New user - help with page formatting philosophy.


I’ve just started using Scrivener - mostly for research papers, but also for more generic “documents” which benefit from the organisational features of Scrivener.

I’ve started typing some drafts, and find myself curious about text formatting, and the implications of my changing the margins and indents (ie, the look and feel of my ‘scrivener document’) versus what will ultimately be published via some other program (eg. Word).

In my mind I know that scrivener is not a word processor, but my flesh is weak, and I find myself tweaking page indents, line spacing and heading fonts - just as I would if I were typing in Word.

What I want to avoid is trouble down the line and as such I’d appreciate any do’s and don’ts’ or general ideas on how to approach this.

Apologies if I’m not making sense.


One thing to bear in mind is that when you do come to export - if you decide to export to Word - use the RTF format, as that preserves more formatting than .doc or .docx (in the Scriv exporters, that is).

I would say the main thing is that there’s nothing wrong, per se, with tweaking your formatting in Scrivener. The formatting will all carry across to Word or in your print-out. It’s just that Scrivener is supposed to help focus on other things. So if the vast majority of your text is going to be in the same format - that is, if it’s all ultimately going to be in Times New Roman with one inch margins, or in some font and with margins and indents you haven’t really decided yet, just don’t worry about the formatting at all and override the formatting in the Compile Draft stage. If you’re going to be using lots of different formatting styles within the project, then it is best to format within the documents themselves.

All the best,

Thanks Keith - that makes sense.
I’ve done some more experimenting, and discovered that it’s not really all that big a deal after all (as you suggest), although things can get a little confused when using bullets and numbers.

I must say I am really enjoying the organisational efficiency of scrivener. I had to throw together a quick speech, and found the cork board brilliant for sequencing my draft ideas.