please help me understand/like rich text? tips tricks best practices please :)

i love scrivener.

but i can’t stand rich text!

but i love scrivener.

that has been a source of much angst for me in the time that i’ve known scrivener.

so i want to be won over to rich text if at all possible - especially now that the iOS version is just on the horizon.

if anyone has a really good understanding and workflow for richtext, please chime in!

here is my problem with rich text… it sticks me with the formatting of the text immediately previous to the cursor. if you’re just doing straight ahead typing, that’s fine. but so many many times in my computing life, i’ve had to paste something from either another document or another part of my current document and then have to takes a few seconds to change the formatting BACK to what it was.


THIS IS A BIT OF BOLDED TEXT THAT’S LIKE A HEADLINE hahahaha… nevermind… i was going to make an example assuming that the editing fields here are driven by the common richtext formatting but the editing fields actually do what i would much rather prefer in scrivener… TAGS! hahahaha…

what i would love in scrivener (as an option of course, existing system should always exist for people who love it as is) is if you changed formatting explicitly with tags and then the existing rich text engine converts the tagged section (including the tags) to the proper visual format. a few markdown editors do something like that. and even though that makes all the sense in the world to me for a program like scrivener which is not about typesetting but just getting the CONTENT done, i know that’s not going to happen… so again, am looking for tips and tricks and best practices for working in rich text.

ANNOYANCE - i’m stuck with formatting immediately previous to my cursor - so if i had a section of italic text that i wanted to paste into my doc and then continue typing in the non italic formatting i was typing before, i would do something like paste it in, then copy and paste a SINGLE WORD from the previous section that has the formatting i want to continue with… then i would delete all the letters EXCEPT THE FIRST LETTER of that word and then start typing my new word so my new typing would inherit that formatting… THEN i would go back and delete the first character of that pasted word that i no longer need… i do this almost every day.

that seems like such a ludicrous way to have to deal this situation and for me, that is life with rich text.

what am i doing wrong? what else can i do? what do other people, who love rich text, do?



p.s. if anyone else has any more rich text annoyances and solutions, please post them. i’m wracking my head trying to think of other annoyances and i believe i have several but i just can’t think of them right now.

Have you tried the Edit -> Paste and Match Style command? It normalizes the formatting of the pasted text to match the destination formatting.

You might also find the Documents -> Convert -> Formatting to Default Text Style command useful.

If you prefer markup tags, you might also consider using Multimarkdown, which is discussed in more detail in Chapter 21 of the Scrivener manual.


hi katherine,

“Have you tried the Edit -> Paste and Match Style command?”

yes and that’s great for when i want to get rid of formatting. but in my example, i’m typing normal then want to copy a bit of italicized text… then return to my original text style.

so in that case i want to KEEP the italics. but to get back to my normal text, i either have to dial it in manually or as i said, copy a single word from a part of the doc that has the right format, erase all of that word except the first letter, then start typing anew to inherit the formatting i want, THEN finally delete that first letter from which i inherited the right format for the rest of my typing.

that can’t be the right way of doing that…

How about… you type your paragraph, then press Enter several times to create empty paragraph(s), then go back to where you wish to insert your italicised paragraph and insert it, then click the beginning of the empty paragraph down the page and continue typing?

Set up a formatting preset using the “base” formatting you want, then apply that preset after you’ve finished pasting the italicized text. The relevant commands are on the Format -> Formatting menu.

For extensive insertions, you can also make use of the Documents -> Split/Merge commands. Paste the text to be inserted into a new document in the Binder. Use the Split command to break the destination document in half at the desired insertion point. In the Binder, drag the file with the new text into the spot between the two halves. Use Merge to glue everything back together. This is a very clumsy way to manage the formatting issues, obviously, but it’s a more secure way to handle complex edits than cut/paste, as you have very little data in limbo on the clipboard at any given moment.


In the word processor I had been using before Scrivener, when I pasted text in, an option selector appeared. The options were something like, maintain copied formatting (text would paste exactly as copied), match current formatting (pasted text would match the font of the current document, but would maintain stuff like bold or italics), or text only (which would match the text format to the current formatting of the document while ignoring any formatting such as bold or italics or strange spacing). That’s really the only thing I miss switching from the word processor to Scrivener. Has anybody asked for this sort of thing in the wish list section?

Edited to add:
Here’s an image that shows what I mean (I would love to see something like this added to Scrivener):

right. that’s also a kind of thing that i’ve done but again, it feels backward, arcane and goofy. it just feels clumsy and something that i shouldn’t have to do in 2016. it feels like a hack or a workaround.

but thanks for the input. in looking for “best practices”, i’m also fielding how other people deal with this stuff on their own and it’s good to see that i’m not being a total dolt and doing what no one else is.



this might be the kind of elegant solution i was hoping for that doesn’t feel like a hack or a workaround.

i guess it’s a little more legwork to setup presets before you get going but afterward, it’s easy to quick switch.

thank you very much katherine.


hi anianna,

for me, that kind of functionality is covered by “paste without formatting” which there’s a shortcut for that i forgot… my problem is that i WANT to preserve the formatting of the pasted text from its source… but then afterward, start typing again but in the format from BEFORE the paste…

so in your example, to start typing again in the format of your first line.

for me, to switch back was always a laborious task of setting font, size and color again manually or doing absurd workarounds in order to be able to continue typing as i want to.

but katherine’s tip about using PRESETS… i think that may be the kind of solution i was hoping for. unless anyone has any better? i’m literally all ears. (yes, every part of my body has turned itself into an ear listening for solutions). :slight_smile: