Understanding paragraph spacing

I feel like I must be missing the obvious, but I’ve searched the documentation, the FAQ, and the support forum without finding an answer to my question. To wit: what does Scrivener mean by “paragarph spacing”? I find I can adjust spacing before and after a paragraph, but when I change those values the spacing between one bunch of text and the subsequent bunch of text (which are clearly separated by a paragraph mark when I show the invisibles) does not change. The only spacing that does seem to change is the amount of space between items shown in the “scrivenings” view of a folder.

So I’m confused. Does Scrivener intend the term “paragraph spacing” to refer to (1) the distance between items in the scrivenings view, or (2) the distance between text separated by a paragraph mark? I suppose I could start hitting enter twice to separate text, but I just know that’s going to mess up any hope of a clean import when dealing with Microsoft Word or other such programs–all of which take “paragraph spacing” to refer to the latter in my experience.

Thanks in advance!

Paragraph spacing means the spacing between paragraphs, as in your first assumption. If you’re changing this in the Formatting pane of Preferences, though, you won’t see a change in existing documents unless you use Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style–the preference setting only dictates how new documents appear. If you select all the text in an existing document and then use Format > Text > Spacing… (or the spacing drop-down from the format bar) to change the inter-paragraph spacing, you should see this reflected in the selected text.

First, thanks for confirming my understanding. That makes me feel considerably better about my sanity. Second, I don’t see anyplace in the settings/format dialog to set paragraph spacing. I had thought I was changing it by using the format/text/spacing option. Now I understand that said option is only for the current/selected text. Thanks for making that clear to me.

Next, and I hope finally, perhaps I ought to be asking instead: how do I set paragraph spacing “globally”, so that choosing the documents/convert/formatting to default text style option actually applies what I’m trying to achieve to the whole document at once? If somebody can clue me in on that, I think my quest will be complete. Thanks in advance!

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

In Scrivener > Preferences, click on the “Formatting” icon and then in the format bar above the Main Text sample, click the right-most pop-up button that displays the line spacing number. Choose “Other” from the bottom of this menu and you’ll get the full spacing panel that you see when you choose Format > Text > Spacing. You actually can just use that same menu command as well, so long as your focus is in in the Preferences panel when you choose it–the spacing you set will then display in the sample text. Once you’ve got this set up, you can use the Convert function to update existing documents.

Thank you! And same to you (er, belatedly) if you celebrated that…how was it phrased…“weird American holiday”. :wink:

As my ex-wife rather tartly phrased this, every fourth Thursday in November we all gather together and eat ourselves into a stupor to celebrate my ancestors giving her ancestors smallpox.