Format Toolbar vs Character Styles

My document has many words and phrases set in Bold. I noticed that they were not showing up in the compiled ePub file, (as viewed via the Kindle Viewer). So I created a Character Style called, “Bold” and that works fine. So now when I Bold a word or phrase using the Character Style, it show is in the ePub file fine.

So here’s my question. If I have to use a Character Style in order for the Bold attribute to show up in my compiled file, what’s the Format Tool bar icon(s) for??

There isn’t one (as far as I know). But the good news is: It’ll help you to break free from this inefficient habit. The best way is to add and use keyboard shortcuts. Are you on macOS or Windows?

Thanks for your quick reply @November_Sierra. I’m using the Windows version.

Scrivener is one of the most impressive programs I have ever used! It’s a little disheartening to think that the Format Bar might be useless. I’d be very surprised if such a complex and well though out platform, had such an obvious built in deficiency. Hopefully someone else can chime in and and shed some light on this mystery.

If you absolutely insist to leave the home row and reach for mouse or trackpad… there’s (among other methods) the Styles Panel. Basically a floating vertical toolbar listing your styles, waiting to be gently clicked. It’s invoked by Win Alt S. See also: Scrivener Manual 17.2.3.

Bold and Italic formatting from the Format Toolbar should propagate into your output document. Using Styles is usually what prevents this, because Editor Styles are not duplicated in the Compile Styles. So the Toolbar-buttons should work, but somehow not in your case.

Do you maybe use a “Body” or “Normal” Style other than the default “No Style”? That might prevent Bold and Italic text getting in your output document…

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Yes. That’s it. I ran some tests and figured it out. When I first set up Scrivener, I thought it was odd NOT to have some default body style like “Body” or “Normal” so I created my own. Turns out the default body style in Scrivener is called, “No Style”.

If you open Project => Project Settings => Formatting, you can set the properties of the “No Style” default to whatever font, size and spacing you want. Once I did this I was able to get rid of my previously defined “Body” style. AND now all the functions in the Format Toolbar carry over into my compiled document.

So pressing Ctrl-B and Ctrl-I is an “inefficient habit”? So we should re-learn to let go of the keyboard and grab the mouse to apply simple formatting?

Those are standard shortcuts that work virtually everywhere, just in Scrivener they are useless. If anyone should remap anything it should be Scriv; remapping them to two predefined styles.

No. Quite the opposite. You misread my statement. Hunting buttons on an toolbar is ineffiecent, I advocated for using keyboard shortcuts.

I just ran another test. The Ctrl-b bold key combination did bold my text. BUT it didn’t carry over through the compiled document. I’m glad you pointed this out. I’ll just use the Format Bar.

You may want to file a bug report to get this added to a future update.

And this works? It’s the same bold, no matter if you press a keyboard shortcut or click a button. :thinking:

Off the top of my head, the only situation where bold, italics, etc don’t make it through compile is when using a style that saved character attributes.
Properly setting a style to save the paragraph’s formatting only, if that is all you actually need, would spare you that.

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It looks the same in the document. BUT it’s NOT the same. Only a click on the Format Bar will show up in your complied document. Knowing this now, will probably save many users lots of time. Thanks for pointing that out.

Mac or Windows?
. . . . .

To be honest, until we figure out what exactly is going on, it’s likely to confuse a lot of users. It confuses me. What exactly are you clicking on? The “B”?

Yes. Run a test. Use the B (for bold) in the Format Bar. Then in another sentence, use the Ctrl-B (for bold) combination. On the screen they’ll both appear to be bold. But only the Format Bar bold will show up in your document. I trust my test results. Yours will most likely be the same.

PS: I’m using the Windows version.

I can’t reproduce it on macOS. That’s why I was asking. Strange indeed.

On Windows, I am unable to reproduce this using docx or epub3 output.

So something else is going on. :person_shrugging:


It should be the same. If it’s not, either there’s something else going on in your project, or there’s a bug. My vote is for some other issue in your project, as this is fundamental enough that we’d have heard about it before now if it were a bug.

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You are right! There is no bug. I created a new project and ran my tests again. Both the Format Bar and the Ctrl shortcuts follow through and appear correctly in the complied document. From now I will be using the default “No Style” format as my default “Body” style.

My apologies for any confusion I may have caused here. Another great thing about Scrivener, is how responsive and helpful this community forum is. Especially to new users. Thanks all your help.