Italics lost in global style change

If I do a global format change on a document, I loose any italics in that document.

Writing a book, this is an impossible situation. I need to do global format changes to comply with different platform requirements but cannot possibly keep track of all italics used.

In addition, the format style isn’t robust. I find, despite beginning each document in my user-defined normal style it can revert easily to no style, forcing a global change which will lose the italics.

Is there a way of marking my use of italics, eg, using a mark-up code?

Could I be making a mistake in using styles which is preventing the style choice being robust?

Not all fonts support italics. If you change to a font that doesn’t support italics, all the italics are lost without any warning. For this reason, it is best to avoid RTF (styles) and to use markdown instead. In markdown, italics are produced by typing an asterisk before and after the word or phrase.

> *This renders as italics when compiled*, and **this as bold**. See below:

This renders as italics when compiled, and this as bold

In this way, italics and other formatting can never be lost or destroyed. And it is easy to use search and replace to add or remove formatting to words or phrases.


Maybe reading section 17.1 “Think Different” in the Scivener Manual helps you with your issue.

May I suggest to not use global format changes, but Compile Formats specific for different platform requirements?
I’ve got several for annual short story competitions, for example. Scrivener will generate a font, line height and other specs in the output document, without having to resort to global format changes in the Editor.


1 Like

Your misstake is that you try to use Scrivener like Word. Don’t!
Instead, do the built-in interactive tutorial, which will show you core concepts in Scrivener.

Yes, @LouiseSJPP, this is the solution in Scrivener.

One of the key differentiators of Scrivener is that what your text looks like while you’re writing has little bearing on what it can look like while you’re outputting. So the source text inside your project can be output in multiple ways based on customized compile formats, as @AntoniDol does with his story competitions.


There is a known bug in Windows Scrivener that affects how bold and italic formatting are handled inside of “styled” text. The workaround – which is what we recommend doing anyway – is to avoid using a “body” style. As explained, the “Scrivener-like” way to use different fonts for different recipients is via the Compile command.

Thank you all. Studying the manual and getting ready to use asterisks…


I’m truly confused by the group of responses around italic text. I do understand, and use the output / compile function to produce different styles for different publication. Amazingly flexible tool.

Here’s where I get confused, if I don’t type confused in italics, how does Scrivener know to output it as italics? I truly understand the flexibility of compile formatting. I don’t get how this version can (I’m on Win 3.0) the italic when I tell it to format. When I tell it to MATCH STYLE in paste, it also loses the italics. So in a 76,000 word document, received from my editor, now I have to highlight EVERY italic or BOLD word, and then take the time to go through and re-format it with italics.

Guys, I’m certainly not the only one that has editors - professional editors - that only use WORD as their tool to markup the document.

I know I’m missing something, and I hope someone is kind enough to point me in the right direction (hopefully not out the door).

I’m 11 chapters into a 33 chapter final version, and now I have to go back and check every single chapter for lost italics in the transfer from Word to Scrivener.

Hope you can understand my frustration here.

Thanks much for your kindness.
TS Arrignton