Inset RIGHT paragraph "indent"

Is it possible within Scrivener to achieve this for Compile output, such that whatever the page size the right indent is inset by X units?

Like the middle paragraph below, but adapting to the page width.

With right indent = 0, the right hand edge is always against the margin. Negative values aren’t accepted.

Drag the right indent inwards on the ruler.

Here’s on example done with the Interactive Tutorial…

That does not seem to be dynamic.

The project page setup is A4.

Here’s text with the right margin dragged in.

This is the PDF output in Paperback format, width 5.06"


If it were dynamic, the distance between the two right hand ends should be constant.

Hence my question.

Am I missing something?

By the same token, you will note that your “normal” paragraphs’ output is not the same, as WYSIWYG does not apply as a Scrivener standard. The same would happen printing to A4 in Word and the Paperback format. Using View > Text Editing > Page View, gives you a general idea, but not an exact setting; if it does, then according to what page size? That’s indeterminable in the editor which has a width setting in points.
And then we all have our Scale preference set in the editor. In Word, it’s easy and works according to aspect ratio, for instance I prefer to work in Word at Fit to Width font size Calibri 11 pt. The equivalent setting in Scrivener with the Binder and the Inspector always present is 175%… and that’s on a 16 x 9 display. The evermore popular 3 x 2 displays, under the circumstances, would irritate the hell out of me.

Answer: Yes, it can be done.

Solution: Insert a table with three columns and put the text desired to be inset in the centre column; proportions to taste but for a “block quote” feel I chose 8%:84%:8%.

The result looks good in the editor and in the paperback width PDF output.

Style, table margins etc. need to be attended to, and table cell does not end a paragraph, so spacing has to be set manually (not by space after)

A4 Page of editor

PDF Output 5.06" wide

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Does the table, even with the border hidden, not affect your paragraph spacing or at least require some before and after adjustment of spacing?


“Manually” = get creative :wink: If you need space after, you can use carriage return, for example.

And the border I used isn’t hidden or white it’s 0pt.

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Maybe it would have helped if your inset text was Justified, just like your normal text?

No, tried that, even though Justification and margins etc. should be completely separate.

The proper way to do it is actually to have a style applied to this text, and in the compile format :

Your table workaround is just a potential (and useless) headache imo.
Especially if you want the right indent to match the left.

If you want odd/uneven indents, I’d recommend that you rather adjust them after the fact in a formatting app. Say, LibreOffice, Word, whatever.
If you apply a style in Scrivener, you’ll only need to tweak this style once, later on, in one of these apps, and all the concerned paragraphs will match this new indentation.

To have your style(s) export at compile :


Great, thank you – just what I need.

LOL. You say that as though I insist, contrarily, on using an ugly hack despite the existence of built-in support for the desired feature. :slight_smile:

Section 24.4.3 in the manual (v3.1) I’m pretty sure I had a look for the feature, but failed so spot this.

It’s a pity it’s only a Compile Style Option.

PS I don’t suppose you know of similar “proper” methods for creating n columns, do you?

These options have no purpose in a PDF file.

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Here is somewhat of an explanation why it isn’t visible/doable in the editor :

Pantomime season comes early to the forum: Oh no it isn’t!

Don’t worry, I do see what you’re saying, but the project has a Page Setup and undefined/infinity is not an option; nor in the Page Settings of a Compile Formant, which can override.

So it is not necessarily the case that “there is no right hand edge”, it’s actually that it just doesn’t work that way, not that it couldn’t.

No no.
The page IS infinite.
Scrivener can somewhat emulate a print when the editor is in page view – by the page setup, page size –, but the rest of the time the page is indeed infinite. (It ends nowhere.)
Same as in NotePad. ← Your screen size/resolution is the only limit.

I am pretty sure it could be made to work. But given that the editor is resizable, I can imagine the issues that would then ensue.

Stuff like :
“It looks good in a single editor, but when I split my editor, I end up with a tower of text with wasted space on both sides…”

“When I enlarge my editor the effect is lost as that paragraph stretches into a long single line…”

In my opinion, it makes sense in this context to have the “right” margin rather relative to the left side.

Scrivener is intended as a content development software. Not a formatting software. The proper way to use it is to set things according to what you want to get. Not so that you get it right away. (Aka “Not a WYSIWYG text editor”.)

Other than using a table, no, I don’t.
But again, the page being infinite and Scrivener not being a wysiwyg software, note that these are still not real columns. Column 1 never feeds column 2 when the bottom of the page is reached, because the bottom of the page is never reached.
Meaning: (For visualization → ) Should you set a whole chapter in three columns, the reader would have to read column 1 all the way to the end of the chapter, then come back to the first page, read column 2 all the way through, etc.

Can you imagine the editing nightmare, if you have to make it that column 1 ends just at the right spot to fit the page and then bump whatever text is too much to the top of column 2 and then fix column 2’s bottom and column 3’s top? Every single freakin time you edit something ??

Better in this case to simply know you’ll want this and that text in columns, make whatever text segments needs it of a “2 columns” or “3 columns” style you’d design for yourself, focus on content, and later make the columns be, in a software that is designed to handle them.

P.S. I think the Mac version has some degree of support for columns. Not the Windows version.


I was going to ask about Windows. Mac version compile:

But that applies to the whole compile set, not to individual binder documents. If I needed columns only in parts of my output, then, I’d compile to RTF and use a more layout-oriented app, in my case Nisus Writer Pro† like (or Word/LibreOffice) or a page-makeup app like Affinity Publisher.


† Truth be told, I always compile to RTF and open in NWP in any case, but it would be essential in the event of wanting columns in a section only…


Hi Julian!

I see that this is an old post, but looking at your desired image, have you ever used the built in “block quote” style?

It seems to me that this option would fulfill all your expectations. :wink: