How styles are handled during compile

I have been reading the manual and the forum, but have a compile problem I need help with.

In my novel, I am using the project’s heading 2 format to set off dates to make the time line of my story easier to follow. My heading 2 style is just left justified and bold. The formatting of the style doesn’t end up in the compiled ebook format. So, in rummaging around on the forum and in the manual, I find, that for each section layout, if I edit the layout, I can discover how each style is handled.

First question: The styles from my project are listed in the edit section layout dialog. However, in the actual formatting portion of this dialog, I am limited to body text and headings 1-6. I assume the reason for this is a limitation of the pub format? Scrivener translates my project styles into this subset of styles in some default manner which seems reasonable. My heading 2 selection from the project is translated to heading 4.

I can set the characteristics of heading 4 in the section layout format editor. Originally it was set to centered, which was what I noticed. I changed this to left aligned and the change was propagated to the epub compile. However, although the section layout format editor presents heading 4 as being bold, this is not honored in the compiled epub document.

How do I fix this?

I am running 3.1.1 on a Mac with Mojave 10.14.1

I’m not quite sure what you mean here. “Body Text” and “Heading 1” etc do not appear in the Section Layouts area - they only appear in the Styles area (an area that allows you to override project styles or create styles to be used on in Compile).


  • In Section Layouts, you can choose a style (as defined in the “Styles” area of Compile) to assign to the text of the layout (which will be assigned to the text in your manuscript).

  • In the Styles area, you can choose an HTML header type (Heading 1 - 2, or just “Body Text”, i.e. no heading). You cannot choose a style here because this is where you define styles - it would make no sense to assign a style to a style. So I think you are confusing the HTML heading settings for styles. Nothing is being translated there - “Body Text” and “Heading 1-6” has nothing to do with styles except in that you can assign a heading level to a style (the purpose of this button).

It sounds as the confusion may be down to the fact that there are styles called “Heading N” but also HTML settings that refer to “Heading 1-6”. And you can set any HTML heading level to a style, so it is indeed possible to have a style titled “Heading 2” which has an HTML header level of 4 (which is in fact what the default “Heading 2” uses).

I may need to make the labelling a little clearer here.

Note that you don’t have to override styles in Compile - any styles set up in the project will be applied over the text again during Compile. But if you have a style set up in Compile’s “Styles” area, the formatting there will override the formatting of the style in the project. As long as your style is formatted as you wish there, then, it should work.

If you’re still having problems, please upload a small sample project showing the issue so that I can take a look.

All the best,

Okay, I spent a lot of time on this and it was much ado about nothing. Turns out that the .epub viewer I was using on my Mac doesn’t honor the bold formatting. I was using the Calibre epub viewer.
When I opened the file in Apple Books (AKA iBooks) the bold formatting is there.
My bad.