How to get rid of spaces between paragraphs?

My newer projects don’t seem to have this problem, but my old one does - when I compiled it into word, it left me with spaces between paragraphs, as well as paragraph indents. A friend who is editing for me pointed this out, and I’m now wondering if there’s an easy way to fix it.

I didn’t start this project in the novel template, but in the general draft one. If I copy and paste the latest version into a new project that uses the novel template, will that fix my problem? I tried with the first two chapters, and the spaces between paragraphs are still there in Scrivener. Will they vanish when I compile the project? Or do I need to fix the problem in Scriv itself?

If so, would it help if I used Keith’s tip on pasting unformatted text in the FAQs?

I’d really love to get rid of all those paragraph spaces without having to do it manually! This is an 85K SF novel, and there are a lot of paragraphs!


So are you saying that within Scrivener, there are empty lines between each paragraph? Lines that can be deleted using the backspace key?

If so, you can do this:
FIRST! Make a backup using File->Back Up->Back up To… Add something to the name that indicates that it’s before you fixed your double-spaced paragraphs.

Now, go to Edit->Find->Project Replace

In the Replace field, hold down the OPT key and hit the ENTER key twice
In the With field, hold down OPT and hit the ENTER key once

Don’t check Regex, but do check/un-check other boxes as necessary.

Click Replace, and it will traverse your whole project, looking for the invisible paragraph characters and replacing every instance of two in a row with one.

If you have a title page or other documents that should have multiple empty lines, you may have to add those back in.

Thanks, Robert! Oddly, when I tried to paste the project into the novel template last night, the gaps I saw could not be deleted with the backspace key. That made the paragraphs run together. So maybe it’s just a visual thing? However, since the gaps were there in my original (draft) file, I might try that technique there, and I’ll let you know how it goes. Again, thanks for the tip.

I’ve seen this behavior as well, even after having done a global font override during Compile. There are paragraphs (copied from other documents) which have different line leading and there is more vertical space between occasional paragraphs than the norm.

Is there a way to globally fix this? The problem would be with quotes since they are single-spaced and have different leading.

The problem arises in the compiled rtf or doc file. Pre-compile, this is a distraction but it shouldn’t matter.

If you can’t delete them, then it’s the paragraph spacing. If you want to reset everything, including paragraph indents and fonts to what is set up in the Formatting pane of Scrivener->Preferences, then select all of your documents in the binder by selecting the top level folder for your writing (Manuscript, or Draft is what it is usually named), and then go to Edit->Select with Subdocuments. Then go to Documents->Convert->Convert formatting to default text style.

That will change all of the font & paragraph settings to be consistent across your entire manuscript.

If you want paragraph spacing that’s different from what you find in Preferences->Formatting, select the numeric drop-down button above the sample text window there (it may say 1.0 or 2.0 or something like that), and then select Other… from that list. You’ll have the opportunity to fine-tune the paragraph spacing to your liking there. Note that these settings only change how newly created documents look, or how documents are converted using the Convert formatting menu.

The compile Formatting tab has similar paragraph spacing settings to what I was just describing above, but if you don’t have “Override text and notes formatting” checked, then it will use whatever formatting you have inside scrivener during compile.

Keep in mind that large paragraph spacing settings can be manipulated this way, but if you have two carriage returns after every paragraph, then you have to delete the extra one.

“Override text and notes formatting” is checked for the Compile.
Because not all paragraphs are affected, and because the differences can be subtle (say, a leading difference of .25") the problem slips by both screen and home printer proofreading and isn’t caught until the service bureau stage, if then. If it was an issue of hitting two carriage returns after every paragraph, showing invisibles should reveal where the problems lie. But that doesn’t work because the display text is pre-compile.

If you want the same paragraph, leading and line spacing throughout, set the Preferences, select all as Robert describes and use Covert to Default Text Style.

If you want to vary that so that first paragraphs after titles have no indent but subsequent paragraphs do, in Compile, check the appropriate text box.

If you want Block Quotes to have different paragraph, leading and line spacing, you could:

(1) set up a Block Quote paragraph preset with the appropriate settings, set it to preserve as is on compile from the Format Menu and then go through giving each Block Quote that setting from the presets dropdown — such paragraphs will be marked with a blue box round them.


(2) split them off into separate documents in the binder, make them a level lower than the surrounding text, and then set up that level text in Compile > Format pane to have the appropriate settings.

Mr X

Then I’m out of guesses. If you compile to RTF, does the issue show up there? Does another word processor show any differences in paragraph spacing for the affected paragraph? Did you convert the formatting of the scrivener document containing the errant paragraph spacing as described above? What happens if you do it (or do it again) and examine the problem area?

Sir, you are a genius! This worked; my problem is solved! :smiley: BTW, I noticed that all my newer text (written after updating the program to 2.5) is correctly formatted. I have problems with my older text. Now I am going to go forth and fix it all!