Weird formatting in Compile

I’m not sure of this is my doing but I thought I ought to tell you I just compiled into docx and it didn’t place it into chapters, have a header/footer or page numbers and left five spaces after several fullstops.

Hi Chantal,

Header and footer hasn’t been implemented yet, though it will be coming in the next beta release, so for now you’ll have to add that in Word (or whatever word processor you’re using) after compile. Re: placing the text into chapters, I’m not entirely sure what you mean. Compile doesn’t strictly “place” anything anywhere–that’s handled more by the structure you have in the binder–but you can adjust what titles appear, what document text appears (e.g. you might choose not to include body text for folders, only for regular documents, but to have titles for folders and not for the single texts), and so on. This might just need some tweaking, if you’re using one of the templates and the output isn’t what you expected. If you can describe what you’re after, what you’re seeing, and maybe throw in a screenshot or two of your compile setting in the Formatting tab and of your binder, we can probably figure out how to adjust things to get closer to what you’re looking for.

As for the spaces, I’ve seen a bug where extra spaces appear after non-breaking spaces when compiling and opening in certain programs. If it’s not done automatically, you may be able to turn on invisible characters in your word processor (or “show formatting”, something like that) and see the difference between a normal space and a non-breaking to see if that’s what’s going on. If that’s the issue, that is a known bug and is on the list for fixing. A workaround in the meanwhile is to select one of the non-breaking spaces in Scrivener and copy it, then use Edit>Project Replace to replace the nb space with a standard one (just paste the nb space into the “Find” field and then enter a normal space in the replace field)–you can leave just the “text” box checked to limit the replace to your documents. If you can’t tell which is a non-breaking space (at the moment, both look the same when you use Show Invisibles in Scrivener), just create one somewhere using Edit>Insert>Non-Breaking Space and copy that, then delete it when you’ve done so.

Thanks, that’s brilliant :slight_smile: It was non breaking spaces.

Sorry I thought I read that headers would be formatted in the compile, my mistake.

The chapters are different parts/folders but when formatted into word it just follows as a new paragraph. For some reason I thought they would start on a new page.

Thanks for your help.

Great. Non-breaking spaces are one of the banes of my existence right now. I like them when they’re doing their job–linking two words you want to not break over a line–but for some reason some apps (I’m looking at you, Google Docs) insert these all over the place, e.g. after every period if it’s followed by a second space. So when I’m working with text someone else has sent me who uses a double space to separate sentences, I inevitably get these random sneaky non-breaking spaces littering my documents. They don’t act like normal spaces either for a lot of functions–I like to replace multiple spaces with a single space, for instance, but this only works on normal spaces, so it doesn’t count NB-space + space as “multiple”. Hiss.

Anyway. Enough of that rant. Back to the subject at hand. Your chapters can compile differently if you want. Sounds like you might just want to check out the “Separators” pane in Compile (if you’re not seeing all these options I’m talking about, Formatting, Separators, etc., click the little triangle button to the right of the Format As drop-down menu in compile). This area lets you set up how to separate different types of documents–text following text, folder following folder, text following folder, and folder following text. Probably what you want here is to set the “folder following text” separator (the bottom one) to be page break–I’m assuming it’s currently something like “empty line” or “single return”. This will depend though on the structure of your binder, so if it’s not clear how you want to fiddle with this, the screenshots will help me see what you specifically need to do.

I have a general question regarding the use of double space vs single after a period. I know it used to be the standard for the written word, but is it anymore?
Will Scrivener deal with both single and double spaces during compile and word count?
Thank you!

It’s best to ask these kinds of question in your own thread. We do tend to wander a lot after a question has been answered, depending on what funnies we want to share that are tangential to the topic, but serious questions get more attention when they don’t get tacked onto the end of an old thread.

But to answer your question: The modern standard is a single space after the period/terminating punctuation. The reason it used to be two is that typewriters gave the same horizontal space to a skinny “i” as it did to a wide “O”, so to make the end of a sentence easier to spot on the page, manuscripts were supposed to have two spaces. Now that our fonts can essentially give the same amount of space around each letter, rather than each letter occupying the space required for the widest possible character, and because terminating punctuation now essentially stretches out the space after it, adding an extra space is unnecessary, and creates a less pleasing visual division within a paragraph.

Scrivener doesn’t currently have a way to deal with this during compile. You can, however, do a couple of things to change your text to having only one space after terminating punctuation.

  1. Edit->Find->Project Replace: Use this to search for a period with two spaces after it, and replace that with a period with just one space after it. Do that again for exclamation points, question marks, interrobangs, and any other punctuation where you put extra spaces after.
  2. File->Compile->Replacements: Do the same thing, under the Preset Replacements (so you can save your settings as a preset that can be used in other projects later), adding one line for each punctuation mark.

Also, get out of the habit of the two space thing. It actually took me a week to stop it, and I’ve been typing those extra spaces for over 20 years.