Two formats.

Different media, as we have seen, require different presentations of the same content. For text on a screen, where paper is not an issue—in a webpage, or in the main window of my writing application—the logical and most pleasing paragraph formatting scheme is:

[size=75]Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nunc a lacus sed est facilisis interdum. In quis enim. Donec dolor quam, euismod in, aliquet ac, commodo in, libero.

Ut quis turpis. Vestibulum urna erat, ultrices at, consequat nec, tincidunt eu, massa. Curabitur at nisi. Morbi mattis aliquet nisi. Proin ut massa. Morbi vehicula, purus ut rhoncus dictum, eros eros commodo sem, ut fermentum augue augue sed velit.[/size]

It provides a clear break in paragraphs, and one does not have to worry about wasting paper. As I recall, Copywrite defaults to this; the paragraphs can be single spaced, and a single carriage-return creates the equivalent of two newlines (as in many WYSIWYG HTML editors). This forum, and almost all web writing, follow this standard.

Paper is different; in short, convention and questions of resources (at least, in the vellum days) dictate that prose paragraphs are indicated by a single newline, and an indention—a scheme so wacky that it seems phpBB will not even easily let me replicate it. Well, I won’t quibble. If only for historical reasons, it’s what looks right in book form.

My question for you: given that Scrivener does not allow the user to work as in Copywrite (or, my mythical ideal writing program, anyway)—where a single return produces a

-style break but does not fill the actual file with tons of carriage returns, and where files can be exported to have single newlines with indents, just like a book—is there a way to replicate this action? I feel weird and cramped, typing single breaks for whole paragraphs. But it looks funny (esp. with dialog) to export the file with lots and lots of whitespace.

Failing a solution to my question—how do you, my fellow Scrivenerors, like to set up your paragraphs?

I believe what you are looking for is in View/Project Settings/Export Format tab.

Here you can set up the way Scrivener will transform your files upon export. You can set single-spacing, double-spacing, inter-paragraph spacing, first line indent, hanging indent, whatever you prefer really. As long as Apple’s Ruler tool supports it. It is a pretty flexible ruler from what I’ve seen. This can all be done independant of what you like on-screen, which is set up at the application level using Preferences. Note that you’ll need to check the appropriate export format box when it comes time to actually export. Also that you can reset your document format (in the Edit menu) to either export or application default. It is nice for previewing export to make sure it will look the way you want. Just note this is all done with the Ruler. If you are not familiar with the way Apple’s Ruler works, you might have to fiddle a bit to get it all worked out. You are right, there are no drop-downs anywhere that say “Make everything single spaced,” you have to set that up using Spacing.

But to answer your question: I go back and forth. When I feel like being archaic, I have an Underwood typewriter font that I like, set to 12 point, with 1.5 line spacing and double spaces between paragraphs. Other days, I like 12 point Optima with very similar paragraph settings.

For print, I let LaTeX take care of all that.

Yeah, but. Like:

That doesn’t really get to the heart of my problem.

It comes down to this:

Let’s say I decide to rock 1.5 spacing, and give myself full web/screen-style paragraph breaks the only way I (currently) know how, which is with two carriage returns.

If I bump up the spacing in Export to 2x, or down to 1x, I’m still gonna have two 2x-or-1x spaced newlines between every paragraph, and anyone I give that exported file to is going to ask what is wrong with my computer.

You dig?

As AmberV has already pointed out, you can set this up. In Preferences, set up the text (under “Editor” preferences) as you want to see it on screen. You will want double line spacing between paragraphs, which can be set up via the ruler in the text view in the Preference panel, and you will want to get rid of the first line indent etc (again via the ruler). Then you will set up the Export settings (done on a project level via View > Project Settings) to how you want to view your text on paper.

Hope that helps!

Just to clarify: Inter-paragraph spacing can be accessed from the Ruler. There is a drop-down in the top section called “Spacing,” there are a couple of presets that just involve line height multiples. Select “Other…” this will open up an advanced setup, in the bottom section of this sheet you can set paragraph spacing either for above or below the paragraph. It is kind of hidden; blame Apple. :slight_smile:

Once you have made your selection, this will be available as a preset – Sometimes. I haven’t quite figured out exactly where this data gets stored or deleted because it doesn’t seem reliable. Fortunately the preference does get saved in Scrivener, it is just Apple’s Ruler preset that is somewhat fickle.

If you want to get a feel for how things will look with several paragraphs, you can play around witn the Ruler in the main Scrivener editor, too. Just hit Cmd-R. Once you get a setting you feel looks perfect, you can just transfer those settings to the appropriate preference Ruler.

Hayyyy, lookit that. No shit. Thanks, guys. All this time using OS X text controls, and I didn’t know that one.

EDIT: So, check this out:

Somehow, I managed for the dialog breaks to adopt regular block spacing, while the new paragraphs adopted the new Default Format, which was 12 points after a paragraph.

How’d I do that? How’d I create a linebreak without creating a paragraph?

At the moment, Scrivener interprets option-command-return as a linebreak.