Formatting existing document

I am new to scrivener and am sure this has been answered somewhere, but I can’t seem to find it (or I’m not using the right search terms). I have an existing manuscript and would like to have all of the text formatted in the same font, font size, and spacing. Do I have to go into each document or is there a way to format the whole thing?

You could do the following.

First set up a new project (I would choose a blank template as a first attempt.)

Then under Format>Styles you can define the various styles anyway you want.

Then you import your manuscript into Scrivener.

Then you select your whole document and apply the style you have created.

That should get you started.

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 fundamental operations like editing and formatting.

Once you’ve formatted one paragraph to work 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.

Styles, as described in Orpheus’s post, are not required and are often undesirable. Scrivener handles styles differently from applications like Word, so I would reading at least the first part of Section 15.6 in the Scrivener manual before creating or assigning them.


Thank you. I actually watched the whole tutorial, but didn’t know that when I was pasting in content from another source, it wouldn’t allow me to choose if I wanted to keep the existing formatting or adopt the template format.


You said you had a whole manuscript, that would be a lot of pasting. You could import the whole manuscript instead using, File>Import.

Katherine referred to the built-in interactive tutorial that you start from the Help menu in Scrivener. It’s a Scrivener project that walks you through all the basics in Scrivener. It takes some time to do it all but it is worth the time and effort.