Italic does not always compile correctly


I bumped into an issue I cannot explain nor solve. I use two different paragraph styles in a scene type document:

  • Corpus
  • Corpus Dialog

The second is a modification of the first. The only difference between both is the way the tab and indent values are set. When I use italics in either one, those italics translate perfectly into the compiled pdf. Except for one mysterious case. It has this structure:

  • Paragraph Corpus
  • Series of paragraphs Corpus Dialog
  • Series of paragraphs Corpus

I tried to put the last series in italics. It shows in the editor, but in the compiled pdf they become Roman. I’ve tried all kinds of hacks - but nothing works. The only thing I have not done is defining a style that is italics only, but I want to avoid that.

Some of the things I have tried to test and/or solve it:

  • Putting the first Corpus paragraph in italics. That becomes Roman in the compile.
  • Using italics in the Corpus Dialog paragraph. That does compile correctly.
  • Copying it to a scene document where the issue did not appear (assuming it was something with the specific scene document). But after copying, the problem persists.
  • Removing all formatting and pasting it into a clean scene document. Didn’t solve it.

I’m hoping I overlooked something here. I’m curious to learn what that might be. So far my own logic hasn’t produced a solution.

If you need files, let me know. Oh, in case it’s important: I use Scrivener 3.1.1 (9907) on High Sierra 10.13.6

Could you possibly attach a sample project showing the issue? You can zip the project up and use “Attachments” below the “Post a Reply” text box to attach the project. Obviously, only post a sample project with dummy text you are happy to be public here - if you would rather send it us privately, you can do so at AT

Thanks and all the best,


Please check the attachments.

I highlighted the issue in the pdf (it’s on page 5) and in the project file (scene 6). (221 KB)

Looking at the project, the problem is that your “Corpus” style is set as a “Paragraph + Character” style. When you create such a style, whether the text has italics or not is set as part of the style itself, and so the style may add or remove italics, bold and other character attributes. It uses similar calculations to Word to make such decisions - if more than half of the block being checked (the block using the style) has italics, then the italics will be removed if the style is set not to use italics.

Is there any reason you are using a “Paragraph + Character” style for this instead of a regular “Paragraph” only style? It seems to me that you would be better using the latter, since that will not override any italic settings.

All the best,

Thank you very much for the feedback, Keith. No, I don’t think I had a specific reason for using Paragraph + Character. It probably was still on from some previous style experiments. I’ll see how far I can get with just Paragraph.

BTW, is there a way to check the characteristics / definition of an existing Style? Some sort of editing interface for Styles? Other than the Compile section of course.

There’s no way of doing that other than to click in a paragraph with that style. You can then use Redefine Style to change any other settings.

All the best,