Paragraph breaks visible in Scriv, missing everywhere else.

My copy editors keep coming across missing line feeds in the documents I send them. They show up in Scrivener, but no where else.

To recreate:

  • Create new Blank project.
  • Turn on Show Invisibles (Format -> Options -> Show Invisibles) (This step is not necessary but you can clearly see what’s going on if you do.)
  • Hit [tab] and type a line of text.
  • Press Enter/return.
  • Type more text.
  • Place the cursor at the end of the first line of text and hit backspace (fn-delete). The ¶ will be gone but there will still be two lines.
  • Compile to any format (I’ve tried every format that I have a reader for) or cut and paste the two lines into a non Scrivener word processor and the text will be displayed as one line with a [tab] in between.


  • Starting a line with a [tab] is important. Doesn’t seem to happen without it.
  • I tried recreating the problem inside TextEdit, but no luck.
  • Scrivener V. 2.5 (25239)
  • OS X 10.9.2

Pop open the ruler with Cmd-R, I bet you ran out of tab stops and so it wrapped to the second line. Not every word processor works that way, so in those that do not, the line would appear to continue without a break.

If that doesn’t make sense, your line is literally:

“[TAB]Here is a line of text[TAB]Here is a second line.[RETURN]”

If that second tab falls after the measured distance of the last tab stop, it flows to the next line in the editor.

TextEdit’s default ruler has tab stops all the way across, so you wouldn’t see this line wrap issue.

You’re not starting all of your paragraphs with tabs are you? It’s a lot less problematic (not to mention saving you several keystrokes per page), to just set your paragraph indents.

That’s it! I’m running out of tab stops. Never occurred to me there would only be three. (I’m from an old tech world where text was monospaced and tab stops existed every x characters, non negotiable.)

Well, at least tabs and indents are global project settings. Now to add the extra stops to my default document.