Paragraph formatting

In the compile options, is there a way to add space before or after paragraphs. There only seems to be a line spacing option. If I want to add a blank line between paragraphs where is the setting for this?

Thanks! :smiley:

I think you may need to look in File > Compile, All Options tab, “Transformations”.

There’s a setting “Convert to Plain Text” and you can choose Paragraph Spacing in the drop down menu.

From the manual (p345:

Does that help?


I don’t think it’s necessary to go for the Plain Text compile presets. If you go to the Formatting pane of the Compile settings, there should be a line spacing adjustment you can make, and somewhere within that interface or near it, you should be able to adjust paragraph spacing by selecting the paragraph in the example text and then making adjustments. I’m not at my Mac today, so I can’t guide you there, but if you try a few of the drop-down formatting options, you should be able to find it.

All the best,

Hi Robert and KB

As I read Gene’s original post, he knows how to increase the spacing between paragraphs, but he’s looking to insert a new blank line (i.e. he needs the two consecutive hard returns).

I didn’t think that paragraph spacing does that – it merely increases the size of the paragraph, doesn’t it?

Of that’s not the case then apologies for making the answer more complicated than it needs to be…


Hi David,

You may be right - I read it as though he was looking for the “paragraph space before” option. Either way, one of us should have pointed him in the right direction, at least!

All the best,

wait. I’m missing something. well many things really, but this one has been driving me nuts and i was just too embarrassed to ask.

In my fun (normal) scriv usage each paragraph gets a document. So when I compile I set “empty line” as separator and my life is … less unpleasant that it could be. Now in my actual “write me a paper you student” usage I find myself with multiple paragraphs in each file. At compile time I get big wads of text without the needed blank like UNLESS I manually add it.

If I understood correctly (which is always an uncertainty) I need to export as plain text if I want to automatically as end of paragraph spacing which seems to then whack all my footnotes.

I know I’m getting it wrong and no I have not tried it. Just take mercy on me and beat the right idea into my head?

If I’ve got it right (which makes uncertainty^2 between the both of us…), then the Convert to Plain Text options I mentioned above don’t actually enforce plain text file-type, they just allow you to make use of the sort of conventions normally used in plain text. The file-type you’ve chosen will not be overridden.

So it really depends what you want to do.

If it’s just to see a blank line between paragraphs on the page and you don’t care about having 2 consecutive hard returns, then just alter your default paragraph formatting to the right “space-after” setting[1]. You can do this in the editor (see Robert’s reply) or at compile time (see Keith’s response).

If you do actually need the two consecutive hard returns, then first you must set the “space-after” in the editor (Robert’s response), before you carry out my suggestions. That’s because the convertor is converting white text and it can’t if you haven’t got any in your editor text. [That’s my theory anyway…]

Hope that makes sense…


[1] I use 6pt but you can alter to taste.

That is correct. The plain-text options, when using a rich text format, do not convert the document to .txt nor will they mess up anything like footnotes. The only thing that will drop formatting like that is setting the “Compile for” to one of the plain-text options. The plain-text transformation section is simply for the transformation of text characters themselves, or the conversion of rich text formatting conventions to text character equivalents. So a struck out section gets deleted, and paragraph spacing gets turned into a physical paragraph break. So if you do need double-return paragraphs in a word processor document, this is how you would go about doing it. Set your formatting to insert at least the font’s height in after-paragraph spacing (this can be done in the Formatting compile option pane as well, you don’t need to do it in the editor) and then enable the paragraph spacing option in the Transformations panel.

I believe that the situation is well in hand, thanks to brookter and AmberV, so I shall withdraw gracefully, head hanging is shame.
Trips on own feet

Thanks guys! Your conversation actually answered more questions than I asked. Nice to get some bonus material in addition to my answer! :smiley: