getting formatting closer to "user space"

I like how little I worry about formatting in general when using Scrivener. The application really does encourage you to leave that for later, but, as a nonfiction writer, there are definitely moments in a text where the need to have block quotations comes fairly frequently. In those moments, I really do need to move back and forth between a regular body paragraph, an indented quotation paragraph, and then an unindented follow-up body paragraph. (This gives the proof readers and editors of the press with which I work the minimal amount of information they need to understand the flow of text.)

During those times, I wish that little drop-down menu for formatting was available outside the formatting bar. Is there a way, for example, to place it in the toolbar. (If there isn’t, can it be a feature request?) I understand that I have access to formatting through the FORMAT > FORMATTING > APPLY PRESET menu-submenu-subsubmenu-subsubsub … well, you get the drift of how tedious that can be (especially if you’re pointing isn’t exact and you flip to a different submenu).

I’ve tried using the Keyboard Shortcuts system preference to make it possible to simply bring up “Apply Preset,” but I can’t get it to work.

I recognize that this may be, at least as I understand it, somewhat of a limitation of OS X, which does not seem to handle formatting text in a consistent (that is convention/style-driven) fashion easy.

Thoughts and potential workarounds are welcome. (Especially if it’s possible to set up keyboard shortcuts for specific formatting presets, e.g., CTRL + SHIFT + B for a body paragraph.)

But, no, I don’t particularly like leaving the formatting bar out. I like as much writing space as possible.

It is possible to do this. Set up and name your presets in Scrivener: they are then part of the menu structure and you’ll be able to add shortcuts through System Preferences in the normal way. Just be sure you get the name exactly right.



David’s tip is spot on - applying good keyboard shortcuts using the System Prefs is the best thing to do here. Presets are only available in the menus and the formatting bar, so if you choose to hide the formatting bar, then that is the only option.

All the best,

As an alternative, you could try working in scriptwriting mode, that has built-in keyboard shortcuts for formatting presets. This has the benefit of letting you cascade styles - for example, a chapter heading when you write it and hit return, can put you into opening-paragraph style, and when done with that, hitting return can put you into main-paragraph style.

You can redefine the default script paragraph formats and rename them as well - the Scrivener manual is clear on how to do this.

  • asotir

I saw that scriptwriting mode had the option to take over the lower (status?) bar. I was holding off exploring that option until I had looked into others. The good news is that that’s a possibility.

KB … I’d still like to put a plug in for styles hanging off the toolbar, a la Pages, but I also understand that there’s only so many hours in a day.

Everyone has got something they want in the toolbar, and it’s impossible to cater for everybody, sorry. :slight_smile: That’s not a definite “no”, but it’s not something that would go on the high priority list.

You can indeed use scriptwriting mode for this sort of thing if you want, though - I know a number of academic users do just that.

All the best,

I’ve got the keyboard shortcuts working pretty well right now. I really only need three for the most part:

  • regular (indented) paragraph
  • blockquoted (fully indented) paragraph
  • follow-up (unindented paragraph)

Everything else can get handled either by Scrivener’s compile functionality or by the designers handling formatting for publication.

For the record: I will, one day, take a look at what the scriptwriting mode has to offer, but that has to wait until this particular book is done. The publisher expects it this coming Monday. That’s not going to happen, but it has to happen soon.