Disconnect between editor window/ruler display and settings.

I have the ruler on. Page set to 3/4" side margins. The editor window is showing lines of text as being the right length per the ruler at the top, but the lines of text are actually much shorter than shown.

I’ve attached a screen capture *.jpg file that shows the disconnect between the text line length vs the ruler in the editor window. The print preview, and page settings demonstrate that the word wrap as show is what prints.

The monitor is high resolution, 2560 x 1440. It works properly with all my other SW.

It looks like you’ve set a right indent in the editor. Select all the text and then drag the triangle marker from the 7 all the way to the right edge of the ruler. When you release it, it should stick to the right edge, even if you change the width of the window. When compiled or printed, the text will wrap at whatever right margin you’ve set in the Page Settings of compile (or in File > Page Setup if you’re printing directly from the editor).

Thanks. I did that. The document does indeed print as the page setup specifies if the right margin on the ruler is pushed to what would be the edge of the paper.

I’m very new to Scrivener so it took me a while. I need to do some research to figure out if there is a way to impose a format on the whole document without having to visit every scene in every chapter. But for now it’s done.

FWIW: I can’t help but think the ruler is useless as a formatting tool because the text doesn’t display relative to the ruler as it will print. I’m surprised that’s not considered a bug. I can live with that by simply turning off the ruler. If I was still writing engineering documentation that would bother me, but for fiction it’s no problem.

You can select multiple documents and convert them to the current default formatting using Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style. To change your default formatting before you convert, go to the Editor tab of Tools > Options… and use the format bar and ruler to adjust the sample text. (The blue A button on the left of the format bar opens the font options.) Click OK to apply the changes and close the Options. Your new defaults will apply to all new documents you create (in any project), and you’d then use the convert command to change exiting ones.

I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this. Most of the time, you will want to use the Compile command to bring your work out of Scrivener, and there you can entirely overwrite the formatting used in the editor, including the ruler settings. Most of the presets will do this to standardise formatting for one purpose or another. It is possible though to leave the editor formatting intact, and then the ruler settings for the paragraphs are exported as given. For File > Print and File > Export, the ruler settings are always used.

The page margins are not set in the editor. These are set in either Page Settings, for compile, or File > Page Setup… for print and export direct from the editor. The ruler counts from the inside edge of the left margin.

In general, remember that Scrivener is not a word processor with a What You See Is What You Get appearance for the editor. It doesn’t handle page layout or any idea of pages at all when you’re working. It’s more a text editor in that sense. The right edge of the editor represents the inside edge of the right margin, so text wrapping to the editor will wrap to the margin when exported. If you set an indent, though, then that’s a hard setting and, unless you override it in compile (or export to a format that doesn’t support it), it will be used in the final output.

Let me just second what MM’s saying. It took me a bit to get used to also, but once I realized that Scrivener is a very (very) high end work-in-progress notebook and not a typewriter (as I have my word processor’s pages set up to be), I got more comfortable with it. Particularly in the Research section of the Binder, it makes no difference at all how wide the “pages” are or what the indent is, as long as it’s comfortable for you to work with. Even in the Draft section, it’s still just a draft; Scrivener expects you’ll do the finalized, detailed formatting in a word processor meant for the purpose.

In Jon Winokur’s useful and entertaining anthology Advice for Writers, John Steinbeck is quoted as saying, “Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down” (p. 103). Similarly, from Larry Gelbart, “… you have to allow yourself the liberty of writing poorly. You have to get the bulk of it done, and then you start to refine it” (p. 107).

Something similar is true about formatting in Scrivener: this program is for getting the material organized and the words written. Page formatting is left for the final stages of refinement. This is extremely hard for me to do, as my natural desire is to perfect every line before going on to the next. An unintentional benefit of Scrivener is that it’s helping me to learn this good practice.

Thanks for the explanation! Now that I understand the paradigm it makes sense.

I can work with that. It doesn’t need to be WYSIWYG. My writing began in manual typewriters. I was out of college before the first PC’s appeared so I end up proofing stuff on paper at some point because that is where things jump out at me.