Does Scrivener have styles?

I’m trying to learn how to produce pretty output from Scrivener. I want to know if Scrivener has styles, like CSS or Word or OpenOffice do.

I’ve created a bunch of documents. Each will be a chapter in my novel. At the top of each document I’ve put a title, for example “Emil Goes Shopping”. I’ve used the presets to define that line as a Heading. When I compile to OpenDocument Format, each chapter gets a big, bold title at the top of the page.

Cool. Except that I want all of the titles to be centered instead of left justified. So I selected one of the titles, centered it, and then did Format -> Formatting -> Redefine Preset From Selection -> Redefine ‘Heading’. But when I go to my other chapters, the headings aren’t centered. I have to re-apply the Heading preset to the title in each chapter. If Scrivener had styles like CSS does, or Word or OpenOffice do, then all of the text marked “Heading” would have changed to the new format as soon as I redefined Heading to be centered.

Is there some magic I’m missing? Why do I have to redefine each chapter title as Heading all over again?

TIA, - Peyton

You might look into the default way that Scrivener is designed to work, where you would be generating headings using the natural structure of the outline itself, rather than typing them into the text editor. For example if you have 25 or so files in a list, one for each chapter, you could name them how you want them to be printed in the final output and then go into the Formatting pane and enable “Titles” for file icons. You can then style this universally right there, and even add material to the title, such as a prefix like Chapter <$n>, to give you automatic numbering. This is a flexible approach—in fact that “list of files” method I just described is only one popular way of working. Another, probably even more popular way, is to use a folder for each chapter, where the folder contains one or more scene files. That’s no problem, in that case you would put the Title checkbox on folder icons, and leave it off of files so that they become “invisible” (with the except, perhaps, of having a blank line or some other separator inserted between them in the Separators pane).

It’s a different way of working—it’s about dynamically constructing a document from small pieces of text rather than making “a document” in a text editor that looks exactly like what you would print.

You don’t have to work that way, to be clear. As you’ve noted, you can just use Scrivener more like a familiar word processor and format everything by hand, but since this isn’t a super complicated OpenOffice or something, you may find some of its capabilities a bit lacking in that regard—particularly when changing your mind about what several hundred sub-section headings should look like, and so forth. I’d definitely give the more dynamic approach a shot, as it will make your work more agile and efficient to work with in the long run.

I’ve been pretty vague here, there is a lot of power in this area of Scrivener, and it can be intimidating at first. I highly recommend going over Step 16 in the interactive tutorial (and of course, the other steps as well if you haven’t!) as it will go over all of the basics with Formatting. After going through that step, you should be able to come up with some nice “presets” just using a few of the most basic concepts of adding titles and modifying their formatting.

I took your advice and removed the in-document titles formatted with presets, then used the formatting pane to turn on titles only for documents. I even figured out how to suppress the title on the document called Title Page by marking Title Page as “As-is”, so now I can compile to a good-looking PDF.

This is still not good enough. Please see my next post, “Chapter titles lacking in .odt and .rtf output”