Set default style and apply to whole manuscript

Ive tried reading the notes to change the default style and apply but its not working out for me.
Some chapters are indented from the right (like a small book); some are the whole width and finally, some change between the two md chapter.

I’m working on a work of fiction so need no whistles and bells, no editorial cross- references / footers etc. Simply wish to apply 1 font, 1 para , indentation, 1 line space.

I’m sure there’s an incredibly easy way to do this - but I haven’t found it.

Once I have the chosen default - can it be globally applied - over the entire manuscript or if it chapter by chapter?

Hi Beebythesea, and welcome to the forum.

Where I think you might be running into trouble is thinking that the style sheets are the same settings as Scrivener’s default formatting in new documents.

For the defaults used with each new document created, you’ll want to review the settings in File > Options > Editing > Formatting. The settings used there will affect all text used in all new documents. And, it will also affect every Scrivener project.

For project-specific formatting, you’ll go to Project > Project Settings > Formatting and tick the box next to “Use different formatting for new documents in this project.”

These two options will only apply to new documents going forward. To apply those settings to existing documents, you can use the Documents > Convert > Text to Default Formatting command.

That command can be destructive, so I suggest duplicating a document and testing it first.

Another option for changing the global defaults is to use the formatting bar in the Scrivener main editor, select the text that has the formatting you’re using, and select the Format > Make Formatting Default command.

None of these above options are using Scrivener’s Styles, and there’s a reason for that.

In Scrivener, the default “No Style” is the equivalent of a “Body Style” in a true-word processing program like MS Word. When users are just getting starting with Scrivener, I’ll typically recommend that they leave most of the text using the “No Style” default and only use stylesheets for exceptions to the defaults like a block quote or quoting poetry or song lyrics in a prose document.

The reason I recommend that is it allows Scrivener’s compile tools to have the maximum amount of flexibility when compiling the text to different output file types.

And, that’s one of the keys about using Scrivener. The text in the main editor can be styled for the user’s writing comfort, and all of those settings can be changed by the compile tools to match submissions standards.

For my work, I’ll use different fonts and font colors for each round of revisions and the “No Style” default. Then, I can compile to Manuscript Courier or whatever I need for the output file.

Does that help explain the behavior you’re seeing and which settings you’ll need to change?

But still apply folder by folder rather selecting Manuscript?

If I select
Novel Format . . .
and then go to Format >
Make Format Default is not available as a command

similarly, if I select
then go to Format - its not available

The novel format is a project-level template. That is, it provides some basic templated documents like character sheets, setting sheets, a Front Matter folder with different documents, and other binder-level structures to support your writing.

But, those settings don’t necessarily apply to how the actual text looks in Scrivener’s main editor for each individual document. Those document settings for font, font size, line spacing, and so on are driven by the formatting used in File > Options > Editing > Formatting.

If the documents in your project have had their settings changed individually so that they’re not consistent with one another using the formatting bar in the main editor, then you’ll want to clean them up so they’re consistent.

One easy way to accomplish this is to select a chunk of text in one document that you want to use as your default formatting. With that example text highlighted in the main editor, you can click Format > Make Formatting Default.

Now, if you go to File > Options > Editing > Formatting, the settings you selected in the main editor will be the global default for all new documents and all new Scrivener projects going forward.

But, all existing documents in this current project will still use a variety of formatting. To apply those changes to existing documents, you’ll need to click into each document and then use the Documents > Convert > Text to Default Formatting command. That will convert all the existing text so that it looks consistent in the main editor.

If you’re just getting started with Scrivener or if it’s been a while since you worked with it, you might want to review the Interactive Tutorial, which you can access either from Scrivener’s new project template screen or from its Help menu.

It’s a good way to learn about features, and it’s a live project that you can practice different settings on to get a feel for how they’ll work before you use them with your own projects.