I've already forgotten some of my custom Styles

After close to a year developing custom Scrivener Styles*, I’ve found that even on my more cogent days, my doddering brain cells have lost some of their ability to remember such details as “What exactly was THAT Style for?”.

Now well into the double digits, my list of custom Styles keeps growing as I fantasize “There’s a custom Style for that …”

Such loss of cerebral function has led me to wonder:

Is there a way to link a comment to a Scrivener Style so that if I pause the cursor above a particular Style in the Style pop-up list, a second (comment) box would pop-up that perhaps I could fill with a sample of the custom Style that I have forgotten?

If not available within the Scrivener application itself, are there any third-party MacOS apps that will allow me to add/link such comments to a particular Scrivener Style in the Styles pop-up list?

FYI, Scrivener Styles are one of many, many powerful tools that I use with every writing. Even though I may have forgotten exactly what a few of the custom Styles may be for, there are not many paragraphs that go by where I have not accessed the Styles list to select a custom Style. A single paragraph may employ a dozen or more custom Styles. By this time next year, I easily may have doubled the number of custom styles I’ve created. So having the ability to view a sample narrative that describes and/or demonstrates a particular Style will only add to the value I see for Scrivener’s custom Styles.


* Multi-column, multi-tiered Styles Listing
* Is there a way to rename a character or paragraph Style?
* How to adjust text formats within the Project Format > Styles pane
* Side-by-side Paragraph and Character Styles Lists Possible ?

I think you’re way past the point of diminishing returns. The point of giving distinctive formats to a piece of text is to make it stand out in some way, so that a reader knows what it represents in a logical/organizational sense. That fails if there are so many formats that a reader can’t keep track of it. If you can’t keep track, how would a reader?


I only use two font faces and a handful of styles. I agree with drmajorbob.

But, I will assume that you must have some good reason for having so many styles. To keep track of them you could simply keep a sheet with each style listed and it’s use.


Hi drmajorbob,

Great point, e.g., less is more!

Too many distinctive formats can certainly be a distraction for the reader.

There are many Styles that have to do with the fundamental structure of the document, e.g. indexing, linking, listings, etc. that are not about text formats. My custom Styles list is itself dynamic code that has grown with my style of writing (if I dare call it that), including how I format, or not, the text within each paragraph.

Attempting to write probably my most significant document ( I don’t consider myself a writer per se ) everything for me is an evolution, basically from scratch, including the custom Styles that are in a constant state of flux, as is the subject matter that I research and attempt to write about.

A particular advantage to the custom Styles is how it simplifies the implementation of long winded, complex LaTeX code that without the custom styles, it would take me MUCH longer to implement. One example would be the Verse Text-Box that creates a simple block of offset text I found useful for the many direct quotations I use, e.g.:

The corresponding pre-typeset, Scrivener-LaTeX code for the above Verse Text-Box is:

A second custom Style, the Itemized List-Right Hand (☞) creates a unique list of any number of items, in this case two, that I thought helped highlight a noteable issue:

The corresponding pre-typeset, Scrivener-LaTeX code for the above Itemized List-Right Hand (☞) is:

My Scrivener compile time is just north of a dozen minutes, so getting the Scrivener-LaTeX code just right can save me many times that in code debugging time. The custom Styles helps me to avoid the ‘dxxm-it’ cycle of code debugging by inserting EXACTLY the code I need, where and when I need it, in just a matter of seconds.

As for my excessive use of text formats (they are there) one saving grace from using the custom Styles is that as I approach my final edit (only God knows when that might ever be) the custom Styles constitute a central location where, if and when I’d like, I can to a limited degree, change a particular text format to perhaps soften or even eliminate the color I use to emphasize text, or change the size or style of the text.

I appreciate your thoughts on the severity of my overuse of text formats in my document. I became aware of my overuse of custom Styles in formatting text not too long ago. I am in the process of re-jiggering a few of the custom Styles, some more than others, but it is a concern I have, as you say:

Point taken.

That said, my initial query regarding a pop-up comment box for the custom Styles listing still stands.

I will continue to expand my use of Scrivener’s marvelous custom Styles to accommodate and enable my ever expanding use of the robust inventory of LaTeX functions, adapted in the form of Scrivener custom Styles.

Thanks again for the feedback,

All that is impressive, for sure, but “emphasis added” seems out of place. I don’t see any emphasis added in the paragraph … perhaps because the character style stripped it away.

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Just a thought, but maybe you want to set up a project that documents the styles, one per page with whatever notes and examples, and work with it open besides what you are working on. Or print it out in PDF format and have it in a binder next to you or include it in your research area of the current project.


In my CSS files for web work I always annotate what that particular style is used for unless it is something obvious, like bold or italic. Otherwise I would never be able to remember what is for especially as they are almost 10 years old.

So Jestar’s idea would be along the same lines.


If you are nerdy enough with some spare time time, remember that all of Scrivener’s settings are saved as XML — so for example my “Raw LaTeX” style is encoded like this in my scrivomatic compile format:

<Style Name="Raw LaTeX" ID="040CAA1E-4CBC-41CA-B74D-DC56137FF504" Type="Para+Char">
    <Format> ... some RTF stuff here... </Format>

With a bit of parsing you can extract out the name, the type of style, and the prefix and suffix (which is where all the markup magic occurs), all this could be compiled into a “report” of what each style does automagically for any compile format…

Note the Styles in the editor are not part of the compile format, but saved in a separate Files/styles.xml in the project bundle, but they only save the RTF features, not the compiler transformations…