is:

  • Compile > Formatting
  • Uncheck “Override text and notes formatting”
    Then if you format your first paragraph of each chapter with no indent in the editor, it compiles correctly. Of course, this means you must manage formatting more carefully in your Text blocks (for me that’s no problem). I think there are other posts that explain this in more detail.

Personally I feel the “no indent on first paragraph” feature is not just cosmetic; it’s a visual cue to the reader that helps them recognize they are reading the start of a new chapter/section. (For the record, I don’t feel that way about some other “professional” layout conventions, e.g. dropcaps are an obsolete convention that only makes reading harder.)

It’s weird that such a standard fiction layout feature – which is, after all, just a checkbox – is missing on the Windows version. Similarly for the Fake Small Caps chapter font style. Scrivener folk, please add them! There really are lots of us who write on Windows :slight_smile:

Thank you for this! It works to keep centered text centered too.

Which is why I DON’T want it, because I think the story should be all of one cloth. But, I’m writing cinematic POV, so I’m likely the outlier.