custom compile presets won't save font/spacing changes

I created a “paper saver” compile format, with small margins, font, and line spacing, for printing drafts. Unfortunately, I saved it only in that one project. I’m trying to recreate it now for another project, and whatever I do to the font size and line spacing, the changes show up in the compile settings pane but not in the “test.” If I go ahead and save it and compile, the exported or printed document still has the old line spacing and font. (The margin changes do seem to stick.) I have checked the “override text and notes formatting” box.

I’ve tried:
re-saving the original preset to “my formats”
exporting it and then importing it while in another project and saving to “my formats”
starting over from scratch with a new preset
editing the imported or re-saved preset by repeating all the changes
changing the compile-for setting: docx; rtf; print

The same thing happens in every case–except that when I was using columns (in rtf and docx versions) sometimes the columns show up and sometimes they don’t, with no pattern I can see.

I have 3.0.2, and haven’t done any updates between creating the first preset and trying to create this one. I do have printouts from my previous success, so at least I know I wasn’t dreaming. Any ideas?

Is the test text styled in the editor by any chance? If so the style formatting will take precedence over compile override settings in most cases. If you need the styling, the way to modify styled text directly is to add a style by that same name into the Styles compile format pane, and adjust what it should look like, there.

In the editor’s style box at the top of the editor pane, it says “no style.” Is that what you mean?

“No style” would be the opposite of the text being styled, and the ideal case for normal text in Scrivener. Thus, not the source of whatever is causing the issue you describe.

Another mistake might be if you were testing the new Format prior to having saved it. The issue with doing things that way is that the underlying project will not yet have its Types mapped to the Layouts that you’ve made, so everything will compile as-is, with regards to formatting. Simply saving your start, assigning the layouts you want to test, and then ducking back into the format designer will be the solution there. It sounds like you might have covered that one though, since you mention trying it after saving it, too.

That aside, there are simply too many potentially different ways to do what you describe on purpose, as well as potential pitfalls that might be done on accident, that could end up with a result like you describe. We’ll need a more detail into your setup, ideally even an example project:

  • At least one text item in the Draft that demonstrates the problem and clear indication of which to look at. Examples that work fine are good as well, if you wish to show what the intended result should be like.

Any sample text is fine, so long as the problem persists. To scramble your existing text in a way that leaves the formatting and context intact, use search and replace to swap common letters around).

  • The project should have a copy of your compile Format saved into the project (to do that, right-click the one in My Projects from your sample project and choose to duplicate and edit. Once in the format designer, switch the save mode to project).
  • Best way to capture an issue like this is to use File ▸ Save As… and save the copy to a temporary location with an unambiguous name, like “SAMPLE PROJECT”, so it doesn’t get confused with real work. You’ll then strip out everything not necessary from the binder and empty the trash.