Unsure how to word this succinctly...hoping for guidance

Hi all,

I’m new to Scrivener and my google-fu has failed me on this. Hoping a more experienced user may have insight for me on my issue.

So, if I add spaces between my natural breaks, such as between dialogue, new paragraphs etc, it is easy on my eyes to comprehend at a glance while writing but when I compile it, the space between things is huge and no good. If I leave no spaces between things while writing, it compiles in a way that seems proper but is difficult for me to comprehend at a glance. Is there any way around this? Such as keeping spaces between things that should have them for legibility while writing and having Scrivener subtract one space from everything during compile? If that even makes sense. Hopefully the screenshots will help to make sense of it.

The first screenshot is what it needs to look like to compile properly but I find difficult to parse while writing.

The second screenshot is how it feels good for it to look while I’m writing, but compiles with far too much space between…erm…elements? that require space between them.

Is there a way to reconcile this?

Scrivener 3 (3.2.3) on Mac OS (Monterey 12.5 if it matters)

(although the interface offered the option of uploading media, it also prevented me from posting after I did so, so sorry for the imgur links ><



Short answer: You want to adjust paragraph spacing in the editor.

1 Like

This is one of the things the Compile command is for. Set the linespacing to 2x (or 3x, or whatever you want) in the Editor, then use the Compile command to change it to whatever you want for the output document.

(Do not add extra line breaks. They’ll be much more difficult to get rid of.)

Chapters 23 and 24 in the manual cover the Compile command in detail. I’d recommend reviewing the section on “Compiling the Draft” in Scrivener’s Tutorial project for general familiarity first. Changing the linespacing specifically is covered under Formatting in Section 24.2.3 of the manual.

1 Like

Thank you! This helps!

1 Like

Thanks so much for the detailed answer and reference to a specific part of the manual! I looked through it but didn’t know specifically what was causing this so it made it hard to reference in the manual. You saved my butt!

If memory serves, you can also have Compile remove typed empty paragraphs as well, if you are really addicted to hitting that double carriage return.

But I agree with the advice given and use it myself: In the Scriv Editor, my default paragraph is set to add 12pt of space below the paragraph and with no first-line indent, but my standard Compile format renders those paragraphs with a first-line indent and no extra space between paragraphs. Because, like you, when writing, I really want to see how my paragraphs are breaking. (I suspect the extra open space in the Editor is also somehow calming to me.)