Special formatting selection

The one (and only) problem I’ve had with Scrivener is I don’t seem to find a proper way to manage block quotes. This is super important to me as I mostly write academic stuff. The “recommended” way of doing it (by formatting the block in the editor while writing and use the “preserve formatting” option on the text, so that it keeps the formatting when I compile the work) seems cumbersome to me. Mainly because I have to think of the format I want to give to the block while writing, taking away what is, to me, Scrivener’s greatest feature: to write without worrying about how it will look (until you have to compile).

I’ve though of a way of doing this easily! (at least for the UI part of it, I don’t know nothing about coding). It would be nice to have a “special formatting” option along with the “preserve formatting” one. When applying it to a text it will format it in a different way from the rest of the document. But, instead of keeping the format from the editor, you will be prompted with an option to format it in the compile menu, leaving the “how it will look like” problem to the end of the process, where it belongs.

This could be use not only to have block quotes, but to format pieces of text differently within documents. It could even be used to introduce more than one different format to a document or to the whole project. It could use different colors for different types of special formatting (as the inline annotation feature). So I could, for instance, mark some text as a “special formating” in red and and some other as “special formatting” in blue. In the end (in the compile menu) I could format the red selection (or all the red selections in the project for that matter) as, for example, Times New Roman, 11pt, Justified, with a 0.6 inch indent, and all blue selections as, for example, Arial, 12 pt, Centered, with 1.5 line spacing (to denote a special passage within the document, for example).

This feature seems intuitive for Scrivener users who already know how to use the “preserve formatting” feature and solves a GREAT problem I have with the app. I hope it is as easy to code as it seems easy to use (at least to me). PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN!! :smiley: (or in the event you can’t, please come with a similar solution for handling block quotes and the like).

P.S.: Otherwise the app is a writers dream!!! Keep up with the GREAT job you are doing guys!!!

Unless you’re wanting to format each block quote differently, and even if you use a small number of them:

Set up paragraph(s) in the formatting you want or place the cursor within suitable existing paragraph(s);
then Format —> Formatting —> Preserve Formatting;
then Format —> Formatting —> New Preset from Selection and give it a name;
then Apple menu —> System Preferences —> Keyboard —> Shortcuts —> App Shortcuts;
click the + button;
set Application: Scrivener;
enter the name of your preset, e.g. Block quote 1 or whatever — pay attention to upper/lower case, as it’s case sensitive;
create the shortcut.

I tend to use Ctrl-Cmd with a suitable alphabetic character, as Ctrl-Cmd doesn’t create too many conflicts with existing shortcuts that I don’t know about.

Then when you want to use that particular block quote format, you just hit your shortcut, and it’s done. A few minutes to set up, dead easy to use afterwards.

Mr X

Thank you very much for your suggestion!
I’ve been doing this (without establishing keyboard shortcuts) and it somehow works.
But the problem is precisely what I mentioned, this is cumbersome and means that I have to format the block quotes in the editor in a step prior to the compilation (which is the ideal step to format). What I’m suggesting is what I consider a simpler (and more versatile) solution to the problem which would certainly help my workflow a lot.

You’ve got two options at present to avoid making formatting choices while you write: MultiMarkdown, and using the structure of your binder in ways that are not intuitive.

Multimarkdown is pretty good if you can adjust to using it, and it’s the most straightforward approach. Your Compile for: options are limited here, but if you’re familiar with LaTex, or can make use of the MMD output itself, then that’s probably the best route. (Even if your response is “Do you mean like rubber gloves?” then it may still be your best route, though you’ll have some learning to do…)

Using the binder structure requires that you get REALLY cozy with the Formatting compile settings. You’ll have to understand them intimately to pull it off, so I hesitate to get into it. As a hint, it involves using separate folder documents to store your quotes and eschewing folders for other purposes (within the Draft folder). But it’ll break your brain if you don’t really understand what a “Lever 3+ folder” is, or that it is actually just a different kind of document. For that matter, if you don’t understand the other icons in the Formatting pane mean, then I’d be wasting my fingers with an explanation; this way lies madness and deep Scrivener nerdery.

Yes, the ways you point are somehow effective for the purpose. But once again, they are cumbersome and problematic, and require special “scrivener nerdery”. I don’t know the first thing about LaTeX (nor many other writers I suppose). The binder option you propose, as you point out, is even more complicated (and “cripples” the Scrivener experience as well, as I’m not able to use folders freely in the binder). It makes me prefer to do the formatting while writing.
I know there are ways around to get the work done. I’m jus proposing what I think would be an easier way and a more versatile one! I believe this would enhance the experience for many users (I really don’t think I’m the only one here who thinks there could be a better way to handle block quotes and the like)

We’ve got extensive plans for improving this area of Scrivener down the road (think stylesheets, but with a few twists). I don’t think you’ll have any issue with the way things will work in the future.

One thing that might help you for now is the “Options” button in the Formatting compile option pane. There are some controls for limited what all Preserve Formatting actually does. You can for example only have it impact tabs and indents, with all other formatting from from the body text formatting. Unless you need to change the amount of indent frequently, it may be enough.

Oh! Nice!! This gets me really excited!!!

Do you have, by any chance an estimate release date? Will it be soonish (like this year)? Or are they only plans and I’ll have to wait to an eventual Scrivener 3?

P.S. I already use the option menu un compile, which is kind of helpful, but not perfect!

It’s a pretty massive job, so yes, this will be a part of a major upgrade. We are a long way from having any kind of estimated release dates on that, sorry to say.

Can you say if it’s something that will be rolled out on Windows versions at the same time? Or will we have to wait for parity on yet another Mac feature?

I can’t really say anything definitive about it at this point, like I say it’s all too far away. It has always been the general goal for this to be a catch-up spot for Windows, though.