Trouble with tab indent

Hi all

I am brand new to Scrivener having used Word for my writing up until now. I have heard very good things about Scrivener so I thought I’d join in the fun. Being new, it;s taken me a while to get my head around it all but it looks incredible so far.

I have written 90% of my book on Word and so I copied and pasted the lot over to Scrivener. That all worked fine apart from the tab indents. They all seem to be way too large and I can’t for the life of me work out how to adjust them.

I have tried to use the ruler and moved all the icons/triangles over to the left which worked for the majority of the text, but not the paragraphs I have indented.

It’s driving me nuts.

Any tips? I would be forever grateful!

Hi JoJo, and welcome to Scrivener and to this forum. Can you say a little more about what you mean by “tab indents”? Are you talking about using a tab to indent the first line of a paragraph, or using tabs to indent an entire paragraph by a certain amount, or something else?
In any case, overall formatting can be controlled in Scrivener by Tools > Options > Editor, and then in the dummy editing window set up tabs, font and size, indentation, etc., as you wish them to be for defaults. NB this only applies directly to new documents. In an existing document, do Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style. That should reset everything in that document to the default formatting that you set up. A true pain if you have a lot of existing documents, but that’s how it works.

And to add to that, Scrivener is not a wysiwyg editor. You can have the text look almost any way you want while writing and then change it completely when you compile the final output version.

Adding indents while writing is not necessarily a great idea, at least not using manual tabs. It’s easily fixed during compile.

I found this website provides a nice, concise review of the how-and-why of modern typography, such as not using tab characters to indent paragraphs. It also goes over the most common word processor settings where helpful (such as how to show invisible characters):

Specific to this discussion is this section, which mirrors advice I’ve seen around the internet:

Brilliant site, rdale! Thanks for the reference–I’ve bookmarked it.

It looks pretty neat, and gives a decent base line for what’s expected by modern typographers.

A neat trick of the website is that the author appears to be showing off their fonts by letting you easily choose between them. If you don’t like the one it defaults to, scroll all the way down the page, and you can click on different fonts to change how the site is displayed.

Cooler yet!

The other thing I find interesting about that site is that Butterick is using it as a demo plot for publishing a book online and trying to get paid. To that I will stay tuned.

And JoJo, the OP here, not to forget that you asked for some specific help. Has any of this been useful?

Thank you ALL for your advice. Sorry for the delay in replying, I’ve had a very busy weekend and didn’t get a chance to come online until now.

I’ll keep you updated as to how I get on!

Thanks again.