rtf paragraph issues

I know this has to be on here somewhere, but my searches have been less than fruitful. If anyone can point me to a thread, or answer this question, you will save what hair I have left.

I am compiling a draft, and exporting to .rtf. When I export to pdf, all looks good. When I export to rtf, I am not getting all my paragraph breaks when I open the file on my mac using openoffice. Some contents of folders look fine, and some don’t. I was contemplating purchasing Pages or something-I-know-not-what to do this if I need to, but then saw here that Pages has bad RTF support.

(My original intention was to use InDesign to do the final formatting, however that seems to strip the graphics and italic out of the exported RTF file.) I just want to get this into something that I can format into a 6x9 pdf for createspace. Thanks!

I don’t know if this is the answer for your problem but I would highly recommend checking out Nisus. It does .rtf very well. Much better than Pages IMHO.

What happens if you open the RTF file in TextEdit? Do the paragraph breaks appear okay there? (Not that TextEdit is a good substitute - I’m just talking about for testing.)

Also, try selecting Text > Show Invisibles in Scrivener. Are there definitely proper paragraph breaks after each one, or only line breaks (line breaks are indicated by an arrow rather than the paragraph marker when invisibles are shown)?


aha. In textedit they do appear correctly, however when I show invisibles, it appears that in most cases, there are only line breaks - but they are everywhere – and some render fine in openoffice and some don’t which doesn’t make sense to me. Is there a way I can convert all double line breaks to a honest paragraph?

Hmm, that’s a touch one. This should work:

  1. Back up the project.
  2. Select one of the line breaks and hit Copy.
  3. Go to Edit > Find > Project Replace.
  4. Paste the line break into the “Find” field.
  5. In the “Replace” field, hit Opt-return to enter a return character.
  6. Then choose to replace all.

This should do it, but let me know how you get on. Which version of Scrivener are you running? Was a lot of this project written in an earlier version? I ask because Scrivener used to enter a line break rather than a paragraph break if you hit shift-return instead of return. This is the standard way of entering line breaks in Word, too, but it turned out that a lot of users accidentally hold the shift key down while they hit return in preparation for uppercasing the next character, so I changed the shortcut from shift-return back to opt-cmd-return. But if you typed a lot of it in a previous version, then it is possible that if you hit shift as you hit return, you created a lot of line breaks, and these can look strange in OpenOffice and Word.


Yes, you can use the Project Search & Replace tool (in Edit/Find) to do a complete conversion. You’ll need to type in a linefeed in the search box, by holding down Ctrl and pressing Return. Then in the replacement box, to enter a paragraph break hold down Option and press Return.

You’ll probably want to do a quick skim after that to make sure any lists, songs/poetry etc, didn’t get messed up.

Update: Or yeah, you can use the copy and paste method too. :slight_smile:

Thank you so much! That worked great! I only wish I had asked the question before I went through and converted everything to default style and stripped every single italic from 300 pages…is there any way to get that back? Can I reload from a previous autosave?

Yikes! That ordinarily shouldn’t happen. Were you switching to a font that doesn’t support italics? Or, did you use the ruler style tool instead of the Documents/Convert sub-menu?

Previous auto-saves are not stored as that would add up rather quickly. You’ll have better luck with Time Machine if you have that enabled.

Yep,that’s exactly what I did. I used the ruler. Now it’s rock and hard place – time machine backup without all the changes I made in the last three days, or re-adding italics. Ugg. Thanks again for your help. At least the RTF file export looks better now!

Oi, yeah. Definitely for future reference, the Convert menu. :slight_smile:

And also “File/Back Up Project To…” whenever you do drastic stuff.