Scrivener fights all my compile efforts, can someone fix my format?

Long story short; no matter what I do, or what options I change Scrivener refuses to give me bolded text, underlines, or italics, with any consistency when I export. And now my PDFs seem to be exporting with messed up kerning in certain sections. I was wondering if I might be able to send the project file to someone, to see if they can maybe see the problem… and get my text to actually and for really show up “as typed in the editor”

Why not? Here’s my current project, “Tomb” be the export format I’m working with. (1.3 MB)

Read the whole post (and backup your project) before doing anything.

You have used styles all over your text.
You have created styles that “save all formatting”. Therefor those styles contain (and later force at compile) character attributes.
You 1) did not have to style everything
2) did not need to have those styles save all formatting. Just the paragraph style.

You can simply redefine those styles like this :

Then, in your compile format, remove them from the styles list, and add them again so that they will be updated there too :

If you have no intention of further tweaking a style at compile, it has no reason/need to be in the list. As a matter of fact, having a style in the list locks it in the state it was when added to the list. If you later redefine your style, that will have no effect at compile, because the style was in the list prior to that.

See how the image is gone ?
Do this for other problematic styles too.
(Although I am pretty confident that in the present case, after redefining your styles to “save paragraph style” you could simply remove them from your compile format’s styles list and leave it at that.)
I presume this from your desire for your text to compile as you see it in the editor, as you stated it.

Here is what I got compiling one of your chapters after tweaking the style as I showed:
Bold preserved.

. . . . .
P.S. Your “Main Text” style has no reason to be.
This should have been No Style (the default formatting).

You can choose to leave it like that now that it is done, but any future formatting changes will have to be adjusted in the styles panel of your compile format. (Unless you removed those styles from your compile format’s styles list, as I mentioned earlier.)
Or (backup first), set the default formatting for your project from a paragraph of this style, convert your documents to default formatting, then delete the style from your project.

Places like here you have a problem:

You have applied your “Handwriting” style to the whole of what I screenshotted above.

  1. The text font size is 8pt. The Judge’s signature is 10pt.
  2. The style is set to save font size.


This can’t work at compile. – Should have been two styles, or uncheck “Include font size”.

Go have a look at this one chapter :

For some reason you left it to the default formatting. (No Style)
Compile it, I bet it is just as you wanted it. With the bold font, italics etc.
This one chapter you’ve done right.
That is how they should all be. (Wherever you used your “Main Text” style.)


@Vincent_Vincent’s advice is good.

Another alternative would be to start with the “Default” Compile Format, which passes what you see in the Editor straight through to the output document. You can edit that Format as needed to change page size and such, but don’t touch the formatting options.

Incidentally, looking at the project I see duplicates of some of the internal settings files. That often indicates some kind of synchronization conflict. Are you storing it with a cloud service?

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Yeah, Google drive… let me try implementing your changes now.

Now we’re talking! Still getting odd kerning in my PDF, but that’s such a minor thing.

Please don’t store a live project in Google Drive. Explanation of why not here:

To be honest, I don’t understand how using the “default” compile format could have by itself made it work.

Yeah, took a peek at it… I’d just be redoing a big part of what I already did. Your tips about my messed up styles are what got me through ^^

Because the Default format doesn’t change anything, just passes the Editor formatting through.

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I just tried compiling a chapter, by itself it indeed doesn’t work.
The styles having saved “all formatting” prevents it.

Going for the “default” compile format kind of only clears the styles list.

Although I agree that it is a good idea to start from there in this case.