soft return

In MS Word the key-combo of Shift+Return called soft return will give you a new line but not a new paragraph.
Occasionally this is useful. I have searched the Docs and can’t find any mention of this in Scrivener.

Is there a “soft return” in Scrivener?

Have you tried SHIFT-RETURN? I found that via google, and am not at my Mac, so I can’t verify it works. … -a-tennis/

I just tried - SHIFT-RETURN gives a new paragraph (on my Mac). However, CTRL-RETURN does give a soft return, but only if you place the cursor where there is a carriage return. If you place it at the end of a line of ‘wrapped text’ it just places the cursor at the start of the next line of wrapped text. I guess this is how you’d expect it to behave though? You wouldn’t expect a soft return in the middle of wrapped text - just typing in new text will force a new line in the normal ‘text wrapping’ way.

I believe a line break in Mac Scrivener is Alt-Cmd-Return.


Yes, that works, even in wrapped text. CTRL-RETURN seems to work exactly the same way (I just switched invisibles on to check).

Both suggestions act the same as a plain return on my Mac inside of Scrivener.
There should be a handful of other special typography characters, such as soft-hyphen, non-breaking space etc.
I have Google the heck out of this but haven’t found an answer yet.

You mean, when you try either of the combinations suggested, you get a new paragraph? I just tested this out on my Mac (I set the paragraph spacing to “24 points before” just to exaggerate the effect).

Hard return:
Scriv hard return.png

Soft return:
Scriv soft return.png

As you can see from the exaggerated spacing, the hard return has generated a new paragraph, while the soft return only a new line.

Please turn on Show Invisibles (Format → Options → Show Invisibles). That will confirm once and for all which character is actually being generated. As ScriverTid points out the actual space resulting from either command will depend on your line spacing settings.


Also be aware of the report at the top of the known issues page. Sierra broke paragraph spacing with soft returns in the 32-bit text editing component. It will go back to working as expected once the entire framework in Scrivener is running off of 64-bit (the bug has been reported to them, but I wouldn’t expect a fix). As the notice states: it’s just a visual error, the formatting is fine and if the correct break is indeed shown with invisible characters, you’ll be fine when exporting.

I just found out from another user that the Keyboard shortcut for a soft-return or line-break on macOS is CLT+Return. I test this and it works.

Why doesn’t shift-return make a soft return, as googling tells me it’s supposed to do on a Mac?