Import/Copy-Paste Issues

I’m having some pretty annoying issues with import/copy-paste…

I’ve done most of my typing in OpenOffice and now it seems that regardless if I convert the file to .rtf or .doc within OpenOffice via a “Save As…” the resulting import has tabs from hell. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this is happening. I’ve tried normal paste from a .odt, .doc, and .rtf, as well as the “Paste and Match Style” version. Importing via a .doc produces an error and a .rtf import gives the same horrendous 1 inch tab. The compile doesn’t fix this and it actually seems to make it worse.

Any suggestions?


Just to clarify, are you talking about actual tab characters (i.e. you pressed the Tab key to create an indent on a line) or the paragraph indent set in the ruler? It may be a combo of these, such that the first line of your text is indented in Scrivener just by the ruler setting, and then you also have a tab character that is causing that line to be pushed even further to the right.

Try turning on Format > Options > Show Invisibles in Scrivener’s editor: do you see a right-pointing blue arrow in the text for that indent? Also turn on Format > Show Ruler and check its settings: the down-pointing triangle marker controls the first-line indent, so see where that’s placed on the ruler.

To remove extraneous tab characters, select and copy one in the editor, then open the Find/Replace dialog (Ctrl+F) and paste that into the Find field. Leave Replace blank, then just do a Replace All. If you have multiple documents with this issue, select them all in the binder and load them in a Scrivenings session in the editor first so you can replace them all at once.

To adjust the first line indent, you can select all the text and then drag the marker on the ruler in the editor–this will adjust all the ruler settings for the selected text, so if you want to retain special paragraph formatting for some of the text, be sure to exclude it from this. You can also update the default editor formatting by going to the Editor tab of Tools > Options… and using the format bar and ruler to adjust the sample text. Click OK to apply the changes and close the Options. Your new defaults will apply to all new documents you create (in any project); to change existing documents to match, select them in the binder (Ctrl- or Shift-click to select multiple) and then choose Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style. This is handy for cleaning up imported documents or standard copy/pastes, and it will give you the correct “clean slate” for using Paste and Match Style in new documents.