Strange indents in some front matter but not others

I have several pages of front matter in my ebooks. I’ve formatted them all to be N/A which I’ve assigned as an “As-Is” format. This means that if it’s fully justified with no idents on the Scrivener editor page, it shouldn’t compile with anything different. However, half the pages in my front matter have an indent in the first paragraph and half don’t. Screenshots here:

How can I fix this so they compile properly without the indents added?

The problem here is that ebooks are a little different from other formats, in that their formatting will to some extent depend on the ebook reader. This means that “As-Is” cannot guarantee that the text will look exactly as it does in the editor as it can with all other formats. You have a couple of options for fixing this, though:

  1. In the “Text Layout” section of Compile, tick “Remove first line indents:” “From all paragraphs following other elements”. This will ensure first line indents are removed from the paragraph after a title or starting a new section.

  2. If you only want the first paragraph indent removed from a particular section, then create a custom Section Layout for your front matter and add the following to the “CSS”:

.front-matter p:first-child {text-indent: 0em; }

(Replace “front-matter” with the CSS name of your Section Layout as specified in Section Layouts > Settings.)

  1. Create a Section Layout for your front matter, create a Style inside the Compile format that formats it as you wish, and apply that style to the Section Layout. (Ebooks are formatted using styles.)

Ultimately, you will want to use a dedicated Section Layout rather than using “As-Is” for this sort of thing in an ebook.

All the best,

I was very familiar with how to manipulate the former version of Scrivener, but with this new version I cannot find anything. Could you tell me where on Scrivener (screenshots maybe?) where I can find these things you’re pointing me to? I’ve been using Scrivener for years and never had these problems. THis new build is so very different it’s made my life very difficult.

If you were quite familiar with Scrivener 2’s Compile then I recommend you take a look at the transition guide here: … date-guide

Scrivener 2’s Compile was the biggest bugbear with most users, so we spent a lot of time redesigning it and making both more flexible and easier to use. However, for those who adapted to the Scrivener 2’s way of doing things, it does mean unlearning some old habits and learning some new concepts. In particular, you should get familiar with Section Types and Section Layouts, as they are key to the new Compile. (One nice thing about the new Compile is that once you do this, you can build Compile formats that can be used with any project; in Scrivener 2, Compile formats were only ever useful for other projects that had exactly the same structure.)

Now, if you are using the built-in “Ebook” Compile Format, then all you may need to do is go to “Assign Section Layouts” and assign “New Section” to your front matter sections rather than “As-Is”. That will put front matter sections on their own pages without a first line indent for the first paragraph.

Everything else I described can be accessed by editing a Compile format. Assuming you have not already created or edited a Compile format, then to do this you simply pick a format you want to base it on in the list of Compile formats, Ctrl-click on it and select “Duplicate and Edit Format”. This will take you to the Compile format editor screen, which should be quite familiar to Scrivener 2 users.

The transition guide listed above should cover everything you need to know, though, as should the section on Compile in the built-in tutorial. We also have four videos dedicated to Compile, taking users from the very basics all the way through to designing their own Compile formats from scratch, which are available under “Getting Your Work Out” here: … s?os=macOS

What you described is exactly what I did, which is why I’m here. I’m using the ‘ebook’ default and I’ve assigned N/A to be the “as is” format, and it turns out like this…with some paragraphs indented and others not. I could have fixed it in the previous version with the suggestion you gave here, but I can’t find where to do that in this new version.

You mean to say you have already been through the transition guide? And the tutorial and videos?

I don’t understand what you mean here. My post describes how to get to the parts required - what is it that you can’t find, exactly?

  1. Duplicate & Edit the “Ebook” format (as I described in my previous post).

  2. In “Section Layouts” create a section layout that has no indents and looks how you want.

  3. Save the format.

  4. Assign the section layout you created in (2) using “Assign Section Layouts…”.

If you’ve been through the guide and tutorial and are familiar with Scrivener 2’s “Formatting” Compile pane then the above shouldn’t pose any problems.