wacky indents in iphone

The .mobi looks perfect on the macbook. But on the ipad, the indents are too shallow–like 2 spaces instead of 5. And on the iphone, the indents are crazy, either not there at all, too shallow, or huge.

After importing from googledocs, I converted formatting to default style.


How did you accomplish the indents? Tab characters? If so, you should go back to your scrivener project and (assuming you don’t NEED tabs anywhere), do a “Project Replace”, using the OPT key to enter a tab and leaving the replacement field blank. If you’re not sure, use Format->Options->Show Invisibles and locate some of the crazy indentations you’re seeing.

If that’s not it… are you letting Scrivener override your font and alignment settings, or did you set things up to use the formatting that you see in your editor?

Yes, I got indents from using Tab when I started a new paragraph. Is there a different way of indenting for paragraphs that I should be using? If I do the Project Replace you suggest, will there be paragraph indents?

When I Show Invisibles, I see that the indents that look right have a symbol before the Tab arrow, a long line with little prongs sticking up? I can’t find a key to invisibles to see what that is, or reproduce it to correct the paragraphs where it’s absent.

Yes, I’m letting Scrivener override my settings.

Thanks for your help!

BEFORE YOU DO ANY SEARCH AND REPLACE… make a backup (File->Backup->Back Up to…). That way, if you make any mistakes, you can start over with a good copy.

This is what you’ll want to do to restore indents once you’ve stripped out the Tab characters: scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb … my-project

That will only fix what you see inside your project, however. Going to the Formatting section of the Compile window and changing the appropriate levels (if they’re not this way already) is where Scrivener will give you the proper indents in your output (PDF, Kindle, Epub, etc…). Ebooks, which are essentially HTML, do not do well with Tab characters embedded in them, so this kind of change isn’t optional. There are other conventions that are a matter of taste (like 2 spaces vs. 1 after terminating punctuation), and can be overlooked by most people who aren’t typographic nerds.

The key bit for your paragraphs is to set the paragraph indent using the ruler; it’s the wedge-shaped thingy that’s pointing down on the ruler. This is how it’s done for modern word processing programs (including Word and other standard word processors), as opposed to using the tab character; it saves one keystroke per paragraph while typing, and prevents formatting issues like you’re experiencing with ebooks. You also get the flexibility (in Scrivener) to alter the indentation and spacing between paragraphs (and fonts too, of course) without having to make changes to the text itself.

As for the other strange character… I don’t know what it might be, but you can select one, copy & paste it into the Project Replace window to get rid of every one of them too. If you have leading spaces (not tabs or other strange characters), you may have to edit them out ‘by hand’… I’m not sure how one would go about removing them without removing all spaces from your manuscript.

The Kindle app(s) indent regular paragraphs by default. You have to turn indenting off, in fact. So for your .mobi compiles, no indenting is needed, and then the paragraphs should all look `normal’ on whatever device you are viewing them - the Kindle app specific to the device you are using ought to take care of that.

But this is using standard HTML markup, that is [p] … [/p] styles. I don’t know what Scrivener does to a file with indented paragraphs when compiling to .mobi format.

In general with the stylesheet for any html file, including .epub and .mobi, indents are best measured in ems or ens, which are printer’s terms and are relative to the font size being used. Then as the reader enlarges or shrinks the font on her device, the indents remain relatively the same. Can sizes be set in these terms in Scrivener? I don’t know.

  • asotir

Robert, thank you so much! It worked brilliantly.