Double Line leaving after a single enter

Hi Keith,

Thanks once again for designing this wonderful software.

Keith, am facing just a teeny bit of issue, when I hit enter, the cursor just doesn’t go to the next line but drops two lines below. That happens in Word too, but in Work when one hits Shift+Enter it goes to the next line quite comfortably.

How can I change the line or paragraphs settings so that on hitting Enter it goes just to the next line.

I tried adjusting the spacing to Single line in the Text Editing Menu under Preferences, that didn’t help.

Thanks Keith!

Bangalore, India

In the “text editing” pane of the Preferences choose “Spacing”. You will probably find that it is set to 1.2 8.0/0.0; that means interline spacing of 1.2 times the point height of the font (pretty standard, e.g. 12 point leaded 14.4), with 8 points extra space above a paragraph and 0 points extra space below.
For simplicity, try switching to “Single” and see if that gives you what you want.
If not, choose “Other” and a pane opens to allow you to set your own spacing. I wouldn’t go much below 1.2 times line height though, or the descenders on the upper line will start getting mixed up with the risers on the lower.
That setting will then work with all new projects — don’t forget to click the “Apply” button when you’ve set the Text Editing the way you want it! For existing projects, you will need to go to I have set up a short-cut for that of Ctrl-Cmd-d.
In Word as in Scrivener and most text editing apps, Shift-Return gives you a soft return, as opposed to a paragraph break. I am driven mad by Chinese people who claim to be experts in the use of Microsoft Office, who are totally unable to comprehend paragraph styles, rulers, tabs, or anything similar. They pepper their documents with soft returns as a way of trying to control line spacing, and with spaces as a way of trying to line up indented margins. The results can be unimaginable!
I no longer laugh when I see a student’s CV which looks like a dog’s dinner and they claim expertise in Word as one of their skills — mind you I loved the one I saw yesterday, in which she’d said she was “skilled in the use of Microsoft Office like Word, Excess and PowerPoint” … I kid you not. Mind you, in the case of everyone’s favourite-not software suite, “Excess” seems rather appropriate! :slight_smile:


What you are seeing is simply a visual space being added—there are not actually two lines being inserted, it just looks that way. This is referred to as paragraph spacing (some prefer it to indenting). What you are talking about, using shift-return to get a single line, is a soft-return and should not be used for paragraphs. Rather, just adjust the way paragraphs appear.

To adjust the default behaviour, go to the text editing tab in Preferences, and then in the little ruler at the top, select ‘Single’ from the drop-down menu called ‘Spacing.’ You’ll probably want to add an indent so you can tell when a paragraph starts, to do that slide the top part of the left-most ruler control to the right. It’s easier to just show that part in pictures:

As with soft-returns, you want to do this rather than actually inserting tabs into your document manually.

Hi Mark & Amber,

Thanks for the super prompt replies. I guess I should have been more clear. But Basically is there a way to do a ‘Soft-Return’ in Scrivener.

I tried adjusting the “Spacing” under the “text editing” menu, and have set to Single as recommended. But all that changes is the space between lines when the text “naturally” flows from the first line to the next line, because of the increased text that’s been typed. It doest not adjust the spacing, when there is a forced space between two lines done when “Enter” or “Shift+Enter” is pressed.

For eg. suppose I want to list some items out. Can I have it look like this (Not typed in Scrivener):

Instead of this (Typed in Scrivener):


No, Amber and Mark are correct. If you go to Preferences > Text Editing and click on the “Spacing” pop-up button and “Other…”, you will see that spacing before is set to 8 points. This is the cause of what you are seeing. Just set that to 0. Note that this only affects new documents, not existing documents; to make existing documents take on the preferences text style, select them in the binder and use Documents > Convert > Foramtting to Default Style.

Soft line breaks in Scrivener are made using Opt-Cmd-Return (Edit > Insert > Line Break), but in this case that is not what you want - it is the default paragraph settings that are causing this behaviour.

hope that helps, and thanks for your kind words about Scrivener.

All the best,

Keith, can I ask what has happened to Shift-Return for soft line breaks? I have checked Wock’s list of all the key assignments, but can’t find it. I assume there is a good reason why you have made it Opt-Cmd-Return, but cannot see what Shift-Return does and as in all the other apps I use that gives me a soft line break, I would re-assign it if it’s not going to screw up anything else, or if it is currently assigned to something I’m less likely to use.
Mind you, I’ve never yet had to use a soft line break in Scrivener either, but you never know … I leave sorting things like that out to when I export to NWP.


It’s as simple as this: Interface Builder will not allow you to assign Shift-Return as a keyboard shortcut. I have no idea why; presumably it is reserved by the system.

Another note: To make lists you can just use the list feature, rather than inserting soft-breaks and manually numbering them yourself. While editing, press Cmd-R to show the ruler, and select the list style from the appropriate drop-down menu on it. This will number your list automatically (allowing insertions and so forth) and simultaneously set the paragraph spacing value to 0 while in list mode.

Thanks so much Xiamese, Amber and Keith,

Worked like a Charm. The paragraph settings work beautifully in the new documents as well as when converted in the existing docs. And so does the Soft Return when I need it.

Keith I just noticed that you’re based in London. I was almost there on 1 April. Tickets booked and all. And finally visas didn’t come through at the last minute.

Take care everybody. And thanks so much for the quick resolution.


Sorry to resurrect this, but…

I am exporting text with a blockquote of poetry. Due to MS Word formatting, I would like each break to be a ‘soft-return.’ I tried ‘opt-cmd-return,’ but just like shift-return (didn’t know that issue), when I compile the draft all my pretty poetry is one run-on paragraph, no breaks, all soft-returns converted to spaces. I even tried to insert a line-break with the menu rather than keyboard.

Is there an compile draft setting that I am missing?