Compile problem: Lose beginning of paragraph indentation

I feel sure there’s a simple solution for this… but look tho’ I might, it evades me.

Problem: I compile my document, but the exported version lacks any indentations at paragraph starts, with the exception of the very first paragraph in each selected section.

Tried preserving formatting: indentation formatting is lost.

What’s the simple fix?



To better help you, what format are you using to compile to? Is this the final format, or are you converting it to another format with another program? What program are you using to open the file Scrivener produces?

And to save the run-around, this sounds like a common bug in one of Apple’s basic doc or docx exporters. It strips out things like line spacing and indents for whatever reason. So if you are attempting to export a file that can be used in Word, it’s generally far better to use RTF. Incidentally, the ODT format does this to (again, same Apple problem), but that one comes up less frequently.


I’m new to Scrivener.

I’m just using File > Compile.

I select the sections that I wish to be compiled. I have experimented with preserving formatting and not preserving formatting. Makes no difference. I lose the first indentation on every paragraph, except for the first paragraph in each selection.

I am exporting as a Word document, and opening in Word once the export is complete.

Okay, have you tried using RTF, as suggested above?


Compiled in RTF and all formatting in place!

Opened RTF file in WORD and… ALL WAS WELL!

Thank you!


I’d just like to thank Catsongs for asking this question, and AmberV for answering it. :smiley:
I, too, lost all my formatting when I compiled my draft as a doc file. I compiled it as rtf, as suggested, and bingo! It’s fine!

The one thing I don’t understand is this: why are there no page numbers? But perhaps there will be, when I print?

Anyway, thanks to both of you.

To better answer that, I’d need to know why you are asking it. :slight_smile: If you are asking because you specifically set up page numbering in the Compile options, and they aren’t showing up in Word, then double check your settings in the “Text Options” tab; lower right. Does the drop-down say “No header/footer”? If it all looks okay, and you have a “<$p>” somewhere in that field, then the problem is with the word processor you are using, not correctly reading RTF header/footers.

In most cases, if you can’t see them they won’t print.

Um - well, the word processor I am using is Microsoft Word 2004. I would hope it would read RTF files correctly, but maybe not! When I am at my own computer, I’ll take a look at the menu and let you know exactly what I see.

Thanks again! BTW, it just occurred to me that it might be more polite for me to start a new thread where the page numbers are concerned. Would it be better if I did?

Yes, Word definitely supports the full RTF specification (though there might be some newer things that the 2004 version doesn’t read—headers and footers are an old feature). That is Microsoft’s format after all. The likely scenario then is that you forgot to enable headers/footers in the Compile sheet. It’s a simple fix, and once that is turned on you should be seeing page numbers in Word—before printing too.

Ordinarily, yes a new thread for each issue is nice, but if you haven’t noticed, this forum is all about going off-topic. :slight_smile: Don’t worry about since it is such a small issue. If you have further problems that the above advice does not fix, open up a new thread for it.

Amber, I had a look, and the dropdown does say “no header/footer”. There is a symbol like the one you mention below this menu; it is grayed out. What that text bar says is: “enter <$p> for page number”.

Is this the way it should be? I do want to print a dummy copy for my family - and because it can be easier to see what you need to edit when you’re looking at paper, rather than a screen. (First revised draft is DONE! Yay! But it will need one more revision before I try to send it anywhere.) It will be a lot easier and better if I can get the page numbers to show up as they should.

Thanks again!

Sorry about that, I was a little unclear before. If the drop-down says “No header/footer”, then there will be no header or footer in the output, which is why you aren’t seeing anything in Word. What you want is to choose either a header or footer option from that menu. Then you need to type in the content in that text field where the greyed out text currently is. That is just a helpful guide, a placeholder. So for example, you could type in “– <$p> –” in that field.