[LH543 | LH2773] Problems with Margins/Ruler in Screenplay template

This problem has been already pointed out during the previous Beta, here https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/layouts-margins-and-screenplay-problems-on-beta-2-9-017/45901/3

But it hasn’t been fixed yet. I’ve attached a screenshot to show exactly what happens.

The problem exists only in the Screenplay mode and when compiled the pdf still looks very weird with all the text pushed to the left.

I tried to manually select everything and adjust the margins but it completely ruins the dialogues, and I don’t know exactly what to do.

Thank you for your patience!

I want to add that when going to Format > Scriptwriting > Script settings and then modifying left and right indents Scrivener just crashes when confirming my decision to modify the project.

Hi gimox,

The issue with Scrivener crashing when attempting to edit Script Settings is known and has been filed.

Can you please clarify what the issue is with your screenshot? It appears to have a half-inch margin on the left, which should combine with the default 1" compile margin to give you 1-1/2 inches on the left, which I believe is standard.

From the Scrivener Manual:

Ruler Conversions: When working with units in Scrivener, keep in mind that its ruler
starts at margin zero instead of paper zero. Since Scrivener is, by and large, not “aware”
of paper settings and page layout, it counts its ruler settings from the beginning of the
text on the left end of the page, not the beginning of the paper itself. This is in contrast
to many word processors, which start measuring at the paper left edge, and show the
print margin buffer in the display of the page.
Consequently, to convert most standard measurements to useful values here, you will
need to factor in the standard amount of print margin. For example, if the Scene Heading
is specified to begin at 1.5”, you will need to subtract 1” from that and input 0.5”
into Scrivener, since an additional inch will be added to the layout, once margins are
added to the page outside of Scrivener.

Also from the Manual:

The screenplay format that comes with Scrivener by default is based on a Hollywood
standard, but with half an inch added to the left indent of each element so that when you
print with a standard set-up of one inch margins, the left margin will actually start at oneand-
a-half inches, which is the standard to allow for three-hole binding. In other words
the end result will be accurate, even if the numbering by the editor’s ruler is slightly off.

Hello Philisoraptor, thank you for the answer.

What i mean is this:

in this example you can see how a script is usually formatted, while Scrivener instead pushes all the text to the left. It appears like that also in PDF and printed on paper.

My question is how to make Scrivener script’s margins look like in the example.


Hmm. This is a styles problem.

Per https://screenwriting.io/what-is-standard-screenplay-format/, speaker names should be 2.2 inches from margin, dialog 1" from margin, margin should be 1.5 from left (which means the Compile settings need to be adjusted; the default from Screenplay is 1 on all sides).

I’ll go through how to adjust these.

Pick a dialog section. Adjust the indent to 1" (or whatever measurement you need there). If you have trouble getting it exact, use the ZOOM feature to make the ruler much much larger and easier to adjust the indent. (I zoomed in to 300%; my mouse is finicky).

From the Menu, Format -> Style … -> New Style from Selection. Call this “Dialog”.
At the bottom of that dialog box is a Box titled “Next Style.” Open the down arrow and select “This style” which should be the first or second entry. Click that, then click OK.

Pick a Speaker name. Adjust the indent to 2.2" (or as above, whatever you need it to be). Again, Format -> Style … -> New Style from Selection. Call this “Speaker Name” (or whatever you want; style names are completely up to you). Since in scripts, speakers usually say something, then down at the bottom, “Next style” should be “Dialog”, which we just made (why we did it in this order).

That’s how to create the styles for your elements. Whatever attributes need to be part of the text, put them in before you define the style. If you get it wrong, don’t sweat it; you can “redefine the style from selection” in essentially the same way.

The page margin, evidently, should be 1.5" (per the reference above, which may or may not be accurate). We set that in Compile settings (NOT in the main editor).

File -> Compile (or Ctrl-Shift-E).
If you’ve already created a compile format, great; select it. If not, double-click on Script or Screenplay; it’ll ask you if you want to make a duplicate and edit it, click “Duplicate and Edit.”

On the first page that shows, go down to “Page Settings”, click.
Uncheck the “A4” box unless you’re using A4 paper. Click “Page Settings” and choose the paper you’re using.

Click the Margins box and edit the left margin to 1.5" (if, in fact, that’s what you want).
Click Save.
Hold Alt and click Save (the “Compile” should change to “Save” with the alt-key press).

Hope that helps?

Thank you so much for this very in depth answer, i’ll try to fix it as soon as possibile and keep you updated.

What is weird to me is that with scrivener 1 i never had this problem, it styles the screenplay format perfectly, but at the same time i can’t understand with kind of “bug” (?) this is.

Hope there will be an official fix from the developers!

I have the same issue here… would love to have that fixed. (come on guys :/)
and here the lines are Cut in the middle on each page break for PDF Compile…

Both this bug and the Margin one are kind of annoying, because it’s literally impossible to format a script written on Scrivener for a serious enviroment.

Please, if possibile, let us know that at least you acknowlegded the bugs, so we can at least hope for the fix. Thank you very much!

I was lucky to find this topic before creating another one with the exact same title,

Same problem for me, I’ll try to follow solution proposed by RWFRANZ.

I hope as well this issue will be embedded in the final release foreseen in August.

Yup no idea why something so seemingly obvious and simple is still an issue this close to release.

As I have posted before, the top image is how the beta incorrectly formats a script and below is how it should be formatted.

There should be absolutely no need for the end user to have to dive in and struggle through settings to make this work. All screenwriting software from expensive to free does this by default. The old Scrivener for windows does it correctly, as does the new version on the mac and the app on IOS.

Love to get an answer on this.

Because it’s a low-priority fix compared to the work remaining?

It’s an answer. It’s not an official answer, but it’s an answer.

I have to agree with devinganger. What one feels should be a high priority might not be by the developer.

When programing one has to prioritize each and every problem. Teams focus on the most detrimental ones such as say your data becoming corrupted vs text being slightly blurred or shifted. Next could be one of when a document is sent to the print que instead of having one page you get several with only a single word on each page printed. None of what I’ve stated should be taken as fact here but as examples.

Another problem is people itself. Summer is upon us and I’m sure there are those that need a break from coding. Its a stressful job as you squint for hours on end looking, searching, trying out builds, to determine if you fixed that little devil that people are still complaining about from months prior, or years. They, just like most of us, have families as well. Do they just ignore their loved ones problems as well (which I’ve heard some have leading to other problems) and keep coding as say a marriage falls apart because of the stress to meet timelines an all?

Working on software and building it is really no easy task as some think. Thousands and thousands of lines are created, broken down into chunks and need to be carefully followed else they might cross over into other parts of coding due to same naming conventions. Naming conventions have to be properly observed so as not to truncate what someone else had been working on.

Then there is that little factor of having it work on so, so many different build types out there. That’s why we’re here spending our time to be of help. Its so easy to develop software in most cases for Apples vs PC’s. Apple’s policy of dropping old hardware over time vs Microsoft’s.

Apple maintains control of both hardware and operating system. Very little needs to be kept when new versions of operating systems are sunsetted and hardware dropped. Whereas Microsoft still caters to hardware well back into the early 2000’s (or possible earlier). Who knows how many different versions of computers are still out there with what hardware. They are mostly a software company not builders of computers.

As one stated somewhere (maybe even on this forum). Its a wonder that Windows hasn’t imploded on itself from years of just building upon itself. Amazing that it even works.

Also factor in that the people here are building modules from scratch in most cases for that operating system whereas Apple is more coder friendly. They provide most if not all of whats needed vs Microsoft for free. So tell me why its no wonder that they came up using Apple first and Windows second.

I’m just glad I have something right now while I wait. Yes there are little inconveniences. Not all parts have been turned on in the Beta from my understanding. And those that are are being diligently worked upon. It’s just a matter of time (with some bickering on that as well) and as hoped upon, we will have it sometime in August.

Well, i think i haven’t explained myself very well: i don’t need to know WHEN it’s going to be fixed, just wanted to see that at least is considered as something that is going to be fixed. From the official responses we received it seems like this Style problem is not considered a bug, and that’s why maybe people are a little bit worried.

Also i understand why it took so long to even notice it, obviously screenwriters are a minority inside the Scrivener community and this means we are not testing enough the Screenplay format, so how can they know which bugs are in there?

Again, i think i’ve explained badly what i needed to know and i’m sorry for that. I really appreciate the work they are doing for us, i’m just a passionate user that wants this program perfect, and sometimes i forget it requires time :slight_smile:

If I’ve come off brash, my apologies. Being a screenwriter does not place you in the minority, as I’m sure the problem has been mentioned several times before, I’m sure. It’s just the priority of where it sits and I’m sure their working on it.

You as with several of us writers are the bread and butter of their business, else why have it there in the first place. And I do feel its one that needs to be addressed.

The overall problem itself may may lie in the modules that are being isn’t something so easily fixable as some think. Ever drive with a cracked windshield and watch it grow? Some see the ding but it just sits there as an annoyance. Its a distraction but when the fender is also falling off as well with a smoking engine, it’s all about priority. I’m sure they’ll get it ironed out as well.

The problem is that this is not “just” a minor bug. This literally makes Scrivener unusable if you are a screenwriter. We get paid by the page number and right now with this weird style a script written like this is not even acceptable, nor there is any chance to get payed with these pages formatted all to the left.

It’s not a bug, it’s a impossibility to actually use Scrivener in our job.

If you want to see it as a bug, imagine a bug that in a word processor doesn’t allow you to type the words in it, making it impossible to work with. That’s the kind of urgency we are talking about!

I hope now it’s more clear why we are so worried about this bug.

But this is a bug in beta software, which you SHOULD NOT be using for paying work if it does not meet your needs!

Nothing is keeping you from continuing to use the latest released version, which if I am reading correctly does not contain this bug. Even when Scrivener 3.x is released, they won’t invalidate 1.9 licenses, so you can continue to use the version that works until the bug is fixed.

Remember that there was some fairly extensive under-the-hood changes in the text engine (moving from Qt4 to Qt5, supporting the new style mechanism) and that has shown itself up in dozens of other ways in the various betas. Slowly but surely, they are being quashed. This may be a side effect that will get fixed as part of some other bug fix, or it may only be used by a handful of beta users right now so has escaped triage in favor of bugs that affect more users.

Have some faith.

I think gimox is referring to the release, the day users may buy and use it for paid works.

Anyway, I agree with you, if it won’t work or it won’t suit our necessities we should stick with the older version. But I would like to clarify that it’s not a matter of faith or not, is about buying a product that can do or not what has been built for. Anyone who is not following this forum, may buy the software on release date expecting to do what basically is vital for screenplayers, being disappointed though.

So talking about priorities, of course this is not the first priority, but one important thing to not forget before the release date :slight_smile:

peace and love!

Yes, sorry if it didn’t came out well, but this is exactly what I meant except it’s written in a more rational and gentle way.

I was trying to explain that is not a bug just about graphics, a little thing you can postpone after the release, it’s something that is really, really important to fix before release :slight_smile:

Hello again Gimox,

Apologies for not replying sooner. This is not being ignored and we are looking into it. We do understand that there is a problem for our Screenplay users. There are several issues at play with these, mostly involving already known bugs. I have updated the title of this thread with two of these, including the issue of our ruler not showing the correct sizes, and of differing amount of characters per line.

I am still trying to pinpoint the issue with the text being as you say ‘squished to the left’. From what I understand the left margin should be 1.5 inches, correct? The compile format adds a default 1" left margin, and the screenplay format (as shown in your images) adds an additional .5" left margin. This should be resulting in the 1.5" left margin required for the pdf. Is that not what you are seeing?

My interpretation, based on the screenshots posted above, is that the “squishing to the left” is really an issue of the RIGHT margin being pushed too far inward.