Compile to MS Word Not Removing First Paragraph Indents

Hi everyone,

I’m having a problem compiling to MS Word. I can’t get it to remove the first line indent from all first paragraphs and all paragraphs following a line break.

This used to be easy, a quick check box in compile. But I have it checked:


I have Heading 1 style in use with a title starting each chapter so I’ve checked the option to flatten the following paragraph in the Heading 1 Style in compile but that doesn’t solve the ones following a line break.

For my default text, I have No Style.

Can anyone help?


I can reproduce this. (Latest Scriv + MacOS Ventura). This looks like a bug to me.

SYMPTOM: If the first line of a document has a paragraph style, first line indents are not removed from paragraphs that follow empty lines (for the duration of that document).


  1. Problem is not target specific. Compiling to PDF, docx, rtf all exhibit the same symptom.

  2. Problem is not style specific. It does not seem to matter what assigned paragraph style is used. (It also does not matter if style designation is set to be passed on to Word.)

If it really is a bug, then you need a workaround.

You could make the title of the document be your chapter title (and remove the title from your body text). Now enable the Title option in the Section Layout panel that you snapshotted. You can then also style how the chapter title should look by editing your Chapter section layout. This removes the titling from the body of the document, so it no longer runs interference (as it seems to be doing) with your body text.

(Another alternative is to make folders in the Binder for each chapter and name them accordingly, and place your chapter body text docs inside those folders. Then in the Section Layouts panel, you specify that only the title of the folders matters and then set their “chapter title” look as indicated above.)

Hey GR,

Thanks for replicating it. I thought it might be a bug, since I tried everything I could think of.

I appreciate the workarounds too. But I have a LOT of chapters, so it’ll take a long time to switch out the existing titles for the character names that head up each chapter. Same with switching to folders and renaming.

What would be super simple – but I can’t figure out how to do this – is to switch out the double paragraph marks that form the blank lines for each time jump, say for *****. Then do a find of ***** and select every occurrence from that find. Change the formatting of ***** to a style, then change the settings in that style to flatten the following paragraph indent.

Once compiled, quick find and replace in Word to remove the *****. BUT, as I say, I can’t figure out how to select every occurrence from a Find. And if I can’t select them, I can’t change their formatting, and if I can’t change their style formatting, I can’t flatten the indent in the next paragraph.

If you know a way to select all occurrences from a find result, that would save my bacon. Deadline Monday.

Thanks GR!

Here is, perhaps a simpler idea that would turn the trick: Simply go to the start of each chapter, put the insertion point at the front of the first body text line in the chapter, and Split at Selection (cmd-K). This will hive the chapter heading off into its own doc. Since the bug only effects paragraphs within the same doc as the chapter head, problem solved!

You might need to enable Remove Trailing Whitespace from Documents (Compile > [right pane] > [gear icon tab]) in order to not end up incurring one extra blank line after each chapter heading.

The above approach still requires visiting each chapter-start document, of course. But how many chapters are we talking about? A little repetitive labour before deadline can be cathartic!! :wink:


P.S. I did not understand the idea you are articulating in your last post. In particular, I do not understand how you are setting one paragraph style to “flatten” (remove first line indent) of a subsequent (unstyled) paragraph. So, I am afraid I am no help here.

Great idea, GR, tested on a couple of chapters and it works.

Will see if I can locate this select all instances from a Find, I’m sure I’ve used that before but now I can’t find it. If I do, I’ll explain my workaround more clearly. If I can’t find that, I’ll be going through 40 chapters tomorrow morning and splitting them all out.

Thanks for the help!

Okay, managed to find another post in here with someone asking the same question:

Can you do a Find in Scrivenings or a Project Find and then select all instances of that Find and Replace the formatting with a new Style.

The answer appears to be no. Which is a shame. Because, if I could set those paragraph marks to a new Style, I could edit that Style in Compile to say Flatten Next Indent:


Since there is no global Formatting Replace, I’m doing it your way. 15 down, 32 to go!

Thanks again, GR. I’ll log this as a bug tomorrow.

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