Scrivener and multiple lines

Hi guys,

To give a little background: basically I have a writing workflow where I write in iA Writer and then send to Scrivener for compiling.

The problem I’m having is that I hit return twice after each paragraph so I have a space between the paragraphs in iAWriter. Now when I bring it over to Scrivener I’m of course left with an extra blank line.

Note that in Scrivener I’ve changed the line spacing to appear like there’s an extra line. So when I write in Scrivener, one hit of return works like a charm.

The actual question part: Now I know that I can go through and delete each of the extra lines separately but I wondered if there was a way to automagically remove the extra lines.

I know that the issue I’m having isn’t solely linked to iAWriter (or even Scrivener for that matter) but thought I’d mention in case it helps.

Do you guys have any suggestions?



Two ways you could go about it:

  1. Use File/Sync/with External Folder in plain-text mode instead of copy and paste. Use iA Writer to make your text files, and save them to the sync folders that Scrivener will set up for you. New files you create will be imported into the project when you fire it up (or whenever you run the sync command), and it can be set up to automatically fix plain-text->RTF spacing issues like this in both directions. Another advantage is that you can continue using an external editor for existing sections of the draft as well, without having to copy and paste (which is actually the primary purpose for this feature), and if you use it in conjunction with a synchronised folder like Dropbox, you can access your draft on the go.
  2. Keep doing things the way you have been, but after you import or copy and paste, use Edit/Find/Find... to search and replace double carriage returns with single returns. Use Opt-Return to type in carriage returns as search and replacement values.

Hi Ioa,

You can do the Sync folder thing using Byword, instead of iA Writer?
Thank you


Thanks for the reply Amber!

You’ve helped me made this process much easier now. :slight_smile:

I tried to use your first suggestion, which wasn’t too difficult as I already have sync set up. That did fix the issue, but due to the fact that I was using plain text, it ignored any italics. Now if this worked for rich text (which I’m sure would be quite an ordeal to code for) it would’ve been perfect.

Your second suggestion was the one that worked a treat. In fact, before posting I did search and found a similar suggestion that you made to another user. However, when I set up the Find > Replace, nothing happened, other than the ¶ symbol appearing.

Instead, I had to Format > Option > Show Invisibles. Then I had to highlight and cut and paste the double ¶¶'s, pasting them into the Find field and then do the same with only one of them in the Replace field. Then it worked like magic.

Interestingly, I believe you also mentioned the cut/paste method in the other forum post, but I think I was highlighting/selecting the wrong parts while the invisibles were showing.

Either way, it has really saved me a lot of time and helped out a lot.


You can use Notepad on a PC if you want (though the line breaks will be odd in that one). All this feature does is make text files in a specified location and then monitor them. What you do with them is open-ended.

It does, you just need to flip it over to RTF mode in the sync settings. But then of course you can’t use a plain-text editor to very easily edit them. iA Writer doesn’t do italics to my knowledge, so that is where the problem is. We might have some cool new tools for this in the future though, maybe something based on Markdown.

That’s strange, Opt-Return should just enter a carriage return, not a symbol. It will look blank in the search field. That’s just a somewhat universal Mac convention, really.

Thank you, AmberV/Ioa.

Sorry, I wasn’t very clear on my explanation. While iA Writer is a plain text editor with Markdown support, it can export as a rtf (or html for that matter). As such, I was exporting as rtf so the italics would be read by Scrivener.

Using the method you said above, Scrivener can read the rtf, but it does not strip out the extra line. That function only seems to apply to plain text. “Automatically convert plain text paragraph spacing.”

Of course, if iA Writer had Scrivener’s compile menu… :wink:

Markdown in Scrivener… Hmm, sounds interesting.

Still, the second suggestion you made (mentioned below) works fine and with the least amount of headaches.

I followed what you said above (Opt-Return) and it now works fine. Strike what I said before, I must have made a mistake somewhere along the way.

So yes, the Find > Replace, Option-Return method saved the day!

(And most importantly removed those extra lines!)

Thanks again Amber!

Ah, okay, sorry I’m not terribly familiar with what it can do. They must be using their own conversion then instead of a built-in Multi/Markdown system, as those will go from plain-text source to rich text with single break paragraphs. For example if you compose in Markdown in Scrivener and compile as MMD->RTF you don’t get double-breaks.

Well it already has it, but we’re exploring ways to make working with M/MD editors easier, since there are so many of them now, especially on mobile platforms. Right now you have to write in MMD to fully take advantage of it. It approaches it more from a platform of those who wish to compose and keep their work in it, rather than as a transmission format.

Okay, good. That’s certainly easier than having to copy and paste characters!