Formatting and Links

Hi, I’m pretty new to Scrivener, but I’m liking it so far. I like an editor that gets out of the way as much as it does.

I did have a few questions that, after having looked in the manual a couple of times, scanning the forums and FAQs and such, I haven’t found the answer to. I wasn’t sure if some of these might not be better classed as Wishes, but I thought I’d put them all together here, at least initially.

Anyway, here’s my questions:

  1. When I create a new document, it always comes up Courier, 12 point. I haven’t found a preference to set some other default. Is this possible?

  2. Is there a hotkey to follow a link (scrivener or otherwise)? It would be nice when I’m typing not to have to go to and from the mouse quite so much.

  3. Similar to 2, is there a way to automatically create links? I tried the autocorrect, but that doesn’t seem to have that sort of data. I ask because I once wrote aprogram for keeping notes that had this capability. Basically, I could create an autocorrect that when typing certain text, it would automatically format it with an internal link to some other document in the system (something akin to a wiki link, but not based upon the page title but a table of known tags). This was great for linking to things like character bios, setting details and so on automatically, which really helped during the eventual revisions. Right now, Scrivener’s internal linking seems a little tedious, especially if there are multiple levels of folders to go through.

Anyway, do any of these things exist in the current scrivener, or should I put them in the Wishlist instead?

Thanks in advance!


  1. Tools > Options > Appearance > Fonts.

  2. No hotkey AFAIK. Perhaps you could define a hotkey to get the focus on the window containing the link and then use the windows context menu key (if you have a keyboard with windows keys) … just guessing.

  3. Don’t think so.

To change the default font for new documents, you’ll want the Editor tab of Tools > Options. (The “Fonts” in the Appearance tab define fonts in various other parts of the interface where it’s just an issue of font; for the editor, you can also adjust paragraph settings like indents and line spacing.) Use the ruler and format bar to tweak the text in the preview area to your liking (the A button the left of the format bar will open the font panel), then just click OK. All new documents you create will use these settings; existing documents will be left alone, but if you want to apply the new formatting you can select them in the binder and choose Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style. This can’t be undone, so make sure you pay attention to the options if you have any special formatting in the documents that you want to not get overridden (e.g. you set up block quotes with specific indentation)–if you’re not sure, you could try making a copy of the document first (right click and choose Duplicate) and applying the conversion to that to make sure you like the results. Character formatting like italic and bold will always be preserved.

There’s not a keyboard only way to follow links at the moment, but it’s a good idea so I’ve made sure to get it on the list for a future update if it’s possible with the text system.

For creating links, we do have plans for a wiki-link style creation like you’re suggesting; this probably won’t get in for a while yet, but it is something already in the pipeline. Additionally, and what will probably happen first, there will be a way to quickly create a new linked document with a keyboard shortcut so that as you’re writing you can use the shortcut to open a panel allowing you to type a name and create a new document or choose an existing one (as you can do now with Edit > Scrivener Link).

Aha! I hadn’t seen that you could change the font on the Editor Tab. Thanks!

Too bad about the other stuff, but at least I can look forward to it in the future, perhaps.

Thanks again for the help.

This would be a huge deal for me. I noticed that the Mac version lets you type “((” to start a wiki-style reference, and something like that would be terrific. I am importing a lot of data from WikidPad, so I have lots of wiki links using square brackets. The ability to create links like that would be terrific. Also, the ability to drag-and-drop into a document or note to create a Scrivener Link would be awesome. If you have an idea how long it will be until we see better link creation (along with the ability to create new documents), it would be nice to know.

As it is, I may just write a tool to tear through the Scrivener DB, the RTF files, and the .links files, to fix up the links after the fact. It will probably take a lot less time than all the manual fix-ups I would otherwise end up doing, especially since Scrivener thankfully uses XML for its own data.

Okay, I created the utility and posted about it here. Maybe it will help somebody other than me.