post-Catalina/Scrivener upgrade format issue.

I had to upgrade to Catalina suddenly today, but may be going back to Mojave.

I’m an existing user of Scrivener 2 and have downloaded the demo version of Scrivener 3 in the meantime (laptop might be going in for repairs). I’ve opened some projects and the text in my documents has very wide margins so the text sits in the middle of the page. (2+ inches of space on each side). It this a fault or a new feature/setting?

Can I import settings from Scrivener 2 (I have it in a timemachine back up)?

This isn’t a format problem but a display prefs issue. Scriv 2 had the full width editor as default, but Scriv 3 went to a fixed-width editor as default. To change it back, go to Scrivener->Preferences->Appearance, select Main Editor on the left, and uncheck the “Use fixed width editor” checkbox. Be sure to set the default editor width to zero as well.

I definitely suggest opening the Tutorial and working through the “What’s new” section, as there are extensive changes between Scriv 2 and Scriv 3. In particular, don’t leave learning the new compiler until a deadline! The compiler has a new system that’s more intuitive once you learn it, but will drive you nuts if you just go in and think that because you used the compiler in Scriv 2, you can use it in Scriv 3 (at least, it drove me nuts!)

Hope this helps!

What Silverdragon said.

I’d also recommend our upgrade guide for Scrivener 2 users, here: … date-guide



thanks for this advice. Just back from 2 months of computer repair hell and working my way through the Upgrade Tutorial.

In Updating each project, what is the purpose of the back up? Do I need to keep this for some reason? Is it different from the back ups in the Library folder?

Separate to that, I ended up with two versions of my projects. The older ones are now deleted, but the back ups are still in the Library folder. Do I need to do anything about this, or just let it run as per normal?

The upgrade backup protects you in case the upgrade fails, or if you need to revert to the Scrivener 2 version of the project for any reason. It’s different from other backups only because it took place before the Scrivener 2 -> 3 project format change.


Scrivener backups from “My terrible novel” are not managed by Scrivener when it generates backups from “My excellent novel”. So if the two copies of your project are named differently (“Copy of My excellent novel” vs. “My excellent novel”), then the backups that belonged to the copy you deleted will stay there until you decide to delete them.

If the two copies had identical names, then the backups will be managed as if the remaining project had created them all, deleting those that exceed the limit on the number to keep (as set in Scrivener->Preferences->Backup).