Messed up formatting

I’m new to Scrivener but I’m very happy with it, I’ve never found a program with as much built in to it, I’m sure most users will agree with me. Anyway enough of praising for now.

My problem, I use a laptop for writing and a normal keyboard through the usb port as my laptop kbd is very flat and just useless. So, I was sat in my comfortable chair ready to start, my laptop and kbd was on the settee next to me, After getting the laptop I reached across for the kbd and caught several keys as I picked it up, it made an horrific mess of my whole book, , displaying formatting and in some places actually changing the formatting.

I’ve included a small clip of my screen to give an example of what has happened. I’d be really grateful if anyone can offer a fix for me.

I’ve looked through the forum to try and find a similar case but without luck although this may be down to my lack of knowledge in the full use of Scrivener so please forgive me if someone has already solved this problem for another user.


Hi KeithUK,

You’ve got Show Invisibles enabled. To turn off, go to Format > Options > Show Invisibles.

You’re also in Scrivenings mode. Scrivener can “virtually stitch” multiple documents together, giving you the ability (with some limitations) of viewing them as one document. It appears you’ve inadvertently turned Scrivenings mode on. The best explanation of working with Scrivenings mode is in the Tutorial. Help > Interactive Tutorial. See Part 2, Step 11 Scrivenings.

Have you done the full Tutorial? I strongly advise you to run through it, to help get more familiar with Scriv’s feature set, as it’s probably unlike any other writing tool you’ve used.

Let me know if that didn’t answer your questions.


Hi Jim

Thanks very much, the setting in Options did the trick. Yes, I had inadvertently turned it off, I picked up my keyboard whilst leaning over and it slipped in my hand so getting a grip on it made me press some keys, which I don’t know of course but that’s what messed me up and your advice put me right. I’m very grateful to you.

I have done the tutorial but perhaps I should refresh myself again, I found it difficult to follow but now I know Scrivener a little better it should be easier to associate with and I can dig in to teach myself about Scrivenings mode.

I’m over the moon with Scrivener, it’s an amazing program and as I said before and you said also, it’s unlike any other writing aid, it’s tremendous, very deep and fully of options and settings but tremendous, well worth the few pounds it costs to buy a license.

Thanks again, it’s a nice feeling when something simple like that works.

Hi Keith,

Glad to hear that helped.

I’ve been using Scrivener on a more or less daily basis since 2014, and I still go through the tutorial a couple times a year. At it’s core Scrivener is very simple, but there are so many features included that it’s worthwhile to take a refresher every now and again.


I can understand why you refresh yourself with the tutorial. I agree, it’s main use and features are straightforward but the inner workings are deep although I have seen from a quick look through on initial installation that the program holds a host of useful features. I am looking forward to putting the program through it’s paces.

I’ve never used a dedicated writing program before, previously just using Open Office, which is the ‘free’ version of Microsoft Office but by far and away the more superior of the two. I’m definitely impressed with Scrivener and I used several trials before settling on it, I particularly like the compiling feature, setting up a ‘book’ for e-readers, paper and all the other formats.

Totally impressed and in love forever :slight_smile: The future is very bright for Scrivener.