Project-wide format changes

Can someone please tell me how I can change things like the font and page format across a whole Scrivener project. I can’t believe you have to do it file by file.


No you do not. The Documents/Convert/Formatting to Default Text Style does what you want. This command can be run on many documents at once by selecting them first in the binder. It can also be tuned to only change certain aspects of formatting, in case you do have things you wish to preserve (like block indents). This command feeds off of the settings in your Tools/Options... window, under the Formatting tab.

As for page settings, there is no such thing in the editor. The editor is divorced from certain presentation aspects like final output layout—it can even be divorced from final output formatting (so if you hate Courier but have to submit in it, you can use another font in the editor and have the compiler fix things up for you). Paper size and layout within the page is set up in the compiler as well.

I’m still finding it quite difficult to get my head around templates, the default style, document changes as opposed to whole project changes and so on but I don’t expect a whole tutorial on the forum.
I’ll read the manual on these topics and if there’s anything that remains unclear, I’ll come back.

In the meantime, thanks for your help.

All right, and if you haven’t done so already there is an interactive tutorial in the Getting Started section that goes over the peaks of what would be a good idea to learn. I’m not sure what you mean regarding “document changes as opposed to whole project changes,” though. I’d point you to a section but to me these two things seem to be the same thing. A project is a large collection of documents with a little glue holding them together. Changing documents is changing the project, fundamentally.

Templates: they are nothing special. They are just projects you’ve saved at a certain point, frozen into the New Project window, so that you can easily make copies of it as a starting point for many future projects. This is the typical meaning of templates in software design. They are ways of using a “stamp” (elaborate though the stamp may be) to create easy copies of something without risk of overwriting the original prototype—most often give you the ability to make your own “stamps”.

OK - I’m still having a few small problems.
I understand what you say about templates.
Perhaps best if I’m more specific:

I have created a project and I have imported a large number of short documents. I have converted most of these files to folders and placed drafts and different variants inside them. The files are in a variety of fonts and with different indentation styles.

Now, though I know I can change things when I compile, for ease of editing etc I would like all the files in my draft folder to have the same font in Scrivener and to use a style of indentation where the first line of the paragraph is NOT indented. So I select all the top level folders and say convert formatting to default text style.

This changes the top-level folder text to the default font but it doesn’t convert the files inside them. It seems like I have to open all the folders before selecting them. Is there a quick way to do this (without opening the Research and Trash folders also)?

Secondly.I don’t seem to be able to change the indentation to the style I want for more than one document at a time.

So this is why I was asking about ‘project-wide format changes’. I’d like a quick way to make all my imported documents look consistent and an easy way to specify what this consistent style looks like.

I see what you mean now. This, and you’ll find this to be generally true of all things in Scrivener, requires each thing you want changed to be selected. Since changing the formatting is a necessarily destructive action, there is no guesswork. The easiest way to change a bunch of nested documents is to either use the Outliner editor mode or the Binder itself. I like the Outliner for this since since I don’t have to go back and collapse everything later. So step by step, you could select the Draft folder which contains all of the pieces, and then switch to Outliner mode (Ctrl-3). Now click anywhere in the outline, and use the View/Outline/Expand All menu command. Press Ctrl-A to select everything, and now run the format conversion.

Specifically with first-line indents: some typists insert a tab character in front of each paragraph instead of using the indent tool. So in those cases, even if you wipe out the first-line indent universally, there will still be a tab. That might be what you are looking at.

Outliner mode - I haven’t really explored this.
It does exactly what I want and I can see the sense in not having ‘magic’ format conversions.
That’s great.
Thanks (I think that closes this thread)

Three cheers for Document/Convert and Scrivener’s ability to let you work in a font you enjoy even if the output is expected to be something like Courier New or Arial. :smiley: