Font and Spacing

I am new to writing and to using Scrivener, and I think I need advice or help from someone who’s published something.

I started out using the Novel with Parts template, but the font is Sitka Text, and I’m getting single spacing. I’m really not sure that font is correct for an agent or editor to read – is there a “standard” font I should be using instead? I used to use Times New Roman for papers and such, but I have heard that lots of editors don’t like it.

Also, will the single spacing be changed when I compile the manuscript? Or should I change that now?

TIA from a newbie!

Hi Cyrius. You’re asking some good questions, and the answers will really depend on your personal approach to your writing.

Scrivener, unlike the word-processing programs you might have used before, doesn’t necessarily require the user to set up their final formatting when the project is started.

To put that another way, Scrivener isn’t necessarily a WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) word processor. It can be used that way, but it doesn’t have to be.

That is, it’s possible to set up the text in your main editor using whatever fonts, font colors, line spacing, and other settings are comfortable for you during the writing and revision process.

If you leave the bulk of your text using Scrivener’s default “No Style” and apply stylesheets selectively for items like block quotes or verses cited in a prose text, then you can have the compile tools change all of the formatting in the output file to match whatever submissions standards your agent or publisher requires.

For someone like me, that’s a huge help because I can use Scrivener’s Revision Mode to change the font colors with each round of revisions. And, I don’t need to later change all that text back to the default of black text. I can leave the main editor full of my revision colors and no one receiving my output file will know.

That approach took me some time to get used to, but now I can’t imagine forcing myself to work with the bog standard of TNR or Courier when writing my drafts. Since I can spend months (or even years) with some projects, having the editor actually present my text in a comfortable font and line spacing matters a lot while I’m working.


To answer your specific question, yes you can change the font, the spacing, and pretty much everything else when you Compile the manuscript.

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend taking a look at our Interactive Tutorial, available from the Help menu. It’s a good overview of Scrivener’s fundamental operations.