Plain text

I’m using Drupal as a blogging/writing platform and want to use Scrivener (which I’ve owned for years) to house my ongoing work until publishing. I’ve been playing with the format controls, but can’t find a way to make the returns mimic those of a typical HTML editor (enter = double space, shift+enter = single space).

Anyone know the settings to make Scriv act this way? It would keep me from having to go through each post and rebuild the returns (delete until paragraphs are linked and then hit enter) or I may have to look for another writing program just for that purpose.


What is the actual output that you are requiring for this? Are you compiling to HTML or plain-text for instance? HTML output should be roughly similar to what you are asking for (though the stylesheet may be different). Return starts a new p element with HTML output, while Opt-Cmd-Return will create a line break, which in turn will be output as a br element. In other words, it should be doing exactly what you are used to… with HTML output anyway.

If it is plain-text, then I don’t really understand the comparison as plain-text isn’t what an HTML editor produces, it wouldn’t actually be double-spacing paragraphs with carriage returns (but I don’t really know how a typical HTML editor works, I’ve always just hand-coded that stuff). But, Scrivener can do quite a bit for rich text -> plain-text conversion if that is what you need. For example in the Transformations compile option pane, you can have it convert rich formatting to literal spaces with the “Convert to plain text” option. If all you want to do is make a visual space between paragraphs turn into a literal space, set this to “paragraph spacing”, and make sure your natural paragraph spacing is at least as tall as a line of text (it calculates how many lines to add based on the default line height vs. the spacing amount).

I write in a way that pretty much treats Scrivener as a plain-text editor (use of its marking and linking features aside), and I just hit the Return key twice after every paragraph. That’s fine if you don’t intend to use the source text for anything else (like a .doc file).

option-command-return gives a line break, so you could use this for your single-line, and then in compile transform first the paragraph breaks into double paragraph breaks, then the line breaks into single paragraph breaks.

Does this work? I hope that transformations take place in order.

The next step for this would be to change your text settings globally in System Preferences to have shift-enter give a line break. This would give shift-enter in Scrivener what you want, but also affect TextEdit and other text editors and word processors that rely on the OSX text engines.

  • asotir

You’re correct, I recalled after I posted that I should have changed it from plain text to whatever Drupal/ckeditor uses. The crazy thing is, my research makes me think a double-return on enter and single-return on shift+enter is pretty standard. I would think it an option in Scrivener.

How can I make the paragraph spacing part of the document formatting? I am able to change the existing paragraph structure, but the changes aren’t occurring in new text.

Thanks for the help.

There are 2 ways to change the paragraph spacing throughout a given document.

  1. change the settings for the default document formatting for the project (Project menu pulldown, Text Preferences; tick the check box to create a default style different from your Scrivener global preferences). Once this is done, Documents, Convert, Convert Document to Default Text Formatting, will bring up a dialog box allowing you to change various parameters, one, some, or all.

  2. get the document you want changed into the editor. (That should be as simple as selecting the document in the binder, it will then appear in the editor.) Edit, Select All. In the formatting toolbar, change the line spacing (select Other and change the parameters you want). Or after Select All, click on the menubar Format,Text, Line and Paragraph Spacing will bring up the same dialog box.

  • asotir

Use Replacements (Compile window, Replacements tab). In the Replace column, use OPT-Return. In the With column, hold down OPT and hit Return twice.

Edit: Looks like I essentially repeated Asotir’s advice. Great minds and all that. :wink: