Paragraph spacing in compile

I’ve compiled a novel to .dox and for some reason I get additional 8pt paragraph spacing (inside normal section text). Line spacing is the usual double, but when I go to format > paragraph in Word, it shows me that 8pts after paragraph is selected. This is new – I complied the same project a month ago without the extra paragraph spacing. Any idea how to fix it? I looked at compile settings and I can see I can change line spacing in the section layouts, but not how to change paragraph spacing within section text. Thank you for your help!

It may also be Word doing that, from its own template.

Oh, thanks so much, I didn’t realise that the line spacing button also hid paragraph spacing.

I can see that my paragraph spacing is set to 0, as it used to be. So the problem must be with Word in one of their innumerable “improvements.” But – I have now changed the normal template in Word to no paragraph spacing, and it still creates the “8 pt after” paragraph spacing. Any idea how to fix this?

Is your Scrivener document set to No Style?
Word should accept Scrivener’s instructions on paragraph spacing and other formatting without alteration. At least that’s my experience with Windows and I run the latest everything, so the product has not introduced weirdness that interferes with Scrivener.
Have you clicked on Other at the point shown in Vincent’s image? It will open a menu showing line and paragraph spacing, where you can tweak individual items.
I assume when you say .dox you mean .doc or .docx, which are Word standards.
Are your Scrivener Editor and Compile formats different, and if not, have you perhaps set your section layout for your text to compile “as is”, which would conform to the look of your editor and not be altered by a Compile setting.

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Scrivener had always overwritten the Word settings–I had no problem compiling the same document a month ago. I didn’t change anything, other than a recent Word update.

The document is set to No Style. And yes, I meant .docx. I have clicked on the “other” and confirmed the paragraph spacing is set to 0. In section layouts, it shows me paragraphs with no additional spacing. (It is not “as is”). And it still compiles with the extra 8 pts spacing. No idea what’s causing it.

As a workaround, in the meantime, select ⌘+A in Word and change the space after in one go for all selected text. Not ideal as it would affect your chapter header spacing and the like, if different.

Yah, I’ve done that, but I’ve got 40 chapters so it’s tedious to change the spacing there every time I compile. I guess I could limit the number of empty lines in compile settings, but I want to find out what’s causing it and fix it at the root.

The bottom line is it shouldn’t be happening. Zip your project and send it to L&L support to look out for an error that may be less obvious to you. It happens to all of us at sometime.

I’ve seen the exact same thing happen, so it must be a Mac Word thing. Would love to know if you find a fix. Very frustrating.

As a workaround: open in pages, then save out in word format. seems to shake out whatever word is incorrectly interpreting on a straight open from scrivener.

Oh, that’s a good workaround, thank you for sharing.

I’ve used another one, which is to create a copy of the compile format with a reduced number of empty lines before a new chapter, then after compiling I’d select all > format paragraph to set paragraph spacing to zero and line spacing to double. It works but your method is faster and easier.

I’ll report if I find the fix; please do the same if you do.

Have you tried compiling to RTF and opening that in Word? If that works it saves going through a third application.


I’m having the same issue. Tried adjusting Word’s default formatting too… is there a way to do that?

Yes. Do that in change in Word default formatting in Word.

Unfortunately, changing the normal template makes no difference.

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Compiling to RTF works, so that’s another workaround. I’d love to find the core of the issue, though.

Then something is wrong with your copy of Word, or you are changing the wrong thing.

look at what styles are in use (probably the Normal style) and see what the font and paragraph settings are. If not what you want, change.

Then select the entire document and apply the Normal style to everything (only needed if the Normal style not already applied).

Use of Word to format a Word document started as an RTF converted to DOCX is not under control or influence by Scrivener.

And you can consider making your own Word template not relying on the Normal template for future use.

@Hamletta, the point about compiling to RTF and opening in Word, is that (1) RTF is Scrivener’s native format, so no converters are involved, and (2) RTF was created by Microsoft, so Word is the most reliable way of converting RTF to DOCX.

So no third party converters are involved.



I don’t see anything wrong with my copy of Word, and other users are reporting the same thing, so I don’t think that’s the problem.

I have changed my normal template to 0 pts paragraph spacing. All new documents I create in Word follow that. This is the Normal style and works for all new documents. It’s only the compile from Scrivener that has the problem. It shows as “normal” style, but the paragraph spacing is 8pts, not 0.

I realise it’s not controlled by Scrivener, but the problem exists where it didn’t until the last Word for Mac update.

Yes, I can select all and change to the formatting I want but that creates problems with the spacing at chapter headings (which are not double spaced in Scrivener output, so if I apply the change to the entire document, the spacing is now too big and needs to be changed. Again, it can all be changed, but I’m trying to figure out why the problem occurs in the first place).

ATM, compiling to RTF is the best option. Though I still want to know why I could do something a month ago and now I can’t. It’s like the fourth novel I’ve written in Scrivener so I’m not exactly a newbie.

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If Word changed and Scrivener didn’t, then probably Word is the place to look for a solution.

FWIW, Microsoft points are not the same size as Apple points. That might be contributing to the issue. Text size, line spacing, and tabs changed when copying from Word to Scrivener MacOS

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