If you used the tab key to indent your paragraphs you really should clean those out first, before trying to fix anything else, because those aren’t meant for indenting paragraphs and will just confuse whether or not the formatting is working for you.
You can clean out tab characters with the
View/Convert/Strip Leading Tabs menu command.
Okay, second issue, it sounds like you have sub-titles typed directly into the editor? If so then something will need to be done to tell Scrivener these are titles. You would need to go back and either:
- Split up the documents by sections so that the titles are created by the compiler instead of typed into the editor
- Select each sub-title and use
Format/Formatting/Preserve Formatting to but a blue format protection box around it.
I’m not sure which will be easier for you, but keep in mind that the alternative is fixing the formatting in every single body paragraph (you might be lucky if the tabs are on top of natural indents, but it sounds like they aren’t). So given that, it might be easier to handle the sub-titles in one fashion or another, and then let override formatting take care of all the paragraphs.
If you use method #1, note the
Documents/Split/with Selection as Title menu command. That will save you lots of time. Additionally if these are all bold or italic you could use the
Edit/Find/Find by Formatting tool to make splitting even easier. Note that Find Next by Formatting has its own keyboard shortcut. Once you set up the formatting panel, you can close it and use that shortcut to jump to the next sub-title, split with selection as title, delete redundant title text, jump to next sub-title, rinse and repeat.
Once you’ve done that you can use the Formatting pane to add the binder titles to these sections using the format you prefer in one single place, rather than 100 places, and specify the body text format as well.
If you go with route #2 you can still use the find by formatting tool, and since that selects text for you, you’re already to apply the Preserve Formatting box. I would consider adding an OS X keyboard shortcut to the preserve formatting menu command so that you can just jump back and forth between shortcuts and make quick work of it rather than having to mess with menus.
On the other hand, after you strip out tags and find that your text is a difficult to read blob without indents or paragraph spacing, you might decide to just clean that up anyway. If you do use one of the above routes, do note you can use the
Documents/Convert/Formatting to Default Text Style menu command to clean up text to a default. That command respects preserved blocks of texts—and naturally if the titles are not in the text editor at all they are at no risk of being reformatted. They don’t exist until the compiler creates them.