Formatting issues

Hello all, I’m new to the forum, so, firstly, my profuse apologies to anyone who has seen this question before. In fact, if this question is perennial and I’ve just been too lazy to look for the original posting, a simple redirection to that post would be ideal.

Meanwhile, back to my question:

I have sent my manuscript to a friend for copy editing, and she has returned it to me as a .doc file. Upon opening the edited manuscript in scrivener, all the dialogue is formated so that there is a huge indent at the start of the line which I am unable to remove as hitting the backspace key joins the line to the previous one (as it there is a massive “tab” at the start of the line.

Does anyone know how I can fix this?

Many thanks!


It sounds to me as though your friend is using first-line paragraph indents, which is the preferred way to offset text anyway, rather than inserting a Tab character. This is why you cannot delete the indent. When you try to backspace, it deletes the carriage return instead, joining the two lines.

Check your ruler (Shift-Cmd-R), by putting the cursor in the paragraph and checking the down-arrow symbol on the left side. If you drag that arrow around, does the indent change? If so you should be able to figure out how to fix it.

However you might wish to just use the Documents/Convert/Formatting to Default Text Style menu command instead of dealing with everything by hand. That’s a very useful command when sending out and receiving documents from others, as formatting tends to shift around a lot.

Oh, Amber V, that worked a treat! Thank you so much!

Now I shall get my act together and have a good look around the forum, and maybe even introduce myself properly!

Best regards,


Welcome to the club! The usage and trips & tricks section of the forum are great places to browse for ideas on how to use the software. A lot of common questions have been asked and answered there.