Text size, line spacing, and tabs changed when copying from Word to Scrivener MacOS

Placing this in bugs because it’s only just started happening on my new project. For some reason, whenever I copy/paste from Word Version 16.65 for Mac into Scrivener 3.2.3., the formatting is changed. Times New Roman 12 pt font turns invariably into 16 pt, and line spacing + tabs get funky as well.

And if I lift a doublespaced section into an already doublespaced section in Scrivener, adjusting its size down to 12 after pasting…

Note the greater than 2.0 line spacing in the selection reads at 2.0 line spacing on the top. I cut that off to obscure my AI generated chapter images :slight_smile:

Anybody else have experience with this? I made my way through an entire novel previously and never had this problem. This is new with my new project. Thanks in advance for any insight!

Quick update: I looked into tab spacing and lines, and it looks like the pasted tabs go from .5 in to .67 in, which means that the tabsize, along with the fontsize (which grows from 12 to 16), both increase by a third. I can’t measure the line spacing because Scrivener reads the pasted spacing incorrectly, but I’m willing to bet it grows from 2 to 2.67. At least it’s consistent!

  1. Do these same things happen if you just drop the Word doc in the Binder and let Scriv convert it for you?

  2. Scriv has two Paste commands. Which one are you using? If you are using Paste and Match Style that will be your culprit, you are clearly expecting to see the sort of result one gets with a straight Paste.

  3. Any chance your default paragraph format in your project settings or in Scriv gen prefs is set to the 16pts and extra linespace that you are in fact seeing?

Hi! Sorry for the late reply. You figured it out – the answer to 1 is no, the drop and convert preserved formatting. For 2, regular paste gave me trouble but the Paste and Match Style did not – leading me to 3, the project settings (Formatting tab) and Scriv gen prefs, which curiously crashed the app when I tried to revise the default line spacing from 1.1 to 1.0. I also then switched the 13 point Palatino default to 12 point Times New Roman, matching the default formatting to current binder.

Even after dropping into the projects settings and general preferences, the regular paste still makes the strange format conversion. At least now I know I can Paste and Match Style, but it makes it so I can’t use Ctrl + V, which is lame! I can’t seem to find the culprit here.

I used System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App shortcuts to swap the behaviours of ⌥⌘V and ⌘V around in Scrivener so whenever I use ⌘V now I get Paste and Match Style all the time.

I think @chupacabrando’s problem is that s/he’s using Windows (not a problem per se), but I seem to remember reading in an earlier thread that Ctrl-V as “Paste” is hard-coded in the Qt/Windows version and cannot be swapped for “Paste and Match Style” like it can on the Mac.



O no, my PC past has caught up with me! Not quite the case that I’m using the wrong OS, @xiamenese, though I once would have thought so. I still say Ctrl + V when I mean Apple + V or whatever it is on Mac, lol.

OK, Cmd-V it is :smiley: but you can change it.

You can go to System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts, and choose “App Shortcuts” on the left.

You need to give a new shortcut for “Paste” first. My choice would be Opt-Cmd-V, however, by default Opt-Cmd-V is assigned to (Format → Font →) “Paste Font”, so if you want to use it, you’ll need to assign a new keystroke to “Paste Font”; by default “Paste and Match Style” is Shift-Opt-Cmd-V. Personally, I can’t think of any point at which I’d want to just paste a font, so I’ve assigned Ctrl-V to “Paste Font”, then Opt-Cmd-V to “Paste” and finally Cmd-V to “Paste and Match Style” in that order. To do each in turn:

  1. Click the ‘+’ button:

  2. Make the change for Scrivener only, click where it says “All Applications” and scroll down the list to find ‘Scrivener’, if not it will apply to all your applications and that might cause problems with others.

  3. Click in the box labelled “Menu Title” and type the menu entry exactly, with uppercase and spaces as given (and no quote marks as I’ve used here :wink:).

  4. Click in the box labelled “Keyboard Shortcut” and press the key combination you want.

  5. Click Add.

Sounds long-winded, but easier in the execution.




Good to hear that Drag & Drop of the word doc into the binder does what you want and works around the problem.

It is curious that that would work but regular Copy & Paste doesn’t.

P.S. I too have swapped the key commands for Paste and Paste and Match Style in Scivener, because Paste and Match Style is almost always what I want.

My guess, since this changed recently, is that Microsoft modified what they put on the clipboard for external software. Perhaps they adjusted or added an RTFD pasteboard for example, to better work with tools using the stock Mac editor (like Scrivener does), and maybe it’s still buggy—and if I’m not wrong, in a very typically Microsoftian way. Apple has for decades use the typographical point as a unit of base measurement in the system: 72pts = 6pica = 1inch (which is itself based on historic standards). Microsoft more often has used 1/96th of an inch as a base unit of measurement. Guess what 96 ÷ 72 is. :slight_smile:

As for why copy and paste does one thing while import another, that’s why I suspect it’s a Word pasteboard bug. It is evidently putting a different value in one thing but not another. Scrivener certainly isn’t going through pasteboards and multiplying every incoming measurement value by 1.33… at any rate.


Wow, look at that math! This feels like a satisfying explanation to me, @AmberV. Thanks to everybody for helping me adjust my key bindings. Now it’s off to the races, no more procrastination with technical difficulties. Wish me luck, and thanks again!