@irenesmith13: In Markdown, paragraphs run together because the extra carriage return between paragraphs is not included.
Make sure to go into the General Options tab on the right side of the compile overview screen, and tick the Convert rich text to MultiMarkdown setting, unless you have composed the document using Markdown. I also highly recommend installing Pandoc and restarting Scrivener, as that will give you access to Pandoc’s DOCX conversion. It’s worth testing both that and ODT to see which will work best for your content, as they both have their pros and cons.
When I look at the HTML page, it is a combination of multiple versions of HTML. Classes are defined but never used and used but never defined.
I would never recommend using any word processor style program’s HTML output. It’s always going to be a mess given the broad differences between WYSIWYG style formatting and semantic markup. Plus you have to consider the target audience for it, where the expectation is copying the formatting as closely as possible without having to learn HTML/CSS.
If you need quality HTML though, use Markdown—either as a writing tool or using the conversion feature above.
The Microsoft Word document does not use heading styles or any styles but Normal that has formatting applied to it.
This one is a bit more peculiar, and it doesn’t have a really good solution. The short answer is that you can set up the compiler to produce a fully and properly styled document, and in many cases all of the components for doing so are essentially set up for you, they just aren’t enabled by default. The reason they are not is largely down to fundamental design decisions aimed toward flexibility being hamstrung by that flexibility into making it difficult to predict the proper outline order of heading styles.
Here’s a short post on how to set up styled output. I don’t think it goes into it there, but you can also easily add a body paragraph style where needed, using the same basic idea.
And again, Markdown is also a good solution for styled word processing output, particularly if you don’t care so much about formatting in Scrivener itself and are looking to apply a stylesheet in a word processor. I’d say which to use comes down more to what you prefer, in most cases. For myself I would always use Markdown because I enjoy using that to write with and never got along with rich text style controls. It’s just simpler, to me, to leave formatting for the document export phase and not worry one bit about it while writing.