Style Sheets


I’m new to Scrivener, so this is probably a newbie question.

When I started a new project, my first, for practice, I chose Chicago Style. I’ve been typing bits of text here and there to get a feel… I expected that I would find a style sheet somewhere, like in Microsoft Word. Like a pre-defined styles for Heading Level 1, Heading Level 2, and so on, plus pre-defined styles for a few different kind of paragraphs.

I expected the pre-defined formatting would all be in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. I also assumed the style sheets would be editable. Once, again, like in Microsoft word. I can’t find any of this. I can’t even figure out how to define a heading as “level 1” or “level 2” and so on.

The menus are complex, though. Maybe I’m overlooking an obvious menu item. Or maybe the things I’m looking for don’t exist. If not, that seems odd, and there must be something fundamental about Scrivener I’m not getting.

Please advise. Thanks in advance.


Hi Tim,

Scrivener is primarily for structuring, composing and drafting, not styling and layout. The fundamental idea is that you get your content as you want it in Scrivener using its many features designed for that purpose, and then hand that content on to a traditional word processor for work on the finer detail of styles and layout. That is especially the case if the appearance of your final document is likely to be complex.

I strongly recommend that you take a look at the videos on this page, particularly An Introduction to Scrivener, and spend an hour or so going through the excellent interactive tutorial (under the Help menu) if you haven’t done so already.


Hi Hugh,

The website says I can export my final document in Kindle or eBook format, ready for publication. Yet you’re telling me I have no control over something so basic as the format for headings. I don’t know what to think.

I’ve watched the movie and I’m in the process of studying the tutorial. Still, Scrivener has a tall learning curve.


Hi Tim,

You have control over title level headings via the Compile pane for e-books (in the “Formatting” pane), as covered in the video tutorial:

As Hugh points out, Scrivener does not have true styles support in its editor, though, as it is not a full word processor replacement.

All the best,

eBooks themselves actually take over most of the formatting that you would normally do, as readers gain control of text size, etc. Most formatting that you do for .mobi or .epub files is incredibly simple and altered again by the device itself. The few things that the guidelines do let you modify a bit, e.g. making chapter titles larger than the main text, Scrivener also gives you control of, as Keith says, by allowing you to set a header level for titles in the compile pane.

Okay, I get it now.

Thanks, Hugh, Keith and MM :smiley: