Why formatting is not appearing?


I am using Scrivener 3.

I have text in bold, italics and colors but they dont appear the pdf after compiling.

Please help.

Are you using one of Scrivener’s built-in Compile formats? If so, which one?

The most likely issue is that you’re using a Compile format that overrides the Editor formatting.

Yes im using one of Scrivener’s built-in Compile formats and it’s still not showing my formatting at all. The Compile formats i tried are: Enumerated Outline, Modern, Paperback (both).

Let’s say i wasnt using any of the built-in compile format, how can i then make sure that the formatting stays the way it is? I dont get WHY the formatting won’t carry over to the final pdf. Why would i format my text if I didnt intend to show it the final pdf?

There are hardly any conditions that would cause bold and italic to be lost. The compiler is deliberately designed to ignore that kind of formatting and only change the settings around it, since hardly anyone would want to lose italics. If the compile format destroyed italics when changing the font, then nobody would use them.

That doesn’t mean they can’t be lost, but the conditions that would cause that would be bugs or font problems. For example if the font you chose to compile to does not have italics or bold variants installed, then obviously you won’t see those variants.

Colours and highlights can be optionally nuked, though not by default, in the general options tab of the compile overview area.

It happens every time, @osmansafdar, if the text has a character (a) or paragraph+character (¶a) style with Regular as its typeface. You can set it to Italics or Bold within the text, in the Editor, but Compile will change it to Regular.

Yup, that is one of the bugs I referred to, not intended behaviour. It’s the same scenario as I described before, not many people would want to use styles if it means losing italics and bold.

That shouldn’t be applicable to the described conditions since they mention using stock settings such as Enumerated Outline, which doesn’t have any style overrides configured, and it’s not use of styles in the editor that triggers the bug, but overriding that style with compile settings.

I thought it was intended behavior (though I’d like it to stop), and no, overriding the style is not required to get that behavior (I think; I’ll go and test that). I also didn’t assume, because someone used a built-in outline, that they didn’t write styles into the text.

Oops, a test shows you are correct. The bug is activated by overriding the style.

I am using Arabic content… could this be the reason why the formatting is not carrying over?

It could be the PDF converter we use does not like the font you need, and is substituting for one that does not have italic and bold?

In File ▸ Options... go into Sharing, under the Conversion tab, and for exporting PDF, change it from “Aspose” to “Scrivener”. If you have MS Office fully installed, you may see that option and you should choose that instead. It will be better than either of the other choices.

If you can’t get it to work though, you may just need to export as RTF and use Word, LibreOffice or another tool to make the PDF.

Exporting as RTF sort of worked… which means there’s no point of using Scrivener. I can just as easily use MS Word and Google Docs if I have to export everything as RTF.

I don’t understand. Were you not writing in Scrivener? Did you just paste from Word and then try to export a PDF directly? If so, then yes, I suppose it would seem rather pointless to use Scrivener.

That’s a bit like putting a pre-cooked dinner into a baking pan, taking it back out, and then declaring the baking pan useless because it cannot microwave food. Scrivener is for writing from zero words to completion, not making PDF files. Use other programs for that.

Hi AmberV,

I love Scrivener for its organizational capabilities. Also, yes I did use Scrivener to write. I would want even the final compiling to pdf to be done via Scrivener, i dont wanna have to use another tool for it.

I know there’s this notion that Scrivener is mainly for writing not for styling and lay out etc. I don’t tend to agree with this statement. The amount of sophistication that is there in Scrivener for compiling and formatting options etc… well its already half way through to become a writing AND a publishing tool.

Anyway, enough my rant.

Coming to Arabic, the PDF converter doesn’t seem to have any problem with the font that Im using. Because it’s outputting the exact same font in the compiled PDF. It’s just not carrying over the basic styling (bold, italics, underline, font color etc). But the font itself is the same.

I think the conditions you are seeing are very specific, and very little to with any of that as a design philosophy or scope limitation in what one or two programmers can accomplish in a lifespan—it sounds more like a bug to me. In other words, something so rudimentary as italics should work.

So to that end it would be better to treat this as a bug report and figure out what it takes for the rest of us to see this problem. I’ve tried pasting Arabic text into a project and compiling, and I see all kinds of formatting (unless I specifically trigger the bug mentioned above with paragraph+character styles). So there needs to be some more detail in the description of what to try. Is this something we can use an Arabic font provided by Windows to test with, or maybe one that is available for free? And do you see this if you try different fonts yourself?

For the digression: I suppose my reaction was just a matter of confusion over whether a writing tool needs to be capable of replacing publication tools in order to be considered useful, or useless. To my mind these two jobs have so little to do with one another that it doesn’t make much sense to try and combine them—like combining Photoshop with Final Cut Pro. Tools that do, like Microsoft Word, end up doing a subpar job at every phase.

As you’ve probably gathered at this point though, by playing with the settings, we don’t even make layout software. The PDF engine is either just the thing that comes with the Qt development toolkit (the Mac print system over there), or a third party Java-based conversion engine we licence. So putting faith in Scrivener as a publication tool, to something we defer to off the shelf output engines is precisely why I say we consider it a proofing tool. Writers need to print, or at least make digital documents to copyedit with, and it’s good enough for that. The formatting you speak of is to help you get into the design phase without spending weeks converting plain text, every single time.