Simultaneous dialogue

A major missing feature for playwrights and screenwriters seems to be the ability to properly format dialogue that’s spoken at the same time. To adhere to standard script formatting, such dialogue should appear side-by-side, but Scrivener doesn’t offer this.

Love to see that in a future update.

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See the manual: 19.1.2 Dual Dialogue.

Does what you want?

Slàinte mhòr.

It’s supposed to do exactly what I want.

But in reality, it does nothing.

Attached test project doesn’t work for you?

Slàinte mhòr. (79.5 KB)

Thanks for the help. I’m getting closer!

I was compiling to the Project format, which is “US Stage Play.” I tried compiling to “Script or Screenplay,” and now it’s kinda working. But you can see, not quite. The character names are crowded.

What Project format are you writing in?


Was just using a blank template.

However, the file attached uses US Stage Play.

  1. In US Stage Play compile, make sure “Convert Preserve Formatting blocks to dual dialogue tables” is selected.

  1. To adjust the character name spacing (which seems to be corrupt in the template), choose Format > Scriptwriting > Script Settings > and then tweak the line indents to suit (I went from 3 to 2 inches in this project – probably different for US paper sizes). (85.5 KB)

Slàinte mhòr.

How do I get to your first screenshot?

During compile:

Slàinte mhòr.

'K, got that now.

The only remaining problem is, changing the character name margins from 3 inches to 2 inches changes it everywhere in the document, not just in the simultaneous dialogue sections.

From the sample given in the manual – where Lorenzo, Jemma, and Felicita are all aligned – I assume this is just the way it works: only Guido gets shunted over to a separate column, implying that the core alignment is universal and that dual dialogue shifts the second speaker over in isolation (can probably be changed in secondary software if compiled to an editable format).

Can’t see a way to change this, but perhaps someone else can.

That or tech support:

Slàinte mhòr.

Thanks, again, for all the help.

Welcome. And if you find a solution to that final question, please do share.


Slàinte mhòr.

I just wanted to jump in and thank the both of you for this. I have been trying to figure this out forever and could not, for the life of me, figure out what I was doing wrong. I stumbled upon this thread and voila, problem solved! Thank you!!!

As for the margins thing, I wish I could help and repay the favor. I’m not having that issue at all so I’m not sure why you are. If I figure it out, I’ll post the solution.

This issue was fixed with the latest software update.