ruler settings jumping around from line to line


so i’m dipping my toe back into scrivener in preparation for the (imminent?) iOS release and i’m running into some of the formatting issues that i ran into last time that made me shy away from scrivener.

the issue i’m having now is that after pasting some text into scrivener using the no formatting paste, and re-instituting some proper formatting in scrivener, the document ends up being somewhat of a chaotic mess;

  • i have a few bullet points and any time my cursor enters into a bulletpoint line, i discover that the ruler settings have changed… is this normal? is bullet formatting implemented by changing the ruler settings? do i have access to the way bullet formatting is instituted? where do i control that? i find it really confusing because i expect that all formatting would be according to the one ruler setting that i’ve instituted through settings and preferences… not see the ruler markers jump around as i go from one line to another. can someone help me understand how this works?

  • from line to line, it seems like the type face changes… i can’t seem to just set a type face that i like and then keep it for the entire document, it keeps jumping around from line to line. halp?

i’m pretty sure that in both cases, it’s me doing something wrong or having a wrong idea about how scrivener does things so i’m definitely amenable to being sent a link where i can get hip to this stuff.

as it is, scrivener seems like a daunting application where format and font settings are in 20 different places and unless all settings are just so, you’re going to get crazy results. again, i’m certain this is my lack of knowledge. so i’d like to get knowledgeable.



starting to realize that this is a problem about not understanding how formatting is handled inside of scrivener.

any links to tutorials on this would be appreciated.

i see that there’s a distinction between formatting in the editor and the final compiled output formatting but i’m also not understanding what formatting extends to the entire document and what gets reset as i jump around from line to line, region to region.

if i change the font, will it be used from here on out? and if not, do i have to set it as a preset?

there seems to be a lot to formatting in scrivener and i just want a good overview of all the places where i affect this and what the scope of each kind of formatting is.

Okay, keeping this just about the editor, since that seemed to be what your main post was about:

  • You can set the default formatting for new documents in the Editor tab of Tools > Options. The formatting you set here will only be applied to documents created from that point forward, but you can select existing documents and use Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style to convert them to the new default formatting. You’ll have some options at that point about preserving various parts of the original formatting if desired; formatting like bold, italic, and highlighting will always be preserved.

  • Ruler settings–indentation and tab stops–are part of paragraph formatting, thus they can differ per paragraph within a single document. They’ll always be the same at the start with the default formatting, or if you convert the document to the default formatting without choosing to preserve tabs and indents, but they’re part of text formatting and will come in with text pasted from other places unless you’re using Paste and Match Style.

  • Lists in Scrivener do use indentation and tabs, so lists will have different ruler settings than your regular default text. There’s no way to change the default list settings, but you can adjust the formatting on the lists manually after creation if you want. I’d really just save it until after compile when you can work on it in its final medium and tweak it to perfection there, rather than spending a lot of time making it look good in Scrivener’s editor only to have it change in compile or need to be re-tweaked to suit an ebook, etc.

  • Paragraph formatting, including ruler settings, will be inherited from the previous paragraph, so after you leave list formatting, the ruler settings will not be what they were previously. You can avoid this by pressing Enter a few times to give yourself some empty lines, then back up and create the list above them, so at the end you can just drop down back to you regular formatting, or you could use Tools > Text > Copy/Paste Ruler to copy and apply the formatting from a paragraph preceding the list. (The shortcut Ctrl+G, Ctrl+C means to hold the Ctrl key while pressing G, then release G and press C, then release Ctrl. If it’s a command you’re using a lot, you can change the shortcut in the Keyboard settings of Tools > Options.)

I hope that clears things up a bit!

it totally does! thank you so much for taking the time to straighten me out!


oooo and thanks for the tip about the ruler settings will get inherited from previous paragraph (so if it’s bullets, it will stay in bullets). that would have messed me up too…

it seems like it would be reasonable for this to work like msword so that if you take off bullets, the ruler would return back to what it was before bullets was invoked (after all, why keep the bullets ruler if you’re not using bullets), or if such contextual switching (what ruler preceded bullets) is complex, just switch back to basic text paragraph ruler…

but the tip of just continuing with the paragraph formatting beyond the point where i want to insert the bullets and then going back to add the bullets interstitially… that’s a good work around.

thanks again.