Standardizing Margins

Hi there,

I’m not sure if this have been covered previously but I’ve searched quite a bit and can’t find what I’m looking for. I’m trying to figure out how to standardize my margins and page sizes between the editing mode and the composition mode, and then how to make that stick on all documents (both existing and already created). All the options are kind of throwing me off and I can’t seem to figure out how to just get 1 inch margins all around on a standard 8.5 by 11 inch sheet. Mostly I want the shape of my paragraphs to be the same between the two modes. Any help would be appreciated!


That’s likely going to be a fruitless endeavour using the standard flowing text editor views. Scrivener makes no attempt at being a desktop publishing or layout program, as you probably know, but the implications of that go all the way down to how text is printed in a container. And if your only ways of interfacing with the metrics of that container and the text within it are with vague sliders and point values in preferences, good luck finding accurate parity between them. I’m not sure what purpose that would serve anyway since a long spool of text looks nothing like how it will print to paper anyway.

So in both the main editor and in composition mode (they have separate preferences), use the View ▸ Text Editing ▸ Show Page View menu command. A few tips:

  • Paper metrics are set by default using your current compile settings, giving you a rough preview of the output. But if you’d rather an abstract ideal or something static like US Letter no matter what, then in the Appearance: Page View preference pane, change the Base page view size on to File ▸ Page Setup… settings. And now you can use Shift-Cmd-P to alter the preview paper size.
  • Margins are set in the “Scrivener” settings area of that pane.
  • Zoom settings now scale the whole rather than just the text. So you can still have larger text in Composition Mode without sacrificing the word wrap solution.
  • Note that Page View is off by default in new projects. It can be set to on by default in that same preference pane, with Show page view in new projects. Composition Mode works differently in that you can set the default for new projects based on the overall settings you’ve applied to it. You would then click the Use current composition settings for new projects button, in the Appearance: Composition Mode preference pane.