Fountain (compile) adds newlines to everyline

I am trying to export as fountain format, and it works well (the synopsis with the “=”, the “#” sign for headings etc) except that it adds newlines to every line.

Can anyone help? Is it some setting I must select/deselect?

I tried checking “as-is” but it is still adding those new lines, even to empty newlines. Just to demonstrate what it is:

In Scrivener, it looks like:

Says something

Says something else

Thank you!

Exporting, it looks like:


Says something


Says something else

In the sample you provided from Scrivener, are you saying the text in Scrivener is already in Fountain format? If so you don’t need a Fountain converter, that is for folks using the scriptwriting feature in Scrivener who wish to take their scripts mobile or something and then convert the modified text back into a formatted screenplay when they get back home. If your text is already Fountain for whatever reason, you don’t need to do anything special and can use the plain-text compile format and plain-text import as well.

As for the punctuation added to titles and synopses, you can very easily set up plain-text to do that as well, with the Formatting compile pane. Of note, the <$synopsis> placeholder can be used in compile settings. Here is an example:

Thank you AmberV, that must be it! Yes, I was writing in the fountain format already. But I cannot compile into a .fountain file? It must be a .txt file?

I followed your screenshot and it is printing the synopses and titles. However, I have 2 questions:
(1) Some of them don’t have synopsis, how do I remove or leave out the “=” if synopsis is empty?
(2) Some have multiple lines of synopsis, how do I make a =.<$synopsis> for every line?

If this is documented somewhere, kindly point me there, I have tried looking around but probably not hard enough?

Just a thought… the .fountain compile is perfect except for the newlines added to every line, I noticed the extra option under Transformations > plain-text > Paragraph spacing / indents for .txt, perhaps we could have that extra little option when compiling for fountain formats?

Thank you!

I have spent a lot of time playing around with the compiling formatting for fountain, this is a summary of what I have found.

Disclaimer: I am writing in the fountain format in Scrivener.
Why not use the screenplay format? Because it takes more time to format it in screenplay. I wanted the outline and “move things around” feature in Scrivener, and write without worrying about the margins (fountain)

Exporting to fountain format:

  • fountain markup/markdown is converted (I love this one), i.e. when I bold /italicise words, they will be converted to the fountain counterpart. This is kinda the best of both worlds, to not worry about the margins and still have aesthetics. I love Scrivener!


  • no annotations / comments / footnotes
  • the resulting file has 2 newlines for every line in the original file
  • section indentations don’t work, even though I checked it under Script Settings > sections and synopses. The resulting file has the sections all with a single pound “#”, instead of multiple “##” depending on the indentation level

Exporting to text format:

  • you can have annotations etc
  • you can remove the extra newlines that the fountain format creates
  • the section indentations work because I specify so (per AmberV’s screenshot)


  • you cannot have empty synopses, in the resulting file, you will have “=” followed by nothing.
  • you cannot have multi-line synopses, in the resulting file, only the first line has “=”.
  • no fountain markup/markdown. My bolding, italics are gone.

If I could have a wish or two, it would be…
(1) please have more compiling options available for the fountain format, so I can write away the cons! :smiley:
(2) please have a compiling option (for text) to convert bolding, italics into a chosen markup/markdown like MD, fountain etc :smiley:

Thank you very much!!!

Have you tried the screenwriting feature in Scrivener? You don’t really need to mess around with formatting and margins, it does all of that for you, and will select elements logically (like dialogue follows character name, optionally with a parenthetical) as you write. As for using small sections and outlining, there really is no difference between scriptwriting and typing in fountain format, in that regard, so I’m not sure what you mean by that.

If you just don’t like it, I’ll understand completely. I write everything in a Markdown dialect and don’t really use any of Scrivener’s formatting features for formatting—because that’s what I like, I don’t even like messing with italics. :slight_smile: I just mention it because as I say, Scrivener’s Fountain features were built exclusively around the premise that it operates as a transit format for working outside of the project with some material.

I ran into a similar problem a while back. I use a system that lets me assign a short alias to a section, for cross-referencing purposes, so I don’t need to always type out the full name of the section. This is done with brackets after the title of the section, and I use the suffix field to insert that alias—but if there is no alias I was left with empty brackets after every title.

My solution was to add a line to the Replacements compile pane that looked for empty brackets and replaced them with nothing. Problem solved! You could probably do similar by looking for an equal sign followed by a space and then a carriage return (you can insert a CR in the replace field by holding down Option and pressing return) and replacing it with nothing.

As for multi-line synopses, I can’t think of a good way around that one. The best solution I can think of is to type the “= ” into subsequent paragraphs of the synopsis card, yourself. By and large you’d avoid having to do so thanks to the compile settings, but for those odd cases where you have more to say, you’d just have to remember to set additional lines properly from the get go. I haven’t tested it, but it should work.

You can convert those in the editor with the Format/Convert/Bold and Italics to MultiMarkdown Syntax menu command.

We may have some pleasant surprises for you along those lines, but that update is still a ways off yet.

That option wouldn’t compliment the Fountain compile settings because that format is designed to take a formatted screenplay and turn it into a plain-text Fountain formatted file. If you converted the rich text spacing of a screenplay into literal text spaces and carriage returns (as this option allows), the result would not be a Fountain file, but a text file that is a bad combination of Fountain formatting mixed with enough empty spaces on lines to make it look like a printed screenplay.

Thank you AmberV for explaining and suggesting some workarounds.

Yes, I have tried it. It was time consuming (after trying fountain) and does not accommodate all the features naturally.

I was skeptical about fountain initially, but with all the rave about it being more productive, I gave it a go and I didn’t look back. Because Highland will produce it very pretty for you, and you just need to type the CAPS when needed, and put things on a newline like you would normally, minus all the thinking about: selecting from a dropdown list, should I press tab or enter, is this in the right place, can I adjust this, why can’t I put another parenthetical here… those things that go through the head when writing slows down the writing, so I went fountain instead.

And the plus is, I can work on my iphone or ipad, then copy and paste (i have a separate workflow that syncs text files from a long time back) into Scrivener when I get back to the desk. I don’t need to think twice about formatting.

I understand from your standpoint the purpose of the fountain compile settings. However, there is more than one use for Scrivener, being such a swiss knife it is, and I hope that you will consider the ones who write in fountain. It’s a fairly new format, but it really writes faster with just CAPS and newlines. Perhaps Scrivener can compile fountain like Highland someday :smiley:

A more relevant bonus might be to include comments, annotations, footnotes. I can live without them in the export feature for now, can’t tell what it might be in the future though.

Love surprises!!!

I might want to have my cake and eat it, but… I wanted the aesthetics of the bold and italics as they are seen, rather than in markdown format with the asterisks, because it’s easier on the eyes what they are. :stuck_out_tongue:

So what did I end up doing?
My solution was compiling in the .fountain format, because the settings were painless and brainless, and it had everything I needed except for the newlines. So I wrote a little program to tidy up the resulting fountain file, and it’s beautiful now.