Formating, I've messed up and need help

I am new to Scrivener and have created myself a little problem.

I have set up a new project with a Fiction Format, so far so good. I then imported some text that I cut and pasted from Google Docs that I had been writing earlier before I bought Scrivener. I have since added several scenes to Scrivener directly.

When I checked the formatting I realised the problem and couldn’t work out the best way to fix it. I would like to keep the original Fiction template settings throughout. I would be grateful for any help to change the formatting so that it is the same throughout.

I am using the Mac version 3.3.1, the latest version. I’m sure it’s a simple fix, I just haven’t worked out how to do it.


What is your default format?

That is, if you create a brand new document and type some text, how does it look? If that text has the look you want, then you’re halfway there. If not, either use the commands from the Format menu to fix it, or find some text elsewhere in the project that does look right.

Once you have one paragraph looking the way you want, you can use the Project → Project Settings → Formatting pane to make it the default for this project, or Scrivener → Scrivener Preferences → Editing → Formatting to make it the default Scrivener-wide.

Then, the Documents → Convert → Text to Default Formatting command will reformat existing text to the new default.

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That’s brilliant thank you very much, I will give it a go.

I don’t see it being a problem in the future as everything will be written straight into Scrivener using the Fiction template.

Thanks for the reply,

If formatting is still wonky after converting to the default, look for embedded tabs, tables, and other “white space” commands with the View → Text Editing → Show Invisibles command.

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  1. Another useful command to use on text pasted from miscellaneous elsewhere is Edit > Text Tidying > Zap Gremlins.

  2. When pasting text from elsewhere, you probably almost always want to use Paste and Match Formatting, not straight Paste. (Some of us have gone so far as to swap the key commands for those two menu items.) This would have avoided the irregularity that you are dealing with now.

  3. It is good to remember that the look of things in Scrivener’s editor pane need only be how you want to see things when writing/editing. The final look of your typescript will be given and is highly controllable by the Compile function (though compiling “as-is” is an option).


Thanks very much.