Question about No Style

If I understood right, it is recommended to use No Style for the normal, body text. But if I have a piece of text with incorrect formatting, how do I change that to No Style? It is already marked No Style, and if I click on No Style again some properties change, and others don’t. The type seems to change, sometimes the line spacing, sometimes the indentation. It seems to have to do with where the cursor is, and if I try to change large chunks of text. Is this a bug or have I missed some trick?

One thing that i don’t want to change are certain words in italic - those I would like to keep in italic. Is there any way to do that? Now all italics are removed when I click No Style.


So, the first part of the question: The best way I’ve found to change it is to change it to yet a different style (Attribution is my choice), and then change it back. Because if you change from No Style to No Style, Scrivener doesn’t see any changes to be made.

This, of course, is annoying. I don’t have another suggestion for it, though.

In terms of changing everything but the italics, I don’t have a suggestion. I have to admit, sometimes changing to No Style gets rid of my emphases, and sometimes it does not, and I’ve yet to figure out why.

There is a difference between ’styles’ and formatting.

A style is a combination of different formats that you want to compile in a specific way, e.g block quotes, a poem in the middle of a novel, or something like that. Then you define a Style and use that for those specific parts.

The rest of the text, which has no style, has no style! It doesn’t have a style called No Style. ’No style’ is not like Normal in Word. It literally doesn’t have a style. So you can’t change from no style to no style because it doesn’t have a style.

But you can format the text, using bold and italics, change the line spacing, the font, paragraph spacing, etc. But this only changes the way the text looks in the editor, while you are writing. When you compile you can change all of this in a simple way. But the text you have given a specific Style can then easily be formatted in a completely different way, or look exactly like it does in the editor.

Bootom line: there isn’t a style called No style. No style means that the text has no style, only direct formatting.

Thank you both! I try that next time, to change into another style and then back.

Good point, No style isn’t a style. The confusing thing is that clicking on No Style actually does change some properties of the text, but not all. In 1.9 I often used Convert formatting to default text style. Which sometimes worked, and sometimes changed italics into normal text.

I guess this is a quite common thing to want to do - change the text to your default formatting, without affecting single words in italics. Is there a way to do that? (otherwise maybe I should add it to the wishlist…)

Why not select the top level in the binder so you get all the text in the editor, put the cursor in the Editor, Edit -> Select all, and then change the font or whatever it is you want to change. Italics and bold shouldn’t be affected.

Thanks, that is a good idea if a lot of text is wrong throughout the manuscript. However I don’t want to do that every time I for instance cut and paste from another document and get the wrong format, as I want to change not only font, but font size, line spacing and indentations. All those things I guess is the point of having Styles (which by the way is a great idea).

Thanks a lot for help!

No, styles are only meant for special parts of the text that is different from the main text. It’s not like styles in Word.
If you paste text from other documents, use Edit -> Paste and match formatting

Well, now I found it myself: The option to convert to default formatting is still there, under “document” and it didn’t undo the italics. I thought this issue would be connected to Styles in some way, but clearly it isn’t, as what you wrote suggested.

I add a small bug report to that: In the dialogue box “Convert text to default formatting” it says: “This action cannot be”. I suppose there is an “undone” missing.

You should post that as a special bug report so the developers see it.

It’s true that “No Style” has no style tag in the underlying text (and every Scrivener 3 “Style” has one of those). But it does define formatting, and to me, formatting means style. And Scrivener even uses the word ‘style’ to refer to “No Style.” (check it out: Options → Editing → Formatting. Read the first line: “Main text style for new documents:”)

It’s no wonder there’s confusion. No matter how much we talk about how “No Style” is not a style at all, to most people, it IS a style of some sort, and they’re going to treat it like that.

If you have a section of “Normal” style text in Word, select it, and italicize it, have you applied a different style? No. Have you redefined the “Normal” style? No. You have applied specific formatting over and above the “Normal” style’s definition.

“Style,” as used in both Scrivener and Word, has the very specific meaning of not only applying a particular set of formatting commands, but also labeling the text has having that style associated with it. That is the entire purpose: so that you can change every block quote in a manuscript from 1.5 line spacing to 1.0, or so that you can use Heading styles to build a Table of Contents.

Text formatting is a much older concept, going all the way back to trays of hand-set type. It is only in the computer era – and relatively late in the computer era at that – that text has come to be labeled with the function it serves in the manuscript, rather than just a specification of how it looks.


In the Mac version the first line says: “Main text formatting for new documents”.

If everything had a style, surely the normal standard style should have a name like ‘normal’ or ‘standard’ or even 'default style? So I can’t really see how the words ‘no style’ can be interpreted to mean that the text has a style called ‘no’.

You state that to you formatting means style, but style is actually a concept that was introduced by Word as far as I remember, back before Windows version 1 when Word was a MS-DOS software. WordPerfect was a popular competitor at the time and WP only had direct formatting, no styles.
‘Style’ means formatting, but all formatting doesn’t make a style. Like Katherine says, if you give a paragraph a style and then underline a few words in the paragraph, do these words then have a different style than the rest of the paragraph or are they only underlined?

So, what is the proper way to do it then, if I have a chunk of text and want to convert it to default formatting, without having to go through font, font size, indents, line spacing ecc every time?

This is not a great problem for me, but I am curious to know how it is supposed to work. I don’t use styles much in Word, but have done it quite a lot in Indesign, where the styles are a bit like in Scrivener, but not quite…

I was a desktop publisher in a previous life and cut my teeth on Ventura Publisher, which enforced styles rigorously: all text has a style tag and a separate style sheet defined the attributes of each style. As a result the structure of a document and the way it looked were kept separate (a major heading is more prominent than a minor one, regardless of font, etc.) That approach left me in good shape to re-skill for mark-up languages such as HTML and (eventually) things like cascading style sheets.

So, I would like to add my voice to those who find Scrivener’s “No style” idea confusing. (And not just because it makes you define the default appearance of the text in a different way, and via a different menu, than all the other text.)

It’s probably too late to change it for version 3.0, but I would really like to see a later 3.x version use styles in an SGML/XML way, as structural definitions whose appearance is defined via a separate style sheet. In that model, every paragraph would be tagged according to its function in the document, so there would be a “Normal” (body text, whatever) style along with all the other ones. And a proper template/stylesheet system would mean changing the font for “Normal” in a stylesheet would immediately update every document that used that stylesheet.

Apart from making day-to-day use simpler and more consistent, I think this would probably make compiling a text for different purposes (ebooks, text, etc.) simpler as well.

In Mac Scrivener, the command is Documents → Convert → Formatting to Default Text Style.

The Paste and Match Style command is also useful for newly imported text.


FWIW, Styles in Scrivener work the way they do in part because of the Compile command. While ebook formats require stylesheets, many other formats do not, and the Compile command has to accommodate all of them. It also has to accommodate users who know nothing about desktop publishing and don’t care to learn.


Me too… maybe it could be usefull add some way to quickly “delete all format” in selection…

Thank you, Katherine! “Formatting to default…” was the way I did it, finally, and it works well…

Just out of curiousity, as I want to understand how it works: This always applies to the whole document, doesn’t it? So there is no way to change just a part of the document to default formatting? And, if No Style is, well, no style, why do some properties of the text change when I click it?

Disclaimer: I use the Mac version, not the Windows beta, so I can’t promise that you’ll see the exact same behavior, and I’m not addressing what may be buggy behavior in the beta.

In the Mac version, the convert to default formatting command allows you to decide whether or not to remove styles, whether to preserve the font, and so on. So it won’t, for example, wipe out italicized titles or block quotes unless you tell it to. As a general rule, though, most of the text in a given document will use the default formatting: that’s why it’s the default.

Clicking ‘No Style’ will remove any style that might be applied to the existing text. It will not remove separately applied formatting. So, for example, I selected a paragraph, applied the Attribution style to it, then selected some text within the paragraph and applied Bold formatting. The No Style command reverted the paragraph to the default formatting, but left the Bold text bold.