OOPS! Deleted wrong style. Ruined all. Can i go back?

Hey, so I just accidentally deleted the wrong style (the wrong one was selected) and it radically transformed how my scriv file looks throughout. I don’t have any very recent backups, I know this means the change is probably permanent… but, it will take hours to fix, so I thought it was worth asking. Maybe there is a creative solution. Can anyone think of a way I might be able to get back to how it was?

Have you checked Scrivener’s own automatic backups? You can find them by going to Scrivener -> Preferences -> Backups, and opening the backup folder in Finder.


Good suggestion. Yeah, I did check… those are the backups I meant to refer to when I said I had no recent backup. : (

Thanks though!

According to the Mac manual, section 15.6.2, each project has its own stylesheet, so it must be stored somewhere within the project. You can transfer stylesheets between projects, you can save them as part of a project template, and you can even save it as part of the global default for new project. If you’ve done none of those things and you don’t have a project backup, then you’re probably out of luck.

Perhaps someone smarter than either of us will come by with some clever way to recover.

But look at it this way: if this incident prods you to start taking backups seriously, then consider it a blessing in disguise. (I write this with zero snark.)


I had a similar thought. Better for it to happen now than later. Thanks :slight_smile:

Okay, I’ve given this a quick test, but I can’t guarantee it will work as it may depend on how exactly how your style was set up…

(I hope I’m not setting your expectations too high…!)

As far as I can tell, what happens when you delete a style is that the internal reference to a particular style is deleted, but the formatting which made up the style remains intact. E.g. Say you have a style “Red centred”, then deleting the style doesn’t automatically revert the text back to being black and left justified: it stays red and centred as ordinary character/paragraph formatting imposed on the default style. I can’t tell whether this applies to every paragraph attribute, but it does at least to some.

While your original style won’t be red and centred, presumably it has something to differentiate it from the default, and hopefully some of that will have been retained. This means that you may be able to select a paragraph which still has the format of the old deleted style and then Edit > Select > Select Similar Formatting, which would select every one of your old style paragraphs, but no others.

All you need to do then (while they’re still selected of course) is Format > Style > New Style from Selection, which effectively recreates your old style and reapplies it in one step.

As I said, I’ve tried it on a small scale and it seems to work, so it may be worth giving it a go. I would try it out on a copy of the project first, though.


YOU ARE A HERO! Man, I thought this was hopeless and almost didn’t ask for help. Thank you so much!!

[NOTE: For anyone trying this in the future, let me add a step. Before doing anything, you obviously have to select ALL the nodes from your navigator (so they all show together as one document in the editor pane).]

Brookter to the rescue! :smiley:

I’m happy this story has a happy ending.



Glad it helped…

One cross-check – I would recommend compiling to .docx and making sure that the resulting Word file has the correct style applied to all of the text sections that should have it. This is just to make sure that applying the new style properly updated those style references and that you’re not going to have orphaned text without a style that gets its formatting flattened during Compile.