How do you set default indents, font etc for all documents?

Apologies if this topic has been dealt with and answered before - I have been trying to figure this out for days with no luck and I am at the end of my rope.

How do I set default indents (and general default formatting - like font and font size etc) for all documents? Right now every document in my binder has different formatting. When I use the ruler it changes the formatting for that section, but not for all. So far I have been changing indents and font manually but as you can imagine this is time consuming.

I have tried using Tools > Options > General/Editor but (as you probably know) that only allows me to change the font of menus etc, rather than the actual font that my documents are written in. Also I cannot change the font of document in Editor, and the margins only go to 5.5 on the right side.

Any help will be greatly appreciated…I am this close to running back to Microsoft Word with my tail between my legs.

Tools -> Options -> Editor is the option pane you want.

To change the font, click the little ‘A’ in the upper left corner of the pane. You should get a list of all the fonts available on your system.

To increase the page width beyond 5.5", make the Options window bigger so that you can see a larger Ruler. Then drag the up-pointing arrows to adjust the margins.

Note that these changes will only affect new documents. To apply them to existing documents, use the command Documents -> Convert -> Text Formatting to default style.

Hope this helps,


Thanks so much! That seems to have worked. Phew! I should’ve noticed the “A” in the editor pane but I never would’ve guessed that I could change the margins by making the Options window bigger. What a funny thing. Thanks again! :smiley:

Just to clarify a little here, the ruler deals with indents, not with page margins. Actual margins don’t come into play until you compile your work, and they are set in the Page Settings pane of File > Compile. How they are set will not affect the appearance of the editor in Scrivener, which does not attempt to display a “page view” the way you might see in Word, so whether you’re compiling to A4 with a 3cm margin on one side and 1cm on another, or Letter with 1in margins all around, or some entirely custom page size, it will all look the same while you’re drafting in the editor.

The markers on the ruler adjust the indents, which work from the margin–whatever the margin is when compiled. In the editor you will see them indenting from the sides of the ruler–whatever the width of the ruler is–because the text simply wraps to the size of the editor, but consider the edges of the ruler as the inside edges of your final margin. If you have set the margin to 1in on the left, then a first line indent of .5in will ultimately put that at 1.5in from the left edge of the page. Likewise, if you set a right indent of 5in, and you compile with a 1in margin all around, that would cause the text to wrap at 6in from the left of the page–compiling to 8.5x11in, that would put it 2.5in from the right edge.

You’ll almost never need to set a right indent, as typically you just want the text to wrap at the margin, whatever that is. Script settings and some block quote types are the most common reasons for needing a right indent for some paragraphs. For most writing, and for your default settings, you’ll want to just leave the right indent affixed to the right edge of the ruler, effectively turning off the indent. To do this, just drag the marker all the way off the right edge of the ruler. If you make the editor wider (or widen the Options pane), you should see the right indent marker move with the edge of the ruler, indicating that it is just set to the margin and your text will wrap normally.

It’s actually a little confusing, because the Compile -> Page Settings pane gives the option to “use project Page Setup” or to setup a new page for the compiled output.

So the commands that could potentially affect margins and tabs are:
Scrivener -> Preferences -> Formatting – this sets the default for all projects

Project -> Text Preferences – affects all documents within a project

The Ruler for each individual document – unless specifically over-ridden here

File -> Page Setup – project level

File -> Compile -> Formatting and -> Page Settings – affects output only, not the project itself.


Those aren’t presently applicable in the Windows version, though. In Windows, margins are set in the Page Settings of compile or in the page set up from the File menu if printing a document directly (skipping compile).

Did I forget what platform I was on again? :blush: Sigh…


A feature request for a future update for Windows would be some option, like the Mac version wrap, which gave a shorter line length in the editing view. On a 15 inch laptop it’s impossible to use the current line length which is just too long to be readable. I created a custom layout which shrinks down the window and consequently the margin.
The Mac solution - wider space blank space around a page-like margin - is much easier to work with. Just a thought…

A fixed width is in the plans, yes. For now you can adjust the padding in the editor (“Editor Margin” in the Editor tab of Options) up to 100pt, which may help.

Aha! Cunning… Thanks :slight_smile: