make automatic tabs

Somehow (I’m not sure how), I turned off the feature that automatically inserts a tab when you make a new line. I didn’t especially like it, but it is rather troubling to realize it’s gone and I can’t figure out how to make it come back.

What I would really like is for Scrivener to recognize when I’m writing dialogue and insert a tab.

Is there a way to tell Scriv: Whenever I type a ", insert a tab (and keep the ")?

Automatic first-line indents are set on the ruler. They’re on by default, so if you want to change that you should go into Tools>Options and adjust the settings in the Editor tab by dragging the top triangle marker in the ruler all the way to the left. New documents will then have paragraphs all starting flush with the left margin. You can update existing documents to match by selecting them in the binder and choosing Documents>Convert>Formatting to Default Text Style. (That will cause their formatting to match your new default settings, so it could change the font, spacing, etc. although there are some options available when you run the command to set certain formatting not to be altered.)

You can also do this per document by just selecting all the text and then dragging the indent marker to the left in the editor ruler (Format>Show Ruler).

There’s no way with the standard settings to automatically flip between Scrivener indenting some new paragraphs and not indenting others, but theoretically you could set up script formatting for this–so your “script” elements would be essentially “non-indented” and “indented”. You could then use the Tab key to switch between the two styles.

Keep in mind also that if you do all this specific formatting in the editor while you’re writing, you’ll want to not override the formatting when you compile. At the moment compile formatting settings are basically all or nothing, so you can’t yet choose to adjust the font and line spacing without also having it adjust your indentation. Therefore you’ll want to make sure that all your other formatting in the editor is the way you want it for compile–using the same font everywhere, same size, etc.–since you won’t be able to standardize it when you bring it out. (Of course you could make adjustments after the fact, if you’re compiling to RTF or DOC or the like.)

Thank you for figuring out my dilemma! I can’t figure out how I made it happen, though.

I might try the Script stuff, but it might just be easier to tab when there’s dialogue.

You might’ve hit a shortcut, if it was just in one document. Ctrl-Shift-D will move the first-line indent out to the left by a half-inch, so if you did that accidentally on your first paragraph, all subsequent paragraphs would continue to use those ruler settings.

Yeah, I don’t really think there’d be an advantage to using the script settings when the only formatting change is that first-line indent, which you can achieve with a regular tab character or with Ctrl-D. You’d end up needing to use the Tab key to switch between elements anyway, since you probably wouldn’t want the default to be a switch every time you hit Return, so it wouldn’t really make things easier unless you were having a long section of dialogue back and forth. But even there, Ctrl-D would work for you, since once you set the ruler to indent the first line, the next paragraph will do the same and so on until you use Ctrl-Shift-D to move the indent back flush with the left margin. So maybe you just want to practice those shortcuts until they become habit. :wink: