Reformat entire formatting presets at compile

I realise from another thread on here that the formatting presets are merely batch-applied formatting to chunks of text rather than being ‘styles’ in the MS Word sense, but if there was a way, it would be helpful if at the compile stage there was a means of globally overriding formatting specific to the formatting presets.

The current checkbox ''override text and notes formatting" will replace the formatting of all text with that given in the little format preview window on the compile screen. I was hoping I would be able to modify the formatting for all instances of a preset (which I suppose would require it to be more like a style).

My guess would be that Scrivener has no way of distinguishing text formatted in one or another way; that the ‘apply formatting preset’ option simply ‘pastes’ the formatting rather than marks the section off as a certain type of content, in which case what I’m asking is currently impossible.

It would be nice though, if I have blockquotes in my thesis all in a format prest ‘blockquote’ or something, and during compile, I decide that I want to make them all italicised instead. To go through and select all the blockquote preset text and italicise would be far inferior to telling the compile process to italicise all that blockquote text.

You can do all this in Word. If you compile to a Word document (.rtf or .docx) you can then use Word to find and replace by formatting. Hence you can replace all instances of a given formatting preset (provided it is unique enough) with a Word Style. This is easier if your presets differ in point size, colour, font (anything to make them more unique).

With sufficiently unique presets, and pre-established styles, this could be done in Word for an entire compiled project in minutes.

There is already a mechanism for doing a bit of this, which basically works in a small localised form of “Compile As-Is”. The Format/Formatting/Preserve Formatting feature tells the compiler to leave the selected range of text alone and use whatever formatting exists within it verbatim. This can be further tuned in the Formatting compile option pane, under the Options button, to still allow some changes to be made. For example you may wish to retain the block quote’s indenting, but want it to otherwise take on the font characteristics of the text around it. You could tell Preserve Formatting to only preserve tabs and indents, in that case.

Naturally, going through everything and applying that by hand would be inefficient. Fortunately you can save this attribute along with the rest of the formatting into your presets. In fact we supply a sample preset that does this for the essay block quotes format.

As for more complicated transformations, like taking an indented range and making it italic instead, there isn’t a way of doing that currently. We do have long-term plans of improving this all around to be a bit more like stylesheets (but hopefully without all of the complexity), so that you could create a style called “Blockquote” that could later be optionally transformed in the compiler in a variety of fashions.

But Nom’s suggestion is the best for right now. So long as your formatting is consistent throughout the work, it is a trivial process to use Word’s format selection feature and then apply formatting or even stylesheets to that multiple selection all at once.