Scrivener Defaults


Is there a way to set Scrivener page defaults? I’ve looked under Tools --> Options and changed quite a few settings from Courier New to Times New Roman but it doesn’t seem to have a great deal of effect.

I mean, I (think I) get why authors often like Courier but I just find the font so [expletive deleted] ugly and I’d really prefer to write in something else. For me it’s a problem because I create quite a lot of new documents to make my book with each chapter have between 4 and 10 sub-chapters.

Any ideas?


This article touches on a few other topics as well, but this paragraph in the middle should get you to the right location to change this:

Thx … I thought that was what I did but I will check tonight.


Note that setting the defaults will only affect new documents. You can use Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style to update the formatting for existing documents. That might’ve been your missing step.

Doesn’t that imply there isn’t a way to set the defaults? I’m trying to make it so each time I open a new text document it opens in, for example, Times New Roman, point 12, line and half spacing and justified. What I seem to get when I create a document is courier new.

I am using a brand new project as a test.


If you’re stuck in Courier that may be something else entirely, you might be stuck in scriptwriting mode. Does the footer bar along the bottom of the editor have instructions for entering character names, action and so forth? Is the icon yellow-ish? If so, hit Ctrl–4 to toggle out of that mode and try creating another new file to test your settings. You’ll probably want to toggle off any other documents as well that have this alternate icon.

Setting the formatting in the Editor section of Tools > Options does set the default formatting for new documents, so if you change that to TNR 12, 1.5 spacing, etc., that’s what you should get if you create a new project or if you create a new document in your current project. But any text you already had in the project before you changed those defaults won’t be affected, since that could blow away whatever deliberate formatting you might have applied to individual sections of text. Thus, if you want to change those older documents to update to the new default formatting, you need to manually do it via Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style, which will give you some options too for retaining certain formatting like alignment or indentation.

There is a special exception though, which Ioa brought up: script documents are always created using the formatting of the current script settings, which typically is Courier New 12pt like you’re seeing. If you accidentally toggle a document into Script Mode and then created a new document while that script document was selected, the new document would also be in script mode, and so on. Once you switch the documents out of script mode, you can select them all and use Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style to convert their formatting to the non-script-mode defaults you set in Options. New documents you create at that point, since they’ll be starting from a non-script-mode document, will also be just regular documents rather than using script mode.

Hi MM,

I’ve managed to change the default document settings so thx for that :slight_smile:

I seem to be able to update the document style only one document at a time … is that correct?

Also, is there a way to change the width of the page to more than 15cm? I use A4 to print out on (21cm wide) so I guess 17 or 18 cm would suit me better. Or then again, perhaps this is because page widths are restricted to some kind of paperback style format?


You can use Shift-click or Ctrl-click to select multiple documents in the binder and then convert them all in a batch.

Paper width and margins are determined in the “Page Setting” options during compile (or in File > Page Setup… if you’re running a quick print). In File > Compile, click the blue arrow button to the right of the Format As menu button to expand the dialog and show the options along the side.

The editor doesn’t mimic the page, however; it’s more like a text editor than a traditional word processor in that regard. When you print/compile, text will wrap at the right margin when there is no right indent set; while you’re working, it will wrap to the editor, however wide that is. You can adjust the “Editor Margins” in the Formatting options to change the padding in the editor if you want more space between the text and the edges. That will affect the display in the editor without changing the paragraph formatting.

You should leave the right-indent marker in the default formatting all the way to the right edge of the ruler to leave it as no indent, i.e. wrapping to the margin. If you widen or shrink the editor in the main window, the right indent marker should move along with the edge.

The right indent should just be set for specific paragraphs that need that indentation for whatever reason–a block quote that has to be formatted an extra inch in from the margin on either side, or script formatting, that sort of thing. For the default formatting, just leave it at the edge and let your text wrap to the margin, which you can easily adjust in compile for different outputs.

Apologies for butting in on this thread - but I too am having an issue with the default font.

Within new folders, each new text page opens up with the font tab greyed out but clearly shows Georgia/10pt as the default.
But when I paste/paste&match, or just start writing, the text comes out as Courier New 12pt - and it’s driving me barmy!
As this is a new installation, I’ve only set up colours and font - otherwise all other settings are as default.

I followed the suggestions (above) to convert, but it’s made no difference.

(I blame Windows10 - it was alright until I had to recently re-install everything as the upgrade went pear-shaped in a bad way :smiley:)